Xavier Prep is first AZ team to win Platinum at Nike TOC

<!-- AddThis Sharing Buttons above -->
                <div>
                    <a class="addthis_button" href="//addthis.com/bookmark.php?v=300" addthis:url='http://phxfan.com/2013/10/xavier-prep-first-az-team-win-platinum-nike-toc/' addthis:title='Xavier Prep is first AZ team to win Platinum at Nike TOC'>
                        <img src="//cache.addthis.com/cachefly/static/btn/v2/lg-share-en.gif" width="125" height="16" alt="Bookmark and Share" style="border:0"/>
                    </a>
                </div>Xavier Prep and Horizon High School weren’t in the field for the Goldwater Volleyball Festival  a couple of weeks ago, but showed up over the weekend to play in the […]<!-- AddThis Sharing Buttons below -->
                <div>
                    <a class="addthis_button" href="//addthis.com/bookmark.php?v=300" addthis:url='http://phxfan.com/2013/10/xavier-prep-first-az-team-win-platinum-nike-toc/' addthis:title='Xavier Prep is first AZ team to win Platinum at Nike TOC'>
                        <img src="//cache.addthis.com/cachefly/static/btn/v2/lg-share-en.gif" width="125" height="16" alt="Bookmark and Share" style="border:0"/>
                    </a>
                </div>

Xavier Prep and Horizon High School weren’t in the field for the Goldwater Volleyball Festival  a couple of weeks ago, but showed up over the weekend to play in the Nike Tournament of Champions.

And that just made it all the more difficult for the other local teams that were participating.  Xavier took the Platinum Division crown and Horizon came in third.

The Platinum Division brackets are filled by those teams that advance through pool play to earn the right to compete at the top level of what has become one of the major tournaments of the high school season.

Xavier wasn’t even included among the list of participants when the Nike TOC kicked off back in 2009 and they didn’t play in it last year when St. Joseph’s Academy from St. Louis won it, as the tournament expanded from 32 teams that first year to 64 teams.

But this year the Gators not only joined in, they kept St. Joseph’s from repeating as champions, beating the out-of-towners 28-26, 16-25, 25-23 to become the first Arizona team to claim the Platinum title.

Xavier beat three out-of-state teams, including St. Joseph’s, as it cruised through six games undefeated.  Horizon, the defending Division I champion, was beaten by St. Joseph’s in the semi-finals and settled for third place after a win over Marymount High from Los Angeles.

Sunnyslope High School, which won the Goldwater Festival by beating Chaparral High, and Hamilton High, which won the Westwood Tournament of Champions last month and the Nike TOC Gold Division title last year, were also included in the eight-team Platinum bracket, but were both beaten in the opening round.

Flagstaff High School successfully defended its Silver Division title and Mesa High beat Thatcher High School for the Gold Division championship.

Xavier, the No. 3-ranked team in the state according to MaxPreps, had to rally from a 9-0 deficit in the final set to win this year’s TOC title.  Sophomore outside hitter Khalia Lanier led the offense with 17 kills and added 10 digs to the effort, while the 5’8″ senior libero, Chaney Hart, added 12 digs.