Prep Volleyball

Big block sends Cedar Rapids Xavier to Washington volleyball tournament title

Saints' Austin Filer (100), Marion's Roxanne Paulsen (500) earn milestone wins

Cedar Rapids Xavier’s Katy Garrison tries to block the ball during a match against Davenport Central at the Warrior Invitational volleyball tournament at Cedar Rapids Washington. The Saints won the tournament title. (David Harmantas/Freelance)
Cedar Rapids Xavier’s Katy Garrison tries to block the ball during a match against Davenport Central at the Warrior Invitational volleyball tournament at Cedar Rapids Washington. The Saints won the tournament title. (David Harmantas/Freelance)

CEDAR RAPIDS — Two Metro volleyball coaches hit two separate landmarks Saturday.

Roxanne Paulsen’s was the bigger one. Austin Filer’s was more timely.

Class 4A second-ranked Cedar Rapids Xavier escaped trouble in the semifinals, then thwarted Marion with its blocking in the championship match, earning a 21-19, 21-10 triumph to win the Warrior Invitational tournament championship at Washington High School.

“Coach helps us know where they’re going to set the ball, based on what they’ve done previously,” said Xavier junior Katy Garrison, who — along with Eve Magill, Elyse Winter and others — helped the Saints (7-1) control the net. “That way we can get the block up.”

The victory in the finals was Filer’s 100th; the fourth-year coach owns a 100-30 record. He has taken three teams to the state tournament, including a march to the 4A finals last year.

He nearly got stuck at 98 Saturday. The Saints were staring at a 12-9 third-set deficit against 3A No. 5 Dike-New Hartford in the semifinals before getting it in gear and rallying for a 19-21, 21-18, 17-15 victory.

“I was excited with the way we responded in that match,” Filer said. “We got down and faced a little adversity, but we were able to play ugly volleyball and get it done.”

Magill triggered the comeback against DNH with three kills and a block in the final surge, including a kill when DNH had match point at 14-13.

Xavier faced an 18-17 deficit in the opening set against Marion (6-1), but an ace by Winter put the Saints ahead, then Magill knocked down a pair of kills to win the set.

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Game 2 was much easier. Six of the Saints’ first 12 points came on blocks on the way to a 12-4 lead.

“I think we were a little intimidated,” Paulsen said. “Xavier has a lot of size and we don’t see that very often.”

The Indians’ three-set quarterfinal win over Oskaloosa was No. 500 for Paulsen. She got No. 501 in a 21-18, 21-18 semifinal conquest of Johnston and stands at 501-252 in 20 seasons overall, 475-191 in 16 years at Marion, highlighted by a state title in 2008.

“It says a lot about our program,” Paulsen said. “I’ve been blessed with a lot of good kids and coaches around me. I can’t say enough about them.”

Xavier has won seven straight matches since an opening-night loss to Iowa City Liberty.

“It showed that maybe we’re not as good as we thought we were,” Garrison said. “It proved that we need to play the way we know how to play.” 

WARRIOR INVITATIONAL VOLLEYBALL TOURNAMENT

Pool A

1. Johnston 2-1, 2. Oskaloosa 2-1, 3. C.R. Washington 1-2.

Pool B

1. C.R. Xavier 3-0, 2. C.R. Kennedy 1-2, 3. Davenport North 0-3.

A-B Pool Matches

C.R. Kennedy def. C.R. Washington, 21-16, 21-13

C.R. Washington def. Davenport North, 21-18, 14-21, 15-8

C.R. Xavier def. C.R. Washington, 21-12, 23-21

C.R. Xavier def. Johnston, 21-14, 21-10

C.R. Xavier def. Oskaloosa, 21-10, 21-19

Johnston def. Davenport North, 21-15, 21-8

Johnston def. C.R. Kennedy, 21-15, 13-21, 15-13

Oskaloosa def. Davenport North, 21-18, 18-21, 15-7

Oskaloosa def. C.R. Kennedy, 21-15, 13-21, 18-16

Pool C

1. Dike-New Hartford 2-1, 2. Davenport Central 1-2, 3. Solon 1-2.

Pool D

1. Marion 3-0, 2. Dubuque Senior 1-2, 3. Linn-Mar 1-2.

C-D Pool Matches

Dike-New Hartford def. Dubuque Senior, 21-17, 17-21, 15-5

Marion def. Davenport Central, 21-14, 21-15

Dike-New Hartford def. Linn-Mar, 21-16, 21-17

Solon def. Dubuque Senior, 21-13, 11-21, 15-7

Marion def. Solon, 21-19, 21-11

Davenport Central def. Linn-Mar, 11-21, 21-16, 15-9

Dubuque Senior def. Davenport Central, 21-13, 19-21, 15-10

Marion def. Dike-New Hartford, 21-17, 17-21, 15-10

Linn-Mar def. Solon, 21-7, 21-18

Consolation Semifinals

Linn-Mar def. C.R. Washington, 21-18, 21-6

Davenport North def. Solon, 26-24, 10-21, 15-10

Consolation Final

Linn-Mar def. Davenport North, 19-21, 21-8, 15-10

Quarterfinals

Johnston def. Dubuque Senior, 21-18, 21-17

Marion def. Oskaloosa, 21-15, 10-21, 15-7

C.R. Xavier def. Davenport Central, 21-8, 21-16

Dike-New Hartford def. C.R. Kennedy, 13-21, 21-17, 15-11

Semifinals

Marion def. Johnston, 21-18, 21-18

C.R. Xavier def. Dike-New Hartford, 19-21, 21-18, 17-15

Championship

C.R. Xavier def. Marion, 21-19, 21-10

l Comments: (319) 368-8857; jeff.linder@thegazette.com

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