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.

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Flower power boosts badminton in home finale

The XCP badminton team used a bit of flower power to defeat Scottsdale Desert Mountain on Tuesday (Sept. 30) in the Gators’ final home match of the season.
Five outgoing seniors were honored with biographies and were presented with flowers.
The seniors are Maisie Porter, Areta Buness, Mallory Belknap, Teal Weaver and Baani Khurana.
They helped XCP secure a 9-0 sweep over the Wolves. The junior-varsity team also won 9-0.
“The girls (seniors) have done a good job for us,’’ said assistant coach Susie Murphy.
Now the objective is winning the final three matches on the road and then trying to earn a second consecutive Division I team title.
“We have pretty much the same team that we had last year, so we have a chance,’’ Murphy said.
The Gators traveled a tough road to win it all last year, and head coach Nancy Meyer expects this time to be an even greater challenge.
“I think most of the teams are stronger this year,’’ Meyer said.
Xavier’s final three road matches are Wednesday (Oct. 1) at Mesa Mountain View, Oct. 8 at Phoenix Shadow Mountain and Oct. 20 at Phoenix Mountain Pointe (Ahwatukee). Mountain Pointe won the title in 2012 and battled the Gators down to the wire before falling in the title match 5-4.

Varsity results

Xavier 9, Scottsdale Desert Mountain 0

No. 1 singles – Areta Buness (X) def. Maya Shrikart (DM) 11-4, 11-8.
No. 2 singles – Kirielle Singarajah (X) def. Jiayang Li (DM) 11-0, 11-0.
No. 3 singles – Teal Weaver (X) def. Elizabeth Heidler (DM) 11-2, 11-1.
No. 4 singles – Mallory Belknap (X) def. Tracy Zhang (DM) 11-0, 11-0.
No. 5 singles – Maisie Porter (X) def. Caroline Hurlbut (DM) 11-3, 11-4.
No. 6 singles – Baani Khurana (X) def. Taylor Brown (DM) 11-2, 11-5.

No. 1 doubles – Weaver-Belknap (X) def. Shrikart-Li (DM) 15-4, 15-6.
No. 2 doubles – Buness-Khurana (X) def. Heidler-Zhang (DM) 15-4, 15-1.
No. 3 doubles – Singarajah-Porter (X) def. Hurlbut-Brown (DM) 15-2, 15-2.

Junior varsity results

Xavier 9, Desert Mountain 0

No. 1 singles – Laura Pearl (X) def. Alexis Scott (DM) 11-3, 11-1.
No. 2 singles – Katie Russell (X) def. Sarah Jensen (DM) 11-1, 11-0.
No. 3 singles – Tatum Clark (X) def. Neha Parikh (DM) 11-3, 11-0.
No. 4 singles – Kiana MacDonald (X) def. Kat Bewley (DM) 11-0, 11-1.
No. 5 singles – Emily Woodrow (X) def. Vanessa Johnson (DM) 11-1, 11-4.
No. 6 singles – Julia Blake (X) def. Jasmine Martinez (DM) 11-1, 11-0.

No. 1 doubles – Pearl-Russell (X) def. Scott-Jensen (DM) 15-7, 15-0.
No. 2 doubles – Clark-MacDonald (X) def. Parikh-Bewley (DM) 11-0, 11-1.
No. 3 doubles – Woodrow-Blake (X) def. Johnson-Martinez (DM) 11-1, 11-0.

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