It has become apparent that over the years, Xavier strives to do better than it does the year before. This year, the High School Volleyball varsity team was able to pull it off again. Albeit not being able to bring home the gold, Xavier took it up a notch this year, advancing to silver from last year’s bronze at the ISSA tournament.
The team’s journey began with a rough and challenging road ahead of them. Starting a fresh new team without the newly graduated seniors is never an easy task, especially since their core was built around them. It was a whole different story — one that would begin with tests far greater than any normal athlete could imagine. Luckily for them, the Stallion Spikers aren’t just ordinary athletes because the team had the heart, the will, and they had no fear.
The season started out roughly. The team barely managed to make it to the semi-finals, holding on to that fourth seed, after defeating De La Salle Zobel 3-0, in an all-or-nothing knockout match on October 4, 2013, at the Xavier School HS Gym. Dead tired and exhausted, this wasn’t the end for them, but rather, only the beginning, as the real challenge was posed the next day. With a three way tie betwen three of the teams that managed to beat XS in the elimination round, it was going to be a tough challenge no matter whom the team ended up facing. Eventually, the quotient system worked out, and they now knew whom they were going up against, and this was none other than CSA, whom the boys had lost to last year in the semi-finals.
It’s always been sweeter to win against a team that beat you in your previous matchup, but it is never an easy task. Playing early in the morning with fatigue haunting them, it felt as if the odds were all stacked up against the Spikers. That wasn’t necessarily entirely incorrect. The game started out as a nightmare for them. CSA quickly bagged the first set and followed it up with a strong second set. Just like that, the Stallion Spikers were down 0-2 in one of the most important games of the season. It was now or never for them, because if the Spikers ever wanted to make it to the finals, this was the time to step up. It was a dogfight along the way, with tension in the air, and both teams playing with more intensity and aggressiveness. However, it was XS who were able to pull through in the end, holding on 1-2. The fourth set was all about momentum. Pumped up by the previous set, the team was able to take the fourth set easily, creating a big lead through a strong start. This left only the 5th and deciding set. It didn’t take much to see the intensity in the eyes of all the players. If there was one thing this writer was sure of, it was that these people, no matter how tired they were, wanted to win. The Spikers rallied to gain what little lead they could, and when the final whistle blew, the players could only rejoice, because they did something that hadn’t been done in Xavier Volleyball history in a long time — the Stallion Spikers made it to the finals.
In the end, the team fell short to the Faith Vanguards in the championship game, but this writer couldn’t ask for more from his teammates. If there’s something to be learned from this tournament, it’s that heart and will always find a way. Even though the Spikers weren’t able to bring home the gold, they brought home the greatest glory of them all, and that is the fighting spirit that led the team there.