SAND VOLLEYBALL: Macy Gordon and Cierra Flood win First CatBox Classic Pairs Invite
March 20, 2016 by Andy Morales, AZPreps365
CatBox Classic Pairs Invitational
March 19: University of Arizona
The University of Arizona and Ironwood Ridge hosted the first high school “pairs” competition in Arizona. The CatBox Classic featured athletes from Xavier Prep, Salpointe, Chaparral, Ironwood Ridge, Corona del Sol and Notre Dame.
Arizona Sand Volleyball head coach Steve Walker was thrilled with the turnout, competition and the invitational itself. "All parties involved from coaches to players seem to be really excited of what we have started here and what the future holds," he said.
"This is the first time something like this has been held and it is a great opportunity for everyone to experience our facility and see what the sport has to offer," he added.
The University of Arizona began sand volleyball competition in 2013 with Walker as the program's first coach. His current roster sports three players from Arizona including senior Katarina Schulz (Xavier Prep) and junior twins McKenna and Madison Witt (Mountain Ridge).
Competition consisted of Pool Play followed by Play-Off Brackets for Pairs Competition. Matches are played to 28 with pairs switching sides every seven points.
The top Xavier Prep (XPI) pair of Macy Gordon and Cierra Flood finished 6-0 through pool play and bracket play to qualify for the Gold Championship and they were matched up against a couple of their teammates in the final.
Since this was a pairs competition and not a team invitational, playing against teammates is a natural part of the competition. Alyna Draper and Trinity Cavanaugh made up the third pair from Xavier Prep (XP3). Draper and Cavanaugh also went into the final undefeated at 6-0.
Gordon and Flood controlled the final from beginning to end and beat their teammates 28-17 to claim the championship.
"I loved this tournament and I hope we can come back next year," Gordon said.
Xavier won the first state team championship in 2012 and the Gators have gone on to win four in a row with a fifth title on the horizon. In fact, Xavier Prep won the first high school sand volleyball title in the nation as Arizona came out with the sport first.
"We have a really great team," Gordon added. "We are strong all across the board and everyone plays for each other."
The third Salpointe pair (SP3) of Arica Christensen and Ariana Snyder went 3-2 to qualify for the championship of the Silver Bracket. The Lancers took on the second team from Notre Dame (ND2).
Paige Sanchez and Devin Douglas led Christensen and Snyder 24-23 but the Salpointe duo went on a 5-0 run to close out the championship, 28-24.