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.

Friday, April 29, 2016

"Fantastic five'' within reach of XCP sand team



Five for five?
Xavier Prep’s sand volleyball team is on the verge of a milestone in which it could win its fifth Division I state championship in the five-year existence of the sport.
The Gators downed Scottsdale Chaparral 4-1 in the semifinals on Thursday night (April 28) at the Victory Lane Sports Complex in Glendale, and will face Tucson Salpointe Catholic for the title on Saturday night (April 30) at 7 at Mesquite High in Gilbert. Salpointe advanced with a 3-2 semifinal win over Phoenix Sandra Day O’Connor.
Despite the fact that Chaparral was missing a handful of key players due to a club team scheduling conflict, “they gave us all we could handle,’’ said Xavier coach Tim McHale.
The Gators defeated Salpointe 4-1 in an early season match on March 7 at Grand Canyon University in Phoenix.
After that match, McHale said, “The result was not indicative of what kind of team Salpointe is.’’
Some of the Xavier players also got a good look at some of the Salpointe players when they participated in the Catbox tournament at the University of Arizona in Tucson.
And after Salpointe’s win over Sandra Day O’Connor, which some considered to be an upset, McHale said, “That was a big win for them. They are ridiculously athletic. They have a very deep team.’’
Xavier’s No. 5 team of Ainsley Ramsey and Alyna Draper won by forfeit because Chaparral was short on players.
The No. 3 team of Taylor Lopez and Kailey Klein fell 2-1 to the Firebirds, but the No. 1 duo of Caroline White and Macy Gordon, the No. 2 team of Kasie Thompson and Cierra Flood and the No. 4 team of Emma Cisneros-Luebke and Kristen Klein all recorded 2-0 triumphs.



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