April 29th, 2014

Tigers sweep Trinity for state crown

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Conor Revell

Managing Editor

Tigers sweep Trinity for state crown
St. X's Anthony Campisano prepares to make a return / photo by Jacob Hayslip

St. Xavier won the Kentucky high school volleyball state championship for the seventh time in eight years Tuesday night, beating Trinity 25-18, 25-21, 27-25 on senior night.

“I think we started a little sloppy during the first four or five points in the first set,” St. X head coach Ward Lotze said. “Once we got going, we got comfortable, and Casey Ratterman in the middle played really well when we got him the ball. Early in the game we weren’t doing that.”

The Tigers regained the championship from Trinity, which ended their six-year streak by winning last year’s state title match after losing to its archrival three times during the regular season.

Earlier this season, St. X dominated Trinity 25-15, 25-17, 25-22. Trinity head coach Conan Brooks was happier with how his Shamrocks played this time.

“They had a lot more fun this time than in the first game this season,” Brooks said. “We played a lot better this time as well. The pressure didn’t seem to bother them as much. They caught me off guard the first time when they played. That was a lot more competitive. I wish we could have executed more.”

The Tigers (14-2) dominated the net — winning the kills battle 35-26. Ratterman led all players with 10 kills. Zach Bixler added six kills for the Tigers, and Sam Bibelhauser had five.

“It was easy being the in the middle today,” St. X senior setter Anthony Campisano said. “No. 31, Casey Ratterman, played a great game. That’s the best I’ve seen him play all year. They couldn’t stop him today.”

Jake Savage led Trinity (14-7) with eight kills. Zach Rosenbaum added five and Jake Malkani had four.

The teams fought through nine ties in the first game. With the score knotted at 11, St. X scored eight of the next 10 points to build a 19-13 lead. The Shamrocks pulled within 20-17, but St. X scored five of the last six points.

“It’s great to get back at Trinity,” Lotze said. “They have a great group of guys. It’s a great rivalry, I love seeing them play against each other. In club season, I watch them play together, and then it means a great deal to them to put on the St. X or Trinity jersey and represent their schools. They’ll be friends tomorrow, but they’re great competitors.”

Trinity took a 4-2 lead in the second game and didn’t trail until St. X went ahead 11-10 despite battling through four ties. The Tigers built a 17-14 lead before the Shamrocks went on a rally to take a 19-18 advantage.

St. X knotted it up at 20, then scored five of the final six points to go up two games.

Even though that put Trinity two games down, it didn’t go out without a fight in the third game as the rivals battled through 10 ties. Early on the Rocks looked sharp and built a 9-4 lead. St. X scored the next five to tie it.

“St. X has a lot of ball control,” Brooks said. “They control themselves a lot more than we do. We can hit the ball hard, the ball just doesn’t go where we tell them to hit. That was the difference.”

From that point on the largest lead came when St. X was ahead 19-16. However, Trinity tied it at 23. The Tigers had three chances to win, but Trinity managed to survive until St. X won 27-25.

“This is a pretty special win today,” Ratterman said. “It’s pretty awesome to go out as a senior like this.”



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