March 25th, 2014

St. X sweeps Shamrocks

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Conor Revell

Managing Editor

St. X sweeps Shamrocks
The Tigers had 37 kills to Trinity's 24 and won 25-15, 25-17, 25-22 / photo by Conor Revell

A year ago, St. Xavier’s volleyball team charged out to a large lead against Trinity, lost it, then was pushed to a fifth game before winning.

Tuesday night the Tigers roared ahead and took the first two games, then struggled in the third before regrouping to complete a sweep of the host Shamrocks 25-15, 25-17, 25-22.

“Last year certainly came to my mind a little bit,” St. X head coach Ward Lotze said. “I was a little concerned in that third set and after we got behind I called a timeout. We kind of let up a little; we controlled the first two and then kind of evened up a little. At that point I didn’t want it to get out of hand. After the timeout we tied it and took control.”

Trinity’s frontline was no match for St. X’s as the Tigers (7-1) registered 37 kills to the Shamrocks’ 24.

Going into the third game, the Tigers were leading 23-10 in kills.

Zach Bixler led the Tigers with 12 kills and Casey Ratterman delivered seven, including four in the final game.

“We’re definitely a passing team,” Bixler said. “If we pass well, then we’re pretty good and we can beat a lot of teams out there.”

Senior Zach Rosenbaum paced Trinity (5-2) with eight kills and Jake Savage added seven.

St. X wasted no time attacking the Rocks, jumping to a 6-1 lead in the first game. Trinity fell behind by eight points before closing the gap to five. However, the Tigers scored seven of the final nine points.

“I think we came out really hyped tonight,” first-year Trinity head coach Conan Brooks said. “We tried to do too much too early. Our guys didn’t want to make a mistake. That was really it — we never gave ourselves a chance after we tried to be too perfect.”

In the second game, the score was tied at five before the Tigers built a 12-6 advantage. Trinity pulled within 16-13, but St. X scored seven of the next nine points and eventually won 25-17 to build a 2-0 lead.

“We were passing the ball well,” Ratterman said. “The key for us is to stay focused; we lost focus a couple of times. If we are focused, we are pretty good.”

However, Trinity had some fire left for the third game. The Rocks went on a 9-1 burst to build a 14-9 lead, but  St. X answered with a 6-1 run to make it 15-all.

“Last year came to my mind a little because I messed up a couple of times last year,” Bixler said. “But I knew we had it; we were playing solid out there tonight. I didn’t think we were going to blow it, but it definitely came into my head.”

Ratterman put the Tigers up for good when his kill made it 23-22 and then scored the final two points to finish the sweep.

“A lot of our frontline builds off Casey Ratterman, who is our 6-foot-6 senior in the middle,” Lotze said. “He played very well and that opened up everybody around him. And our outside hitters had one-on-one blocks (matchups), which really helps us.”

Trinity will have a chance for revenge when the teams meet again at St. Xavier at 7 p.m. April 29.


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