Your Prep Sports
IOWA CITY – City High scratched and clawed to stay in its season-opening match with Mississippi Valley Conference foe Cedar Rapids Xavier on Tuesday.
In the end it was too much Xavier, too many errors and way too much Charlotte Richards.
Richards hammered a match-high 19 kills to lift Class 4A No. 12 Cedar Rapids Xavier to a 25-19, 24-26, 25-20, 26-24 win over 5A No. 15 City High (0-1) in a MVC cross-divisional matchup at City High.
“It was the first night but basically we didn’t pass well off the serve receive and we had a lot of what I would call uncharacteristic hitting mistakes,” City High coach Craig Pitcher said. “We did a good job staying in it but then we kind of played outside of what we could actually do.”
Richards was the only Saint to post double digit kills but four others had at least six kills as Xavier head coach Austin Filer won his debut at the school.
The 5-foot-11 Richards had all but two of her match-high 19 kills in the final three sets as Xavier put the match away.
City High senior Shannon James “Charlotte is a special player, this is my first year with the program but I’ll be honest one of the reasons I decided to come on board was because I knew she was going to be on our side,” Filer said. “I have seen her and coached against her on the club circuit and she is a player you have to focus on.”
Alexa Aldrich-Ingram had a team-high 14 kills for City High and Shannon Stamp and Shannon James each added 10 kills but it wasn’t enough to stop City High from dropping it’s opener.
The Little Hawks were tied at 18 or later in the first, second and fourth sets but could only hold on for a 26-24 win in the second.
“I think because it was our first game we had a lot of nerves that we had to get out of the way,” James said. “From here we are going to work a lot more on just keeping the energy up and we need to work a little bit on our serve receive so we can run an effective offense.”
Xavier ended the opening set on a 7-1 run to turn an 18-all tie into a 25-19 win.
The Saints took advantage of three Little Hawk errors during the 7-1 run that secured the opening set.
“They served well tonight and we were out of system a lot more obviously than we were in system tonight,” Pitcher said. “We were never really able to set some sort of tempo like we would like to.”
Facing set point and a two sets to none deficit City High battled back in the second set.
The Little Hawks rattled off three straight points to win the second 26-24 on a net violation and a pair of Xavier errors.
Aldrich-Ingram had five kills during the second set win.
The rest of the match belong to the Saints.
Xavier built a 24-16 lead in the third set and held off a late City High rally that featured back-to-back ace serves by James.
An Ellie McDermott kill out of a Xavier timeout secured the win in the third set.
“City played awesome, I have nothing but good things to say about how they played,” Filer said. “We were expecting a battle but they gave us a lot more even than what we were expecting.”
Xavier scored the final three points of the third set to secure the win.
Facing set point at 24-23, Richards tied the score with a kill.
An ace serve by Rachel Sodawasser put Xavier up 25-24 and the Saints earned with win on a City High hitting error.
Richards had a pair of kills late in the fourth set as Xavier overcame a 23-21 deficit.
“We knew about her, we knew she was going to come in very strong,” James said of Richards. “We were trying to fix our block but she was able to split it.”
Cedar Rapids Xavier 25 24 25 26
City High 19 26 20 24
Sydney Schroder 0-1-0, Alexa Aldrich-Ingram 14-1-1, Mackenzie Murphy 1-1-0, Ellie Evans 2-0-0, Cessily Hayes 1-0-1, Shannon James 10-3-0, Shannon Stamp 10-0-3, Team 38-6-5.
Assists – Sydney Schroder 22, Alexa Aldrich-Ingram 10.
Cedar Rapids Xavier
Rachel Sodawasser 0-1-0, Ellie McDermott 8-4-1, Akeela Jefferson 3-0-0, Anna Parr 7-0-0, Jessica Callahan 7-2-2, Lexi Noonan 6-2-0, Olivia Richards 4-0-0, Emily Jasper 0-1-3, Charlotte Richards 19-0-0, Team 54-10-6.
Assists – Jessica Callahan 25, Rachel Sodawasser 15, Lexi Noonan 3.