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.

Sunday, March 6, 2016

Gator spring sports teams are staying busy

Spring sports are alive and well at Xavier Prep. Here are some noteworthy recent events . . .

Tennis – The four-time defending Division I champion Gators battled to a tie with Scottsdale Desert Mountain for the top spot in Saturday’s (March 5) final round of the Kiwanis Invitational at the Paseo Racquet Center in Glendale.
In an all-Xavier doubles final, Tristanne Dechoux and Caroline James defeated Jordan Craft and Madelyn Corley 7-6, 6-2.
In earlier competition on Friday (March 4), Xavier’s Emily Akin dropped her quarterfinal match and Caroline Armknecht suffered a third-round setback to top-seeded Josie Frazer of Desert Mountain.
Xavier’s next match comes on March 11, at Gilbert Mesquite.

Softball – On the heels of a surprisingly easy 14-1 victory at Phoenix Horizon on Friday (March 4), the Gators (8-1) have two games this week that are significant for first-year coach Carrie Markham.
On Tuesday (March 8), Xavier travels to face Phoenix Pinnacle, which is coached by Markham’s former boss at Xavier, Bobby Pena. Xavier defeated Pinnacle 3-2 in the championship game of the recent Sunrise Mountain Invitational in Peoria.
On Wednesday (March 9), the Gators return home to Petznick Field to host Glendale Mountain Ridge, the Division I state runner-up the last two seasons. This one will be for family bragging rights, with Markham’s cousin, Michele, serving as Mountain Ridge’s coach.

Sand volleyball – Four-time defending champ Xavier defeated Scottsdale Notre Dame Prep in its opener on Feb. 29, and has two matches this week on its home court at Grand Canyon University in Phoenix.
Tucson Salpointe Catholic is the first opponent on Monday (March 7), and Phoenix Sandra Day O’Connor will come calling on Wednesday (March 9).

Lacrosse – Xavier opened its season at Gilbert on Friday (March 4) and the club team has three matches this week – on Monday (March 7) at Phoenix Pinnacle, on Thursday (March 10) at Phoenix Horizon and on March 11 at home against Scottsdale Notre Dame Prep.

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