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 5, 2016

XCP survives badminton showdown with Perry

It was the kind of matchup that people dream about.
Two 12-0 teams, ready to try to make it 13-0.
So the badminton teams from Xavier Prep and Gilbert Perry squared off on Tuesday (Oct. 4) at the Activity Center. Perry was ranked No. 1 and defending state champion, Xavier No. 2.
The action went back and forth for the next two hours and the last team standing was . . . the Xavier Gators.
Helped by a come-from-behind victory by Annie Kamps in her No. 3 singles match, the Gators produced a 6-3 victory and, barring an upset win by Chandler Basha in Thursday’s (Oct. 6) regular-season finale, likely will be the top seed in the state tournament.
“It was definitely our biggest match of the season and biggest win,’’ said Xaiver coach Sue Contreras. “We knew it was going to be a tough match.
“Going into it, we felt that if we kept our composure and worked together, we would have a good chance of winning. We showed that (composure) in some of our matches. I looked in their faces out there on the floor and no one looked panicked.’’
The biggest example of that was Kamps. She defeated Perry’s Tori Albin 11-6 in the first game of the best-of-three scenario but fell in the second, 5-11.
Albin had the early advantage in the third game and it appeared she would make it a 3-3 tie in overall singles matches and put the Pumas in a position to win the overall match if they could win two of the three doubles matches. But a win by Kamps would mean that Perry would have to sweep the doubles to take the match.
As the match entered the late stages, Kamps would stop after each point, raise her hand to signal she was not yet ready, took a couple of deep breaths and continued. Whether it threw Albin off her game was debatable, but Kamps rallied for a 13-11 win to give the Gators a 4-2 advantage.
Victories by Xavier’s top two doubles teams of Emily Woodrow and Kiana Valentova-Macdonald and Tatum Clarke and Kamps sealed the overall win.
The battle between the JV teams was just as competitive as Perry hung on for a 5-4 win.

Varsity results vs. Perry
Tatum Clarke (X) def. Jillian Lagasca (P) 11-9, 11-4.
Emily Woodrow (X) def. Katie Cross (P) 13-10, 11-3.
Annie Kamps (X) def. Tori Albin (P) 11-6, 5-11, 13-11.
Dominique Garcia (P) def. Kiana Valentova-Macdonald (X) 11-6, 11-8.
Maddie Reinhart (X) def. Kylie Goldberg (P), 11-3, 8-11, 11-9.
Julia Mumme (P) def. Misaal Irfan (X) 11-2, 11-13, 11-5.
Woodrow-Valentova-Macdonald (X) def. Lagasca-Cross (P) 15-12, 15-11.
Clarke-Kamps (X) def. Albin-Garcia (P) 15-5, 15-13.
Mumme-Megan Crow (P) def. Reinhart-Alexa Wolfson (X) 15-4, 15-10.

Results from Independence Invitational
Saturday, Oct. 1
First-round singles
Alexa Wolfson (X) def. Phoenix Mountain Pointe 11-1, 11-0.
Kiana Valentova-Macdonald (X) def. Tempe Corona del Sol 11-0, 11-1.
Second-round singles
Wolfson lost to Mesa Red Mountain 9-11, 5-11.
Valentova-Macdonald def. Peoria Liberty 11-3, 11-6.
Singles quarterfinals
Valentova-Macdonald lost to Phoenix Sunnyslope 9-11, 3-11.
First-round doubles
Maddie Reinhart and Misaal Irfan (X) def. Mesa Red Mountain 15-4, 15-5.
Tatum Clarke and Annie Kamps (X) def. Glendale Ironwood 15-6, 15-0.
Second-round doubles
Reinhart and Irfan lost to Phoenix Sunnyslope 5-15, 4-15.
Clarke and Kamps def. Chandler High 15-9, 15-9.
Doubles quarterfinals
Clarke and Kamps def. Phoenix Mountain Pointe 15-4, 15-7.
Doubles semifinals
Clarke and Kamps lost to Gilbert Perry 15-11, 5-15, 7-15.

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