THE MESA WESTWOOD TOURNAMENT OF CHAMPIONS again drew some of the best volleyball talent to its annual event, which has expanded to 32 teams.

Considered one of the top regular-season high school volleyball tournaments in the state, this year’s Westwood became a stage for then-undefeated Xavier Prep, which swept 5A power Tempe Corona del Sol (25-21, 25-19) in the finals.

“Everybody is going to start gunning for us now,” Xavier coach Tim Hale was quoted as saying after the win. His fears soon played out, as Horizon HS defeated Xavier just two weeks later. The Gators were ranked No. 1 in 5A/I and No. 68 in the nation when the Huskies put an end to their undefeated run and settled into a No. 2 ranking in 5A/I, behind Gilbert HS, as September closed out.