XAVERIAN HS VOLLEYBALL SWEEPS GCHSAA TIER ONE CITY CHAMPIONSHIP
The road back from Covid and two flooded seasons out of their gym seemed long and endless at times, but the Xaverian High School Girls volleyball program has completed the goal they set for themselves when going to Co-Ed 7 years ago. On Wednesday evening, November 9, the Xaverian Junior Varsity and Varsity Volleyball program finished a clean sweep and took home the CHSAA City Tier One Championship Title.
Finishing the regular season as the top seed going into the playoffs (11-1), the Junior Varsity squad qualified for their trip to City’s by winning the Brooklyn-Queens Tier 1 Championship Game. The “Breezy-Rockaway” heavy Clipper squad beat TMLA 2-0 in their Semi-Final match and met Archbishop Molloy in an epic match that brought the top-seeded Clippers to the Molloy gymnasium for the finals. The Clippers lost the first set in front of an intense home crowd, but rallied to win set two and completed the come from behind victory, sealing a trip to the City Championship game. There, they beat Maria Regina High School in straight sets to capture their Fourth Consecutive Tier One City Championship.
The Undefeated regular season champion Varsity squad entered the playoffs as top seed (12-0). They met their Shore Road rivals of Fontbonne Hall in their Semi-Final match. Fontbonne had tarnished the Clippers “undefeated” record last season when they upset the Clippers in the BQCHSAA final. Always a formidable opponent, the Clippers were able to take down Fontbonne in a spirited and competitive “Breezy-Rockaway” heavy match. They would meet up with St. Francis Prep in the second half of the BQCHSAA Championship match. Prep came out for blood and played nearly perfect volleyball for two sets. The Clippers went down 0-2 but began to right the ship in Set 3 and never looked back. They won 3-2 in a comeback match for the ages. It would be the first Brooklyn-Queens Tier One Championship in Xaverian Girls’ Volleyball history. It would be followed by a 3-0 win in the City Championship game against Maria Regina High School which would give the squad the first Tier One (Undefeated) City Championship title in school history and a bid to the State Tournament.
The girls traveled to Niagara Falls and met with some of the best volleyball the State Tournament has seen. They finished second in pool play and met with Long Island powerhouse St. Anthony’s in their Semi-FInal match. The Clipper squad was locked in and beat the Friars in straight sets to secure a meeting with 18 time Champion, St. Mary’s of Lancaster, NY. The Clippers fell to the perennial champions in a two and a half hour five set match that was described by the Buffalo TImes as “a thriller and epic state match for the ages”. After going down 0-2, the Clippers dug their way back to tie the match at 2-2. The fifth set was 35 minutes long and a side out match until the end. Nineteen-time State Champion Coach Don Pieczynski would go on to say this, “The final match vs Xaverian was special. A well-coached worthy opponent. There were so many well played rallies, both teams played with relentless effort that was deserving of victory.”
Some days the effort just has to be enough! Finishing as State Finalists in their first appearance has brought all involved in the journey a tremendous feeling of pride and laid the foundation for future success. Every day these Clipper squads hit the gym was a gift to their coaches, parents, school community and each other! They are a group of girls who are “Really good at Volleyball and great at Life”! That is the mark of their Champion DNA and it is always, always enough!