Bio

DON KETCHUM is a native of Phoenix. He was a sportswriter for The Arizona Republic/The Phoenix Gazette for more than three decades. He covered high school sports on several occasions as well as the Arizona Diamondbacks, Arizona Cardinals and Arizona State sports. From 2008-14, he was a staff writer for AIA365.com, the web site of the Arizona Interscholastic Association.

Monday, September 17, 2018

Xavier 4th of 64 teams in Durango Classic

Do the math. When you finish fourth out of 64 teams in a tournament, you’re looking pretty good.

That was the story of Xavier Prep’s participation in the two-day Durango Classic for volleyball teams from across the nation on Friday (Sept. 14) and Saturday (Sept. 15) in Las Vegas.

The Gators won their first 10 sets of the tournament, lost a pair in the semifinals and took it to the 3-set limit in the third-place match before falling. Xavier lost to Redondo Union (Calif.) in the semis 25-22, 25-21 and Mater Dei of Santa Ana (Calif.) 25-18, 18-25 and 25-17 in the third-place match.

“Seven of the top 10 teams were nationally ranked and 19 of the top 100. The Gators were among elite company,’’ said Xavier coach Lamar-Renee Bryant, whose defending Arizona 6A state champions are now 10-2 this season.

Xavier had two players named to the All-Tournament Team – senior setter Shannon Shields and junior outside hitter Bri McKnight.

The Gators will be busy again this week. They will have two road matches on Tuesday (Sept. 18) and Wednesday (Sept. 19) against Mesa Red Mountain and Surprise Valley Vista, respectively. And they will play in another tournament – the Nike Tournament of Champions – at various locations in Phoenix and the southeast Valley next Friday (Sept. 21) at Saturday (Sept. 22).

Xavier scores in the Durango Classic:

Pool play

XCP def. Beckman (Calif.) 25-8, 25-13. XCP def. La Costa (Calif.) 25-18, 25-19. XCP def. Centennial (Nev.) 25-14, 25-20.

Qualifying round

XCP def. Harvard-Westlake (Calif.) 25-19, 25-19.

Championship  bracket

XCP def. Cathedral Catholic (Calif.), 25-16, 25-20.

Semifinals

Redondo Union (Calif.) def. XCP, 25-22, 25-21.

Third place

Assumption (Ky.) def. XCP, 25-18, 18-25, 25-17.

Gator runners still making their mark

Xavier Prep’s cross-country teams had a lot of royal blue-clad athletes running all over the place on Saturday (Sept. 15).

A group of the team’s top runners had 6th- and 10th-place finishes in the Sweepstakes and Varsity A divisions in the Woodbridge Classic in Norco, Calif., and eight freshman runners had a strong showing in the Ojo Rojo Invitational on Saturday at Tumbleweed Park in Chandler. They led Xavier to the team title, ahead of second-place Page High.

Woodbridge Classic results

Sweepstakes Division (3 miles)

Mia Olsen, Jr., 31st (17:04.4), Jamie Stelnik, So., 38th (17:08.2), Karina Hawkins, Sr., 67th (17:42.9), Sammy Braun, So., 82nd (17:52.5), Helen Innes, Sr., 86th (17:55.8), Grace Valandra, Jr., 137th (18:39.9) and Karli Baker, Sr., 150th (18:52.8).

Blue Division Varsity A (3 miles)

Karina Smith, Sr., 23rd (19:02.1), Ansley Burns, Fr., 34th (19:17.3), Johnnie Mitchell, Sr., 61st (19:51.2), Josie Venezia, Sr., 72nd (20:03.0), Sophia Healy, So., 103rd (20:44.1) and Megan Woodbury, Sr.,  145th, (22:00.9).

Ojo Rojo Invitational results

Freshman Division (5K)

Maria Benitez, 3rd (21:59.9), Karime Morales, 5th (23:07.9), Ellie Higgins, 7th (23:51.5), M.K. Fairbanks, 9th (23:52.7), Hannah Wheeling, 11th (24:24.6), Erika Germinario, 12th, (24:30.4), Catherine Devine, 13th (24:48.6) and Lulu Fischer, 20th (22.03.0).

Next up

Xavier will run in the annual Doug Conley Invitational at the Shalimar Golf Course in Tempe on Sept. 22. Races begin at 7:15 and 8:15 a.m.

Frosh "B" tennis team falls short vs. Perry

Xavier Prep’s freshman “B’’ tennis team took host Gilbert Perry to the limit on Thursday (Sept. 13) before falling 5-4. The “B’ team is now 1-2.

Singles results: Perry def. Caroline Cobb (X) 8-4; Perry def. Elena Titus (X) 8-2; Perry def. Virginia Brown (X) 8-6; Emily Lunt (X) def. Perry 8-0; Lauren Ashton (X) def. Perry 8-7; Sophia Flores (X) def. Perry 8-5.

Doubles results: Perry def. Cobb-Titus (X) 8-1; Perry def. Brown-Lunt (X) 8-7; Ashton-Flores (X) def. Perry 8-2.

The “B’ team is scheduled to play twice this week, on Tuesday (Sept. 18) against Phoenix Mountain Pointe at the Stark Tennis Center and Thursday (Sept. 20) against Chandler Basha at the Stark Tennis Center. The freshman “A’ team will play on Thursday at Queen Creek Casteel.

Friday, September 14, 2018

Gator badminton team wins it for coach

With coach Sue Contreras away from her Xavier Prep badminton team due to illness, the Gators gave her an uplifting 7-2 victory over visiting Scottsdale Chaparral on Thursday (Sept. 13).

Xavier rebounded from a 5-4 loss to Tempe Corona del Sol on Tuesday (Sept. 11) to win its third match in five tries this season.

The Gators were coached by former head coach Nancy Meyer, along with other coaches Francis Hartojo and Karina Magana.

With Contreras out for an indefinite period, Meyer said she hopes to continue to help the team out whenever she can as her schedule permits.

“This was a great win today, very exciting,’’ she said.

Xavier players signed a large brightly colored banner after the match that was to be presented to Contreras.

Singles results: Maeve Lee (X) def. Elena Bionocole (C), 11-0, 11-4. Jane Tiffany (X), def. Candy Fajardo (C), 11-6, 11-0. Taylor Dines (X), def. Meredith Fedyna (C), 11-3, 11-2. Maddie Dines (X), def. Malie Kravertz (C), 11-7, 11-0. Emelia Pham (C), def. Mayse Dunn (X), 11-8, 11-4. Lina Vanderwey (X), def. Midori Pham (C), 13-10, 13-11.

