Bio

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 AIA365.com, the web site of the Arizona Interscholastic Association.

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Gator v-ball finishes strong, Jones back in action



It was 16-15 and the volleyball team from visiting Scottsdale Chaparral was giving Xavier Prep a strong challenge with the lead in the opening game of their match on Tuesday night (Oct. 20).
The alarm clock finally went off and the Gators went on a 10-0 run to finish off the Wolves in the first of a three-game sweep. Scores were 25-16, 25-16 and 25-19.
Xavier ran its overall record to 28-6 with another home match against Gilbert Highland on Thursday night (Oct. 22). It will be Senior Night.
Coach Lamar-Renee Bryant called it the “Welcome Back Match’’ after she had given the team Monday off following a seven-match run in the Gilbert Invitational over the weekend.
So does the win over Desert Mountain mean the Gators won’t have practice again before meeting Highland?
“No,’’ Bryant said emphatically.
Perhaps the highlight of the Desert Mountain match was the return of senior setter Callie Jones to the lineup. She had been out for several weeks with a finger injury sustained in a Las Vegas tournament.
Bryant said Jones was cleared to play earlier Tuesday.
“We told her to go through warm-ups and we’ll see how it goes,’’ Bryant said. “We put her in the game and she did quite well.’’
It was just like old times, Jones setting up teammates at the net and recording a handful of service aces.
How did she maintain her focus while she was sidelined?
“It’s a testament to her and her hard work,’’ Bryant said. “She is a very good student of the game, she stayed in good condition, she stayed with the team and came out to practice every day. It was as if she had never left.’’

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