May 4th, 2011
Tigers Down Trinity On Senior Night
St. Xavier completes season volleyball sweep of Rocks
When Trinity and St. Xavier met for their volleyball match two weeks ago, it was a breezy, three-game sweep for the visiting Tigers.
This time, on their home court and with a Senior Night crowd on hand, the Tigers managed to survive a two-hour, five-set match to win 22-25, 25-21, 23-25, 25-21 and 15-9.
“This game was a lot more competitive than the last one,” remarked St. Xavier Head Coach Ward Lotze. “It was a more spirited game. I think everybody came to play tonight, which was very nice to see. Last time out we won in three straight, but everybody came to play tonight which was very nice to see and that made it a lot of fun for the guys.”
Trinity’s high flying outside hitter Hayden Keller and setter Nate Stein set the tone early for the Rocks as they 10 of their team’s first 14 points. The Rocks took a 14-10 lead only to give back four points on errors to St. X as the Tigers tied the game at 17-17. From that point, the Rocks used two big blocks, four kills and two St. X errors to close out the game on Aaron King’s put-away smash out of the middle off of a quick set.
The Tigers atoned for their first game loss with a spirited effort in game two. Led by setter Michael Woeste, the Tigers matched Trinity smash for smash, but were able to take advantage of their opponents 11 unforced errors in the game to win by a 25-21 margin.
And, as true with any volleyball match, the momentum swings were huge. Trinity’s Keller and Stein along with the 6’5” King were the sparks in game three registering 14 of the team’s 21 points - St. X gave away four points on errors - as the Rocks hung on to win 25-23.
“We made a lot of mistakes early, but fortunately we cleaned up our play in games four and five,” said Lotze. “We challenged ourselves and responded with a big effort to close out the match.”
Indeed, game four was the game of mistakes. The Tigers made 11 unforced errors that led to points and the Rocks gave away 15 points on errors. And that was the difference in the game won by St. X 25-21. The Tigers raced out to a 21-9 lead, but handed the Rocks nine of the next 11 points from ball-handling and hitting mistakes.
The Tigers dominated the final game, taking a commanding 8-2 lead and cruising to win 15-9.
“Senior Night is a special night no matter where you are,” said Lotze. “I wanted to take each senior out of the game one-by-one to get recognized with an ovation, but we just couldn’t make that happen in the 5th game.”
The St. Xavier trio of Nolan Mattingly, Hunter Daniel and Eric Gruner combined for 28 points on the evening.