Doubles results: Lee-Tiffany (X), def. Bionocole-Kravertz (C), 15-9, 15-11. T. Dines-M. Dines (X), def. Fajardo-E. Pham (C), 15-4, 15-4. Fedyna-M. Pham (C), won by forfeit over Dunn-Vanderwey (X).

Xavier will play next on Tuesday (Sept. 18) against Mesa Mountain View in the Activity Center. The event will begin at 4 p.m.

Swim-dive wins again, set for Chandler meet


A day after a big win over Mountain View, Xavier swimmers were back at it with a Friday morning practice at Brophy. (Photo courtesy of XCP swimming).
Xavier Prep’s swimmers and divers appear to be on the way to another strong season.

The Gators, who won last year’s Division I state title, scored an impressive 116 ½-69 ½ victory over host Mesa Mountain View on Thursday (Sept. 13) at the Kino Aquatic Center in Mesa.

Xavier won all three relay events as well as the following individual races:

Freshman Gracie Munk (100-yard butterfly, 100 backstroke), sophomore Mia Rankin (500 freestyle), sophomore Pao Guerra (50 freestyle) and junior Vica Dow (100 freestyle).

The XCP divers also had a strong showing.

Senior Alyssa Largay won the event, while freshman Sam Klein finished third.

Xavier has a quick turnaround, competing in the annual Wolves Classic at Chandler High on Saturday (Sept. 15). First race begins at 8:30 a.m.

Xavier frosh tennis "A' team blanks Basha

The Xavier Prep freshman “A” tennis team added another win to its 2018 list by defeating visiting Chandler Basha 9-0 on Thursday (Sept. 13) at the Stark Tennis Center.

Singles results: Victoria Chrostowski (X) def. Basha, 6-2; Sammy Field (X) def. Basha, 6-0; Piper Kilb (X) def. Basha, 6-0; Grace Paul (X) def. Basha, 6-3; Caroline Purtill (X) def. Basha, 6-0. Halston Yerxa (X) won by default.

Doubles results: Chrostowski-Kilb (X) def. Basha, 6-0; Field-Paul (X) def. Basha, 6-1. Purtill-Yerxa (X) won by default.

The “A” team returns to action on Sept.20 on the road against Queen Creek Casteel.

Thursday, September 13, 2018

Gator volleyball, 5-0, heads for Vegas tourney

A relaxing bus ride to Las Vegas, including a stop at an In-N-Out burger joint, is a lot better for a volleyball team after a sweep than the other way around.

Xavier Prep’s Gators, who departed campus on Thursday afternoon (Sept. 13), are ready for another year in the prestigious Durango Classic, on Friday (Sept. 14) and Saturday (Sept. 15).

Their most recent conquest came on Wednesday night (Sept. 12) when they swept host Scottsdale Chaparral, 25-21, 25-14 and 25-16.

Xavier is now 5-0 heading into the Durango.

The Gators, who had swept Tempe Corona del Sol the night before, began the first game by giving up the first three points and later trailing 6-2.

Coach Lamar-Renee Bryant attributed some of that to players’ concerns in regard to a teammate’s injury during warm-ups.

“Once we settled down, we were able to play better,’’ Bryant said.

Xavier took its first lead at 14-13 and was able to hang on the rest of the way.

The more familiar version of the Gators showed up for the second game and had things well in hand.

The third game featured a battle within a battle. Xavier senior setter Shannon Shields, perhaps the best passer in the state, showed she also can play the power game with three key kills in a five-point stretch in the middle of the game.

The reason? Standing on the other side of the net was Chaparral outside hitter Amber Stivrins, Shields’ club teammate with the Arizona Storm and a future teammate when both athletes play at the University of Louisville starting next year.

Bragging rights?

“I guess you could say that,’’ Bryant said.

The coach added that senior outside hitter Hayley Nash “did a great job in the middle’’ on both offense and defense, as did junior middle blocker Jasmine Knight. And sophomore outside hitter Serena Turner continues to develop into a go-to presence.

Xavier begins play in the 64-team Durango with three matches on Friday at Coronado High in the suburb of Henderson, Nev. The Gators are in Pool 8 along with La Costa Canyon (Carlsbad, Calif.), Beckman (Irvine, Calif.) and Centennial (Las Vegas).

Bracket and championship play will be held Saturday at Durango High.

Four other Arizona teams are entered in the event – Gilbert Campo Verde, Tucson Ironwood Ridge, Queen Creek and Phoenix Sandra Day O’Connor.

Wednesday, September 12, 2018

Frosh tennis "B' team picks up first win

Xavier Prep’s “B” freshman tennis team rebounded nicely from an opening-match loss and defeated Tempe Marcos de Niza 6-3 on Tuesday (Sept. 11) at the Stark Tennis Center.

Singles results: Regan Perrin (X) def. Marcos de Niza, 6-3; Marissa Mansour (X) def. Marcos de Niza, 6-4; Isabella Buse (X) def. Marcos de Niza , 6-2; Aria Tseffos (X) def. Marcos de Niza, 6-2; Marcos de Niza def. Chelsea Weil (X), 6-2; Julia Papolizio def. Marcos de Niza, 6-4.

Doubles results: Marcos de Niza def. Perrin-Mansour (X), 6-2; Buse-Tseffos (X) def. Marcos de Niza, 6-2; Marcos de Niza def. Hailey Seaman-Mary Ellis (X), 6-2.

The freshman “A” team was due to play host to Gilbert Perry on Wednesday (Sept. 12).

Both the “A” and “B” teams will be on the court again on Thursday (Sept. 13), the “A” at home against Chandler Basha and the “B” on the road at Perry. All start times are 3:30 p.m.

Coach goes "home,' team records sweep

Xavier Prep volleyball coach Lamar-Renee Bryant was experiencing a bit of déjà vu when she walked into Tempe Corona del Sol High for her team’s game on Tuesday night (Sept. 11).

Back in the day, Bryant was a student and outstanding athlete for the Aztecs.

Someone asked her if she had searched for her locker. Maybe there was a granola bar or notebook and pencils still in there.

No, she did not do that, but she did find a photo of one of the teams she played on.

But it was the present that was her main focus.

Her volleyball team is among Arizona’s best, and she wanted to see a strong showing against the team the Gators defeated for last year’s Division 6A state championship.

The Gators complied with her wishes, earning a 3-0 sweep in a match that was competitive most of the way.

The scores were 25-20, 25-19 and 25-19.

