DON KETCHUM is a native of Phoenix. He was a sportswriter for The Arizona Republic/The Phoenix Gazette for nearly four 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, the web site of the Arizona Interscholastic Association.

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Golfers tee off with win; Volleyball has 3-way scrimmage

Gator Golf is alive and well.
The defending Division I champs (31 crowns overall) began the 2014 campaign on solid footing by defeating Scottsdale Chaparral and Phoenix North Canyon on Wednesday (Aug. 27) in a three-way match at Phoenix Country Club.
Xavier shot 143, Chaparral 157, and North Canyon 222.
XCP junior Alisa Snyder took medalist honors with a 34 over nine holes.
Senior Madison Kerley tied for second at 35. Sophomore Emily Mahar was third with a 36, junior Mikayla Fitzpatrick was fifth with a 38 and sophomore Lily Worden tied for sixth with a 41.
The Gators will have another home match on Sept. 3 at Phoenix CC, facing Phoenix Horizon and Anthem Boulder Creek.

Lamar-Renee Bryant, coach of XCP’s defending Division I state champion volleyball team, went on a fact-finding mission on Wednesday when the Gators faced state runner-up Chandler Hamilton, defending Division II champion Phoenix Sunnyslope and Chandler Basha in a set of scrimmages at Hamilton.
The teams played the others in a round-robin format for about 20 minutes each.
“I was looking for a longer laundry list of things we need to work on, and I got exactly what I wanted,’’ Bryant said.
Compared to the other teams, Bryant said the Gators have not been practicing nearly as long leading up to this point.
“So we have about three practices left (before the season opener at home against Peoria Centennial on Sept. 2) and we need to work on a lot of different things that make sense for the long haul,’’ Bryant said.
The Gators had a preseason scrimmage against Hamilton a year ago, “and they cleaned our clocks,’’ Bryant said. “So in that sense, we are better.’’
Still, there is plenty of room for improvement across the board, including the communication aspect.
Bryant was impressed with junior libero Kristen Largay, “who wore that special (libero) shirt well.’’
After the Centennial match, Xavier will have two more matches at home, against rival Phoenix Horizon (Sept. 3) and Mesa Desert Ridge (Sept. 9). The first road encounter will be with Gilbert Highland on Sept. 10.

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