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Glassman, Regis prevail over Xaverian for CHSAA title

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The stage was set for top-seeded Xaverian to win the CHSAA boys’ volleyball championship.

The match was held at home and the fans were out in full force for the Clippers. All they needed to do was finish against No. 2 Regis.

Every time Xaverian built a lead, though, it was Regis middle hitter Ryan Glassman who spoiled the show. The star senior made play after play to help the Raiders win the CHSAA title, 25-23, 27-25, 19-25, 25-17, on Tuesday in Bay Ridge, Brooklyn.

“I am so proud of my team, they played a great game,” Raiders coach Alex Chan said. “Coming off a bus ride and coming in second place, we truly were the underdogs in this game.”

Regis (12-2) wasted no time against Xaverian (11-3).

The first two sent went back and forth between the two powerhouse teams. It seemed as though at times that the Clippers had no answer for the tall Glassman and John Flannery. When Regis needed a big play, it was either Glassman or Flannery who stepped up. In the first set, it was Flannery’s spike that lifted the Raiders to the 25-23 win.  The second game was when the duo truly shined as it seemed that they were everywhere on the court. Whether it was a Glassman spike or a Flannery block, the pair was one step ahead of the Clippers.

Despite the great performance in the first two sets, the third one belonged to Xaverian. That’s when Clippers senior leader Jesse Paguaga emerged. The speedy setter was an integral part of the Clippers jumping out to a 17-4 lead. The Raiders would not go down without a fight – facing a deficit of 13, they finished the game out strong on a 15-8 run.

“I think the first two games were just good playing and that the loss in the third game helped us,” Chan said. “It motivated us to win.”

The Raiders used that third set to their advantage and came out strong in the fourth. After a tight battle, the Clippers’ lack of depth started to affect them and Glassman and Flannery took total advantage of that to help the Raiders win, 24-17.

The ending of the match was perfect for the Raiders. After splitting the season match-up with the Clippers, this was a grudge match for them.  All of the Raiders knew that it was going to be a tight one and the fact that they were playing in a very hostile environment didn’t help either.

“I think the momentum of the match and all of our hard work helped us,” said Chan. “ I think we would have done the same thing regardless of what school we played at.”

Glassman agreed with his coach.

“Our team had great focus and composure today,” he said. “We were very aggressive and handled it well.”

For Glassman and the rest of the Raiders’ seniors, beating the Clippers was truly a fairytale ending.

“The last four years have been full of ups and downs,” Glassman said. “We came al ong way this season and it’s a really great finish to win. It’s all you could ask for. After four years, today is the perfect way to finish off my high-school career.”

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