Bryant said that her team “learned its lesson’’ in its previous match against Phoenix Mountain Pointe on Thursday (Sept. 6). In that contest, Xavier won the first two games, only to have the Pride rally for two wins to force a fifth game. Xavier won that one to take the match, 3-2. The Gators didn’t want to take any chances after winning the first two against Corona del Sol.

“We stayed focused on what we needed to do and we are happy to get out of here by winning all three,’’ she said.

Bryant was pleased with the play of sophomore outside hitter Serena Turner, senior libero Ashley Yeung and senior setter Shannon Shields. Turner was a powerful force at the net, Yeung had another strong effort digging out shots along the back line, and Shields was an equal-opportunity passer while helping to provide scoring opportunities.

Xavier (4-0) will have another road match on Wednesday (Sept. 12) against Scottsdale Chaparral.

This weekend, the Gators will be back in Las Vegas to play in the 64-team Durango Classic, sponsored by Nike. Xavier will be in pool play with three other teams on Friday (Sept. 14), and  switch to bracket play on Saturday (Sept. 15).

Tuesday, September 11, 2018

Xavier swimmers and divers defeat Pinnacle


Xavier Prep coaches Jenny James and Mark Rankin and their swimmers were all smiles as the team earned a victory over visiting Phoenix Pinnacle on Sept. 6 (photos by Sr. Lynn Winsor).
Xavier Prep’s swimmers and divers rebounded nicely from a season-opening setback to Scottsdale Chaparral with a decisive 131-55 victory over Phoenix Pinnacle on Sept. 6 in the Gators’ first home meet at the Brophy Aquatics Center.

Xavier had two individual swimmers each win a pair of events.

They were sophomore Mia Rankin (200-yard freestyle and 100 breaststroke) and junior Maddie Wright (50 freestyle and 500 free).

Other swimmers earning wins were junior Vica Dow (100 backstroke), freshman Gracie Munk (200 individual medley) and sophomore Pao Guerra (100 free).
Xavier and Pinnacle swimmers are about to hit the water.
In addition, senior diver Alyssa Largay compiled her personal-best points total with 261 to win her event.

Largay will be back in action on Wednesday (Sept. 12) with the diving portion of the annual Wolves Classic hosted by Chandler High. The diving event begins at 9:30 a.m.

The swimming portion of the Wolves Classic will be held on Saturday (Sept. 15), beginning at 8:30 a.m.

In between the two Wolves Classic days, Xavier will participate in a meet against Mesa Mountain View on Thursday (Sept. 13) at the Kino Aquatic Center in Mesa. That event starts at 4 p.m.

Monday, September 10, 2018

Xavier/Brophy mountain bikers finish 7th

The combined team of Xavier Prep and Brophy Prep finished seventh overall among Division I schools on Sunday (Sept. 9) at Fort Tuthill Park in Flagstaff in the opening race of the Arizona Interscholastic Cycling League’s five-race season.

Xavier/Brophy scored 3,598 points.

The course was a 5.9-mile loop. Xavier and Brophy competed in the JV 1 and 2 levels as well as a freshman race. The JV 1 level is 3 laps (17.7 miles) and the JV 2 and freshman levels is 2 laps (11.8 miles).

The Xavier riders were led by junior Heather Kwapiszeski, who finished 10th in the JV 1 race with a time of 1:35:04.46.

The Gators’ Hailey Schwartz finished 16th in the Girls’ Freshman race, with a time of 1:18:02.99 over the 2 laps.

Juniors Camdyn Rael and Catherine Wandachowicz competed in the JV 2 race. Rael finished 29th with a time of 1:35:21.27 over 2 laps and Wandachowicz was 31st with 1:37:11.23.

The cycling team’s next race is Sept. 23 (Sunday) at Pioneer Park in Prescott. Start time is 9 a.m.

Sunday, September 9, 2018

Gators' Song in tune with Aguila Golf Course

Ashley Menne has made quite a name for herself in her first two years playing golf for Xavier Prep. She already has won two individual state championships.

But almost before you know it, the junior will have graduated and moved on to play at Arizona State.

So which of Menne’s current teammates is in line to become the next big thing in Xavier golf?

If Saturday’s (Sept. 8) play in the second round of the Aguila Invitational at the Aguila Golf Course in Laveen was any indication, the person fitting that description could be Ivy Song.

The freshman had the best round of her young career, making eight birdies on the way to the top Day 2 score with a 5-under-par 67, finishing second overall with a 2-under 142 to help the Gators win the tournament again.

Goodyear Millennium’s Madeline Laux had a 72 to go with her first-round 69 to earn medalist honors with a 3-under 141.

The Aguila was lengthened to 36 holes over two days this year, and Xavier was at two-over-par 578, winning by 43 shots over second-place Phoenix Pinnacle.

Menne rallied from an opening-round 76 on Friday (Sept. 7) to post a 4-under 68 on Saturday. Her second round was highlighted by six birdies, allowing her to finish in third place overall with an even-par 144.

Xavier athletic director and co-head coach Sr. Lynn Winsor said she and co-coach Tui Selvaratnam “are pleased with the way the kids played. The course played longer than it usually does, and it is a good practice for what we will face in the state tournament.’’

The state tournament was played at Aguila for several years and last year moved to the Omni Tucson National Golf Course, where it will be played again this fall.

“We are encouraged by the depth we have with our players,’’ Winsor said.

That means virtually anyone is capable of finishing among the leaders on any given day.

And then there is Song.

“She is a good addition to our team,’’ Winsor said. “She has come on very strong in the last couple of weeks. She is quiet, but she is a very efficient golfer.’’

After going through a busy first few weeks of the season, the Gators will get a break of a little more than a week. No matches are scheduled for this coming week, but they are scheduled for back-to-back matches at their Phoenix Country Club home on Sept. 18 against Phoenix Horizon and Sept. 19 against Glendale Mountain Ridge.

Aguila Invitational

Team scores

Xavier Prep 578, Phoenix Pinnacle 621, Cave Creek Cactus Shadows 624, Mesa Red Mountain 641, Chandler Hamilton 645, Goodyear Millennium 676, Phoenix Horizon 704, Mesa Desert Ridge 709, Gilbert Perry 733, Gilbert Highland 736, Phoenix Desert Vista 746, Scottsdale Notre Dame Prep 767, Scottsdale Chaparral 783, Scottsdale Desert Mountain 826.

Xavier individual totals

Ivy Song 142 (2 under), Ashley Menne 144 (even), Breyana Matthews 147 (3 over), Lauren Garcia 147 (3 over), Bailee Tayles 153 (9 over), Mary Beth Doss 157 (13 over).

