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.

Monday, April 20, 2015

Clarke takes aim at 3rd tennis title in a row

Two-time defending Division I state champion Madison Clarke is back for her last hurrah in singles and Xavier Prep has two strong entries in the doubles portion of the state tournament that begins on Friday (April 24) at the Gene Autry Sports Complex in northeast Mesa.
Clarke is the top seed and has drawn a first-round bye. She will play her first match on Friday at 4:30 p.m. against the winner of a morning match between competitors from Anthem Boulder Creek and Phoenix Mountain Pointe. If Clarke wins that one, she will advance to the third round on Saturday (April 25) at 11:30 a.m. at the Scottsdale Ranch Park and Tennis Center.
Junior Caroline James and senior Scarlet Rush make up the third-seeded doubles team. They also will have a first-round bye on Friday morning and will play on Friday at 5:30 p.m. against the winner of a match between a team from Mesa Desert Ridge or Phoenix Sunnyslope.
Xavier’s second doubles team will be sophomore Jordan Craft and senior Anne Marie Collins.  They will face a team from Laveen Cesar Chavez at 1:30 p.m. on Friday and if they win that one, will meet the top-seeded team of Anya and Madeline Lamoreaux of Mesa Mountain View at 5:30.
Singles and doubles semifinals are May 1 and the finals are May 2 at the Paseo Racquet Center in Glendale.
Xavier also will be attempting to win its fourth straight team title, but state competition for that will not begin until April 29. The Gators are expected to host a first round match and if they win that one, will be back at home for the second round on May 6.
Team semifinals are May 8 at Scottsdale Ranch Park and finals are May 9 at Paseo.

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