CEDAR RAPIDS — They left the gym in white uniforms. They returned in blue.
When the Xavier Saints exited for good, they did so as champions.
Class 4A second-ranked Cedar Rapids Xavier fought off a pair of match points in the final set, and Eve Magill pounded home the Saints’ final four points in a 23-25, 25-16, 17-15 thriller over 5A No. 5 Linn-Mar in the championship match of the Warrior Invitational volleyball tournament Saturday at Washington High School.
“It feels really good to know that the team can trust me in a big spot like that,” said Magill, a 6-foot-5 sophomore that recently committed to Creighton University. “We came together as a team. We did it for each other.”
The Saints (8-0) faced a 14-12 deficit in the final set. After Akeela Jefferson’s kill made it 14-13, Magill rejoined the front row and knocked down a pair of kills to Xavier in front, 15-14.
Linn-Mar’s Emily Strauss blocked Magill to tie it at 15, then Magill wasn’t going to be denied again.
“She’s going to be a special player,” Xavier Coach Austin Filer said. “Linn-Mar has some of the best blockers in the state, and she was able to close against them.”
After the Saints rolled in the second set, they ran out of the gym, then came back in a different set of uniform tops.
“It wasn’t by choice,” Magill said. “Jaz (Yamilkoski) had a bloody finger and she got blood on her jersey. We didn’t have an extra white jersey, so we all had to change.”
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Trailing 11-8, Linn-Mar (8-5) scored six of seven points and appeared poised to avenge a pool-play defeat, but Magill and the Saints had the final say.
“We just weren’t big enough. What do you do?” Linn-Mar Coach Teresa Bair said. “We gave ourselves a chance, but Xavier is just so aggressive. Kudos to them. It just shows that we have some things to work on. We’re going to keep battling.”
Magill finished with 16 kills, and Jefferson added 13 for the Saints. Yamilkoski dished out 37 assists.
Ellie Von Lehmden paced Linn-Mar with eight kills. Purdue recruit Megan Renner posted six kills and 17 assists.
Xavier swept its three pool matches, then outlasted Cedar Rapids Kennedy in a three-set quarterfinal before handling 2A No. 4 Dike-New Hartford, 25-18, 25-19 in the semifinals.
Linn-Mar reached the title match with decisive wins over Marion and 5A No. 15 Johnston.
At C.R. Washington
Pool A — 1. Linn-Mar 2-1, 2. Oskaloosa 1-2, 3. Davenport Central 0-3.
Pool B — 1. C.R. Xavier 3-0, 2. Dubuque Senior 2-1, 3. Davenport North 1-2.
A-B Cross-Divisional Matches
C.R. Xavier def. Oskaloosa, 21-13, 21-6
C.R. Xavier def. Linn-Mar, 21-16, 23-21
C.R. Xavier def. Davenport Central, 21-5, 21-8
Davenport North def. Davenport Central, 20-22, 21-18, 15-8
Dubuque Senior def. Oskaloosa, 21-13, 21-19
Dubuque Senior def. Davenport Central, 14-21, 22-20, 15-9
Linn-Mar def. Davenport North, 21-3, 21-13
Linn-Mar def. Dubuque Senior, 21-9, 21-11
Oskaloosa def. Davenport North, 21-17, 21-9
Pool C — 1. Dike-New Hartford 3-0, 2. C.R. Kennedy 1-2, 3. Solon 1-2.
Pool D — 1. Johnston 2-1, 2. Marion, 3. C.R. Washington 0-3.
C-D Cross-Divisional Matches
C.R. Kennedy def. C.R. Washington, 21-6, 22-20
Dike-New Hartford def. C.R. Washington, 21-10, 21-13
Dike-New Hartford def. Johnston, 21-8, 21-9
Dike-New Hartford def. Marion, 21-12, 21-11
Johnston def. Solon, 21-17, 21-17
Johnston def. C.R. Kennedy, 21-18, 14-21, 18-16
Marion def. Solon, 20-22, 21-19, 15-10
Marion def. C.R. Kennedy, 18-21, 21-14, 15-13
Solon def. C.R. Washington, 21-14, 21-19
C.R. Washington def. Davenport Central, 21-25, 25-21, 15-9
Solon def. Davenport North, 25-10, 25-16
Solon def. C.R. Washington, 25-16, 25-21
Linn-Mar def. Marion, 25-10, 25-17
Johnston def. Oskaloosa, 27-25, 22-25, 15-11
C.R. Xavier def. C.R. Kennedy, 25-21, 27-29, 15-6
Dike-New Hartford def. Dubuque Senior, 25-16, 25-17
Linn-Mar def. Johnston, 25-14, 25-11
C.R. Xavier def. Dike-New Hartford, 25-18, 25-19
C.R. Xavier def. Linn-Mar, 23-25, 25-16, 17-15
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