Friday, September 7, 2018

Freshman tennis teams begin their seasons

The Xavier Prep freshman tennis A and B teams opened their season on Thursday (Sept. 6).

The A team traveled to Phoenix Mountain Pointe (Ahwatukee) and won 3-1. Some matches were reduced to the exhibition classification, Xavier playing against itself, due to limited numbers for Mountain Pointe.

Team A results:

Singles

Halston Yerxa (X) def. Mountain Pointe 6-0. Emma Whetstone (X) def. Mountain Pointe 6-0. Mountain Pointe def. London Wood (X) 6-4.

Doubles

Gracie Garrett-Alison Harris (X) def. Mountain Pointe 6-0.

The B team played at home at the Stark Center, falling to visiting Chandler Hamilton 6-3.

Team B results:

Singles

Hamilton def. Caroline Cobb (X) 8-2. Elena Titus (X) def. Hamilton 8-6. Hamilton def. Virginia Brown (X) 8-3. Katie Anthony (X) def. Hamilton 8-4. Emily Lunt (X) def. Hamilton 8-3. Hamilton def. Lauren Ashton (X) 8-6.

Doubles

Hamilton def. Cobb-Titus (X) 8-0. Hamilton def. Megan Scheller-Katie Anthony (X) 8-3. Hamilton def. Marissa Mansour-Sophia Flores (X), 8-0.

What’s next?

Team B will play Tuesday (Sept. 11) at home against Tempe Marcos de Niza. Team A will play Wednesday (Sept. 12) at home against Gilbert Perry.

Shields, Gators can rest easier after big win

Xavier Prep volleyball senior setter Shannon Shields was spotted sitting at the scorer’s table for Thursday’s (Sept. 6) freshman game and taking a quick nap.

She could use the extra rest. First of all, she had been under the weather, according to Gators varsity coach Lamar-Renee Bryant. And the Gators were going to be playing Phoenix Mountain Pointe, one of their top rivals over the last few seasons.

Shields and the Gators needed all the energy they could muster for this one. They jumped off to a 2-0 lead, only to have the Pride fight back to win the next two and force a fifth set.

Xavier regained its composure and played a solid fifth, earning a 15-7 win and a 3-2 match win overall at the Activity Center. The Gators are now 3-0 to begin the season, while Mountain Pointe dropped its first match after winning its first four. The match against Xavier was its second five-set encounter in as many nights.

Bryant was happy to escape with the win.

In the two losses, serving deserted the Gators and they did not seem as aggressive as they had earlier.

“We didn’t serve well. That’s not who we are,’’ Bryant said.

One thing was certain – the Gators played strong defense, led by senior libero Ashley Yeung and junior Bri McKnight on the back line and Shields and junior Jasmine Knight at the net.

Yeung, in particular, was a major factor. She brought her shovel and came up with dig after dig after dig. She even got one while sitting on the floor and finished with 23. Fans probably won’t see a better game from a libero.

Shields had 13 digs and McKnight had 12. Knight had 13 kills and several key blocks.

Yeung said it was important that the Gators “keep a positive mindset’’ in the wake of Mountain Pointe’s comeback.

“They were gaining more confidence and we were giving it to them,’’ Yeung said. “In the last game, we seemed to have a lot more energy. We celebrated every point, but we were focused on what we had to do to get the next one.

“We also were happy about all of the support we got from our fans.’’

During the break between the fourth and fifth games, Bryant said she told her players to stay disciplined.

“We were a little better with our serves,’’ she said. “We can be trouble for teams with our serves. We also needed for them to communicate with each other throughout the points, and they were able to do that.’’

Xavier has back-to-back road matches on Tuesday (Sept. 11) and Wednesday (Sept. 12), against Tempe Corona del Sol and Scottsdale Chaparral, respectively. Next weekend, on Friday (Sept. 14) and Saturday (Sept. 15), the Gators will be in Las Vegas for the annual Durango Classic, which features 64 teams from across the nation. Xavier won the Silver Division a year ago, winning six of seven matches.

The JV and freshman matches also went the distance (three sets each). The JV won, 22-25, 25-19 and 15-7, and the frosh won, 25-17, 21-25 and 15-7.


Wednesday, September 5, 2018

XCP mountain bikers want to be tough on trails

Xavier Prep mountain biking club coach Rich Perrott was encouraged by his young riders’ improvement over their five-race grind in 2017.

Perrott now says that he “is cautiously optimistic’’ that his competitors will spend more time on the awards podium in the new season that begins on Sunday (Sept. 9) at Fort Tuthill Park in Flagstaff. Start time is 9 a.m.

The other four races are Sept. 23 at Pioneer Park in Prescott, Oct. 7 at the Wren Arena in Fort Huachuca, Oct. 21 at the McDowell Mountain Park near Fountain Hills, and Nov. 4 at the White Tank Park in the far west Valley community of Waddell.

Xavier currently has seven riders in its combined team with Brophy Prep, which has 33 riders.

Xavier’s top riders are juniors Heather Kwapiszeski and Erin Hill. Hailey Schwartz rode for Xavier as a junior-high student last year and now as a freshman appears to be one of the state’s fast-rising stars – "a terrific talent,’’ according to Perrott. And Xavier also has added a well-rounded athlete to the mix. Senior Aly Largay also is a diver on the Gators’ swim and dive team that is competing this fall.

Xavier competes in the JV 1 category – the varsity group is invitation only and made up of the elite riders. Perrott said Kwapiszeski and Hill might be included in that before the end of the season.

“All of our riders have already put in a tremendous amount of work,’’ Perrott said.

The coach said a year ago that the sport in Arizona was heading toward the 1,000 mark in participants, and his prediction appears to have been correct with an estimated number about 1,100 this year.

There are quite a few different aspects of a race and the equipment that the riders must monitor.

Kwapiszeski said she has more control of her bike.

“Especially on the downhill part of the course,’’ she said. “You want to go fast, but not too fast.’’

Controlling the bike on climbs also is essential, she added.

“If you can do those things, it can give you more confidence,’’ she said.

Having some knowledge of geology can be useful, when looking at the courses and seeing what types of rocks are involved. Some are lighter (gravel type) and can give way easier, and others are harder.

“Sometimes you can get a better idea of watching the person in front of you,’’ Kwapiszeski said.

She has ridden the Flagstaff course before, and said there even are a few trees to contend with along the way.

Perrott said the altitude is a challenge, and could be an ally to the teams from the Flagstaff area, but when the schedule shifts to the desert terrain of a course such as McDowell Mountain, “we might have a chance to get back at them.’’

Xavier and Brophy train at Dreamy Draw Park, just east of the 51 freeway and Northern Avenue, near Piestewa Peak.

Hill is eager to see what she and her teammates can do.

“I think we are really serious this year,’’ she said. “We think we have a chance to do really well.’’

It helps if the riders can train some on their own through the entire year.

“During the season, we’re all out there encouraging each other. We become sort of like a family,’’ Hill said.

A family that is ready to face the ups and downs of racing together.

Gators pass v-ball test vs. Queen Creek

A 3-0 sweep of visiting Queen Creek would, on face value, appear to be a dominant performance by Xavier Prep’s volleyball team.

But it wasn’t as easy as the numbers might indicate.

The visiting Bulldogs gave the Gators a pretty good fight before defending state champion Xavier walked out of the Activity Center with victories of 25-18, 25-20 and 25-19 on Tuesday night (Sept. 4).

“They (Queen Creek) are a good team, and it was a good match. We are happy to get out of here with three wins,’’ said XCP coach Lamar-Renee Bryant.

Xavier had to find a solution to stopping the Bulldogs’ two power hitters, Jaelyn Hodge and Kate Grimmer. They got their shots in, but Xavier proved to have a bit more balance across the board.

“You could clearly see why those two (Hodge and Grimmer) are D-I (Division I college)-type hitters,’’ Bryant said.

The Gators got strong countering efforts up front with juniors Jasmine Knight and Bri McKnight, who have big power games of their own, as well as strength on the block.

Senior setter Shannon Shields did her usual solid job distributing the ball to her teammates and provided a handful of timely kills along the way. Senior libero Ashley Yeung worked hard along the back line with what Bryant referred to as “clutch digs.’’

Xavier will have its third straight home match on Thursday (Sept. 6) when Phoenix Mountain Pointe (Ahwatukee) comes to visit.

Bryant knows her team will have to be at the top of its game.

“They are really good and have beaten us the last two years. They only graduated a few players and have a lot coming back,’’ Bryant said.

Golfers win again, await weekend tourney

Junior Ashley Menne captured medalist honors with a 3-under-par 33 for nine holes, helping Xavier Prep’s golf team score a comfortable win over Mesa Desert Ridge and Tempe Corona del Sol on Tuesday (Sept. 4) at Phoenix Country Club.

Xavier finished with a 2-under-par 142. Desert Ridge was at 162 and Corona del Sol at 188.

Other Xavier scores:

Senior Emily Cons (even-par 36), sophomore Lauren Garcia (even-par 36), sophomore Bailee Tayles (1-over-par 37), junior Breyana Matthews (1-over 37), freshman Ivy Song (1-over 37).

Also, senior Holly Otlewski (2-over 38), senior Eve Worden (4-over 40), senior Laura Lu (4-over 40), junior Sisi Wang (7-over 43), sophomore Mary Beth Doss (7-over 43), junior Sydney Trout (9-over 45), freshman Ava Mayberger (10-over 46), junior Danae Bravo (20-over 56), freshman Kate Ryan (20-over 56) and freshman Audrey Sanchez (23-over 59).

Xavier returns to action this weekend at the Aguila Invitational on Friday (Sept. 7) and Saturday (Sept. 8) at the Aguila Golf Course in Laveen, on 35th Avenue south of Baseline Road.

Badminton rolls past O'Connor for 2nd win

Xavier Prep’s badminton team continued its quick start to the new season, winning its second match in a row with an 8-1 road triumph at Phoenix Sandra Day O’Connor on Tuesday (Sept. 4).

Among the highlights were Maeve Lee’s 11-5, 11-6 in No. 1 singles, and Alex Kockinis stepping in at No. 6 singles for an 11-7, 11-2 victory.

All three doubles teams won.

The XCP junior varsity had a tough match, battling back and forth, before falling 5-4.

Xavier has another road match on Thursday (Sept. 6) against Phoenix Pinnacle.

Tuesday’s results

Xavier Prep 8, Sandra Day O’Connor 1

Singles

Maeve Lee, (X), won 11-5, 11-6

Jane Tiffany (X), lost 1-11, 1-11

Taylor Dines (X), won 11-2, 11-5

Maddie Dines (X), won 11-0, 11-6

Mayse Dunn (X) won 11-0, 11-3

Alex Kockinis (X) won 11-7, 11-2.

Doubles

Lee-Tiffany (X) won 15-2, 15-4

T Dines-M Dines (X) won 15-3, 15-9

Dunn-Kockinis (X) won 15-0, 15-3

Saturday, September 1, 2018

Xavier finishes as top Arizona team in Antigua golf

Xavier Prep’s golf team was consistent in the two-day Antigua National Invitational Tournament on Friday (Aug. 31) and Saturday (Sept. 1), but a pair of out-of-state teams were a bit more consistent at the Whirlwind Golf Club in Chandler.

The Gators finished in third place with a 590 score, 14 over par. Lake Mary, Fla. (near Orlando) was the only team to finish below par, winning with a 2-under 574. Troy High of Fullerton, Calif., was second with a 2-over 578.

Junior Ashley Menne, Xavier’s top golfer, finished in a tie for third place with Troy’s Sherilyn Villanueva with a 4-under 140. Two Lake Mary golfers, Izzy Pellot and Karoline Tuttle, shared medalist honors with 6-under 138s.
Also, senior Eve Worden was allowed to play in the tournament as an additional Xavier player, and she took 10th place out of about 100 golfers with a score of 147 and received a medal.
Athletic director and co-head coach Sr. Lynn Winsor said she and co-head coach Tui Selvaratnam were pleased with Xavier’s 6-stroke improvement on Saturday over Friday’s first round.

“Our scores were lower than any team from Arizona (12 of the 17 teams were home-grown), so we did very well, especially when you consider that we were six shots lower in the second round than we were on the first,’’ Winsor said.

“Lake Mary and Troy are outstanding teams and they played beautifully in the hot weather that they might not really be used to.’’

One of the highlights of the final day for Xavier was senior Emily Cons’ 8-shot improvement over her first round, including six birdies.

Xavier scores (*denotes part of team score):

Ashley Menne *140, Breyana Matthews *148, Ivy Song *150, Lauren Garcia *152, Bailee Tayles *154, Emily Cons 156, Mary Beth Doss 157.

Xavier will play its next match on Tuesday (Sept. 4) against Mesa Desert Ridge and Tempe Corona del Sol at Phoenix Country Club. That will be followed on Friday (Sept. 7) and Saturday (Sept. 8) with the Aguila Invitational at the Aguila Golf Course in Laveen.

Gator runners have winning view from top in Peaks

Xavier Prep’s cross-country team traveled a long way to Flagstaff to participate in the annual Peaks Invitational on Saturday (Sept. 1) at Buffalo Park.

It was worth the trip!

The Gators’ varsity runners had four finishers in the top 9 and went on to capture the team title in the 5K Run on the Summit course. Xavier totaled 39 points, with host Flagstaff High in the second spot with 82 points.

And Xavier had a strong effort in the 5K Girls Run Open/JV Division, finishing second to Flagstaff. Flagstaff had 36 points, Xavier 44.

Junior Mia Olsen led the way for the XCP varsity by finishing fourth in 20:32.8. Other top 9 runners were sophomore Jamie Stelnik (6th, 20:48.4), sophomore Sammy Braun (7th, 21:19.7) and senior Karina Hawkins (9th, 21:27.2). Senior Helen Innes was 13th at 22:32.3 and freshman Ansley Burns was 32nd at 23:21.6.

In the JV race, Xavier got a 1-2 finish from junior Grace Valandra (22:28.8) and senior Karli Baker (22:42.6).

Other Xavier runners were senior Johnny Mitchell (11th, 24:35.2), freshman Karime Morales (14th, 24:51.9), senior Karina Smith (19th, 25:26.2) and freshman MK Fairbanks (23rd, 25:46.6).

Also, senior Megan Woodbury (32nd, 26:20.2), freshman Maria Benitez (35th, 26:26.1), sophomore Rishita Shah (58th, 27:13.8), freshman Ellie Higgins (61st, 27:19.2), freshman Catherine Devine (62nd, 27:30.4), freshman Hannah Wheeling (80th, 28:17.9), freshman Erika Germinario (84th, 28:35.1), freshman Briony Campisi (123rd, 30:42.0) and freshman Lulu Fischer (125th, 30:47.2).

Xavier will run next in the Ojo Rojo Invitational meet on Sept. 15 at Tumbleweed Park in Chandler.

Peaks Invitational

Varsity girls’ team scores

Xavier Prep 39, Flagstaff High 82, Tucson Salpointe Catholic 128, Chinle 157, Tuba City 161, Phoenix North Canyon 163, Scottsdale Chaparral 165, Flagstaff Coconino 170, Ganado 180, Prescott 212, Page 258, Phoenix Pinnacle 295, Snowflake 341, Surprise Shadow  Ridge 370.

Friday, August 31, 2018

XCP triumphs in badminton opener

The first badminton match of the season often is accompanied by nervousness and wondering whether all of the preseason practice will be enough.

Xavier Prep’s Gators took a positive first step forward on Thursday (Aug. 30) in their home opener, earning a 6-3 victory over Peoria Liberty.

Xavier got singles victories by Taylor Dines, Maddie Dines, Mayse Dunn and Lina Vanderwey, and doubles wins by the Dines twins and Dunn and Vanderwey.

Xavier will play two events on the road next week, at Phoenix Sandra Day O’Connor on Tuesday (Sept. 4) and at Phoenix Pinnacle on Thursday (Sept. 6).

Thursday’s result

Xavier Prep 6, Peoria Liberty 3

Singles

Danielle Marino (L) def. Maeve Lee (X), 11-8, 11-9.

Kambree Hill (L) def. Jane Tiffany (X), 9-11, 11-9, 11-8.

Taylor Dines (X) def. Paige Seeger (L), 11-4, 11-9.

Maddie Dines (X) def. Hannah Kubala (L), 2-11, 11-9, 11-5.

Mayse Dunn (X) def. Carlye Hall (L), 11-4, 11-0.

Lina Vanderwey (X) def. Alexis Davies (L), 13-12, 11-1.

Doubles

Marino-Kubala (L) def. Lee-Tiffany (X), 15-3, 15-2.

T. Dines-M. Dines (X) def. Hill-Seeger (L), 7-15, 15-12, 15-12.

Dunn-Vanderwey (X) def. Hall-Davies (L), 15-7, 15-13.

Gators fall to Chaparral in battle of swim champs

In a battle of last year’s state swimming and diving champions, Scottsdale Chaparral (formerly Div. II) defeated Xavier Prep (Div. I) 123-63 at Cactus Pool in Scottsdale on Thursday (Aug. 30).

Chaparral, which moved up to Division I this year, features several swimmers ranked among the best in the nation.

Xavier, a young team with increasing potential, had one individual event winner and nearly had a second.

Freshman Gracie Munk captured the 100-yard butterfly, and junior Maddie Wright had a strong swim in the 100-yard freestyle before being out-touched at the wall by her Chaparral opponent.

Xavier will have its first home meet of the season at Brophy Prep when it faces Phoenix Pinnacle on Sept. 6.

Thursday, August 30, 2018

Freshman tennis teams ready to start season

The time is almost here for Xavier Prep’s freshman tennis teams to begin their season.

Coach Laurie White is continuing her no-cut program and will have 57 players participate in 2018.

Both teams will start on Sept. 6, the “A’ team on the road at Phoenix Mountain Pointe (Ahwatukee) and the “B’ team at home against Chandler Hamilton.

“We have about 20 players who have some experience and about 40 who do not have as much,’’ Martin said. “But that is OK. We look at this as a learning opportunity for everyone.

“There is a lot to learn. Everyone has to be patient, learn to manage the rules and know etiquette, a lot of little things.’’

Each team will have four color-coded groups of players.

“As far as skills, the biggest thing to learn is ball control,’’ Martin said. “You can’t always hit it as hard as you can. You need to get some topspin or slice to throw the opponent off tempo if you can. You come to find out that there are patterns of play.

Getting control of serves also is essential.

Martin said the Xavier frosh will be the subject of a feature in the National Federation of High Schools quarterly newsletter in October.

Xavier freshman tennis color groups

A Green – Diana Briguglio, Victoria Chrostowski, Sammy Field, Piper Kilb, Grace Paul, Caroline Purtill, Halston Yerxa.

A Red – Nicole Chirumbola, Gracie Garrett, Alison Harris, Rebecca Jonson, Emma Studley, Emma Whetstone, London Wood.

A Orange – Sophia Bonilla, Leira Cruz, Kate Erblich, Jackie Leon, Devon Luke, Nina McFarland, Marissa White.

A Peach – Kate Claypool, Maggie Mae Dethlefsen, Keziah Harris, Grace Helenic, Emily Ingram, Fadak Kadhem, Cameron Kohnke, Maia Weingard.

B Blue – Katie Anthony, Lauren Ashton, Virginia Brown, Caroline Cobb, Sophie Flores, Emily Lunt, Elena Titus.

B Yellow – Isabella Buse, Marissa Mansour, Ann Obiesie, Regan Perrin, Megan Scheller, Lily Sexton, Tazmin Smith.

B Purple – Mary Ellis, Yessenia Luna, Julia Popolizio, Camila Ramirez, Hailey Seaman, Aria Tseffos, Chelsea Weil.

B Pink – Alexis Adams, Sofia Asher, Heloise Cenac, Mia McLaughlin, Laura Ottesen, Harley Pickett, Micaela Torres.

Golfers back in the swing of things vs. Desert Mtn.

After struggling a bit in a three-way match with Mesa Red Mountain and Chandler Hamilton on Monday (Aug. 27), Xavier Prep’s golf team returned to form on Wednesday (Aug. 28) with a 43-shot win over Scottsdale Desert Mountain at Phoenix Country Club.

Xavier finished with a 5-over-par 149, while Desert Mountain was at 48-over 192.

Senior Emily Cons earned medalist honors with a 3-under-par 33. Sophomore Lauren Garcia and senior Eve Worden tied with 1-over 37s and sophomore Mary Beth Doss had a 6-over 42.

Xavier will play next in the Antigua Invitational (36 holes) at the Wild Horse Pass Resort’s Whirlwind Course on Friday (Aug. 31) and Saturday (Nov. 1). Play begins at 7:15 both days.


Wednesday, August 29, 2018

Volleyball opens season with sweep of Mtn. View


Xavier senior libero Ashley Yeung runs through a gauntlet of spirit line members as the volleyball team is announced before Tuesday night's opener against Mountain View (photos by Sr. Lynn Winsor).
No doubt about it. Xavier Prep’s volleyball team looked like the defending state champion on Tuesday night (Aug. 28) when it opened its 2018 regular season with a three-game sweep of visiting Mesa Mountain View.

The Gators made very few mistakes with a dominating performance. Scores were 25-6, 25-8 and 25-12.


Who says Gators can't fly? Xavier sophomore Serena Turner (12) has a panoramic view of the Mountain View side of the court as the Gators move toward a sweep.
"We really looked sharp tonight,’’ said XCP coach Lamar-Renee Bryant. “We were able to play everyone and everyone contributed. We (coaches) are super proud of them and happy for them.’’


Xavier players, from left, Ashley Yeung, Shannon Shields, Jennelle Yarwood and Jasmine Knight watch the flight of the ball.
Junior Bri McKnight led the way for the Gators with 10 kills and three service aces.

Other numbers of note: senior Hayley Nash (9 kills), junior Jasmine Knight (4 kills), senior libero Ashley Yeung (8 digs), senior Jennelle Yarwood (3 aces) and senior setter Shannon Shields (15 assists).

The Gators have two more home matches next week against a couple of strong teams – Queen Creek on Sept. 4 and Phoenix Mountain Pointe (Ahwatukee) on Sept. 6.


A pair of Xavier Gators (in white) block an opponent's shot in a 25-6, 25-23 victory over Mountain View to open the season.

The freshman team was happy to earn a 25-22, 26-28, 15-8 win to open its season on a successful note.
Notes

Prepvolleyball.com has named Shields as one of its top 250 senior recruits. Shields, who will be attending the University of Louisville, is listed at No. 61.

The publication calls Shields “a natural leader who is not afraid of any challenge.  She is a proven winner who has always played much older than her years.’’

Congrats to Shannon.

*Also, the site of the Arizona Interscholastic Association’s championship matches is moving from Gilbert Mesquite to Arizona State University’s Wells Fargo Arena. The semifinals will move from Mesquite to Gilbert Highland.

Golf team shares win in tough 3-way match

Three of the top girls’ golf teams in Arizona got together for a big match on Monday (Aug. 27) at Phoenix Country Club.

It was touch and go the entire way, and after the final putt dropped, host Xavier Prep and Mesa Red Mountain were tied for the top spot at 2-under-par 142, with Chandler Hamilton not far behind with a 6-over-par 150.

Red Mountain’s Sydney Bryan was the medalist with a 5-under-par 31. Xavier junior Ashley Menne was next with a 3-under 33.

Other Xavier golfers finishing in the top 10 were sophomore Mary Beth Doss (3rd, 1-under 35), junior Breyana Matthews (3rd, 1-under 35), sophomore Bailee Tayles (7th, even-par 36) and freshman Ivy Song (10th, 2-over 38).

Remaining Xavier scores: sophomore Lauren Garcia (+3), senior Eve Worden (+3), senior Emily Cons ((+4), senior Laura Lu (+7), junior Sydney Trout (+8), senior Holly Otlewski (+8), junior Danae Bravo (+14), freshman Ana Mayberger (+14), freshman Audrey Sanchez (+20) and freshman Kate Ryan (+29).

Xavier is back at Phoenix Country Club on Wednesday (Aug. 29) with a match against Scottsdale Desert Mountain.

And the Gators will be playing in the annual Antigua tournament on Friday (Aug. 31) and Saturday (Sept. 1) at Wild Horse Pass’ Whirlwind Golf Club in Chandler.

Monday, August 27, 2018

Gator golfers soar in Nighthawk tourney

Could the 2018 version of Xavier Prep’s golf team become the school’s best ever? The Gators certainly are playing like it in the early season.

The Gators, playing in their first tournament of the season and third event overall, rolled to a 46-shot victory over Cave Creek Cactus Shadows in the annual Nighthawk Invitational on Friday (Aug. 24) and Saturday (Aug. 25) at the Omni Tucson National Course. Xavier finished 24-under-par in the event that featured 14 teams.

Junior Ashley Menne was the tournament’s medalist for the second straight year, finishing at 11-under-par. Junior Breyana Matthews was second at 6-under and sophomore Bailee Tayles tied for third at 5-under with Tucson Salpointe Catholic’s Alexandra Quihuis.

Other Xavier scores: freshman Ivy Song, 2-under; sophomore Mary Beth Doss, 6-over; senior Emily Cons, 7-over; sophomore Lauren Garcia, 12-over.

“Our team and the two extra players coach Tui (Selvaratnam, co-head coach) and I took to Tucson played very well,’’ said Xavier athletic director and co-head coach Sr. Lynn Winsor.

“The girls played in extremely hot weather and at times the pace of play was slow, but our Gator golfers did not let that stop them from shooting 24 under par, which I think is a school record for a team playing two days of golf of 18 holes. We are extremely proud of our team and hope they continue to play great golf all season long.’’

The golf team will have a busy week this week. Xavier will play on Tuesday (Aug. 28) and Wednesday (Aug. 29) at its Phoenix Country Club home course. The first match will be between the state’s top three finishers in Division I last year – Xavier, Chandler Hamilton and Mesa Red Mountain. The second will be between Xavier, Scottsdale Desert Mountain and Glendale Mountain Ridge.

Xavier also will play on Friday (Aug. 31) and Saturday (Sept. 1) in the annual Antigua Invitational at the Whirldwind Golf Club at the Wild Horse Pass resort in Chandler.

Friday, August 24, 2018

Challenge awaits XCP champion swimmers, divers

What kind of chance will Xavier Prep’s swimmers and divers have to repeat as Division I state champion in 2018?

The Gators will find out in their first meet of the season on Aug. 30 when they travel to face Scottsdale Chaparral at Cactus Pool in Scottsdale.

Xavier defeated Chandler for the D-l title and Chaparral now is D-I after a big 283-point win over Tucson Catalina Foothills for the Division II crown last season. The Firebirds feature some nationally ranked swimmers.

“Chaparral is dominant, so we are going to see where we are,’’ said Mark Rankin, who took over the program after his wife, Maureen, passed away in September after battling cancer. Rankin is assisted by Jennifer James.

Xavier, which held its annual intrasquad meet on Friday (Aug. 24) at the Brophy pool, should be strongest with its relays and its divers. The Gators also figure to have a strong freshman class as it did last year.

“We are looking really good right now,’’ Rankin said.

Winning the big-school title should give the Gators momentum.

The coaching situation last season allowed all of the athletes become much closer. The girls also will be doing more team-bonding activities.

One of the team’s top individual performers is the Rankins’ daughter, Mia, a sophomore who finished second by just .18 seconds in the 500-yard freestyle at state, helped the 400-yard freestyle relay team finish second and finished third in the 200-yard individual medley.

Other key returnees are junior Vica Dow, senior Izzy Gomez, sophomore Paola Guerra, senior Maggie Hull, sophomore Sydney Millane, junior Olivia Paliscak, junior Maddie Wright and sophomore Kelly Scott.

Rankin wants his swimmers to be versatile and be capable of swimming in different events than they are used to if needed.

On Thursday (Aug. 23), the day before the intrasquad meet, Rankin put the swimmers through their paces with a lot of distance work to help build their endurance.

“A lot of these girls are year-round swimmers, so they know what to expect,’’ he said.

In diving, junior Maddy Sewell and senior Alyssa Largay finished 10th and 11th overall at state, respectively, and should be able to climb into the top 10. Senior Molly Cahill will return. Senior Talle Donley has been sidelined with an injury but still will be involved with the program. Coach Frank Pipitone also has a promising group of newcomers. He is assisted by Laura Forbes.

Golf team rolls past Corona del Sol, Queen Creek

Eight was great for the Xavier Prep golf team on Thursday (Aug. 23).

The Gators had the top eight individual finishers on the way to a decisive victory over Tempe Corona del Sol and Queen Creek in Xavier’s “home’’ opener at its Phoenix Country Club course.

Two-time defending state champion Ashley Menne was the medalist, shooting a 5-under-par 31 for nine holes.

That helped defending state champion Xavier finish at even par, outdistancing Corona del Sol by 46 shots and Queen Creek by 47.

The Gators will be in Tucson on Friday (Aug. 24) and Saturday (Aug. 25) for the annual Nighthawk Invitational at the Omni Tucson National Course. It also will be the site of the state tournament for the second straight year.

Next week, Xavier will play matches at Phoenix Country Club on Tuesday (Aug. 28) and Wednesday (Aug. 29), then participate in another tournament, the Antigua Invitational. The event will be played on Thursday (Aug. 30) and Saturday (Sept. 1) at the Whirldwind Golf Club at the Wild Horse Pass Resort in Chandler.

Thursday, August 23, 2018

XCP v-ball champs survive scrimmage test

The Xavier Prep volleyball team began its quest for a second straight state championship with a four-way scrimmage with Chandler Basha, Phoenix Sunnyslope and host Chandler Hamilton on Wednesday (Aug. 22).

The Gators played two games against each opponent (games were 15 minutes in length), sweeping Basha, splitting with Sunnyslope and winning one and tying one against Hamilton.

“It was a good day overall,’’ said Xavier coach Lamar-Renee Bryant. “We had a lot of people in different positions . . . it was a great fact-finding mission. We know more about what we need to work on.’’

Xavier appears to be a bit more athletic than it was a season ago. The Gators have only one player listed at 6 feet or taller (sophomore Serena Turner at 6-1), but they look more than capable of showing well in the power game.

Senior outside hitter Jennelle Yarwood has improved significantly and likely will earn more playing time this season. Bryant said she led the team in kills although numbers weren’t immediately available.

“That was good to see,’’ Bryant said.

Senior libero Ashley Yeung was steady, according to the coach, with her service and passing. She also did a good job digging shots off the backcourt.

Turner looked more polished as an outside hitter and blocker and served well.

Junior middle blocker Jasmine Knight is listed at 5-11, the same as last year, but looks as though she might have grown some.

“She has been working hard,’’ Bryant said. “She was moving and jumping a lot better, her timing was better and she showed better discipline.’’

All good signs for the Gators, who officially open the regular season at home in the Activity Center on Aug. 28 against Mesa Mountain View. First serve is at 6 p.m.

Wednesday, August 22, 2018

Meet Xavier's 2018 badminton team

The Xavier Prep badminton roster has been finalized, and the Gators are set to begin the 2018 season on Aug. 30.

XCP will open with a home match at the Activity Center against Peoria Liberty. Start time is 4 p.m.

The roster:

Head coach

Susan Contreras

Volunteer assistants

Francis Hartojo, Karina Magana

Seniors

Maddie Dines, Taylor Dines, Maeve Lee, Jane Tiffany

Juniors

Mia Byrd, Mayse Dunn, Paige Gehringer, Alex Kockinis

Sophomores

Sophie Abedi, Zoe Barton, Jillian Brown, Kailey Dittman, Lauren Etsitty, Samantha Gbruek, Maggie Kamps, Malindi Kilb, Sienna Martinez, Sophie Riviere, Lina Vanderwey, Mia Velasco

Freshmen

Elise Gonzales, Preesha Kumar, Nidhi Nirwan, Alondra Tarin