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.

Saturday, October 15, 2016

XCP volleyball has good tourney despite loss



Chandler Hamilton, Gilbert Perry, Tempe Corona del Sol and Xavier Prep have established themselves as contenders for the new 6A Conference volleyball title.
Phoenix Mountain Pointe has been somewhat of an unknown commodity, despite holding onto the No. 5 spot in the most recent power-points rankings by the Arizona Interscholastic Association.
The Ahwatukee school showed what it is made of in the eight-team Gilbert Invitational, going 7-0 in the round-robin format and scoring a big 2-1 victory over Xavier in a match on Saturday (Oct. 15) at Gilbert High.
Mountain Pointe (32-7) defeated Xavier (30-6) in the first game 25-21, while the Gators came back to win the second game by the same score. Xavier had the advantage in the third game before the Pride rallied for a 15-13 win.
Xavier had defeated host Gilbert 2-0 earlier in the day and finished off the tourney by defeating Peoria Centennial 2-0 after its loss to Mountain Pointe. In the opening round on Friday (Oct. 14), the Gators won their four matches against Chandler Basha, Phoenix Sunnyslope, Corona del Sol and Phoenix Horizon.
Despite the loss to Mountain Pointe, Xavier coach Lamar-Renee Bryant said she told her players afterward “that we still had a good weekend – very good. It was a good test for us. Our defense played well. They stepped up.
“Mountain Pointe has a good team – they played well. The good thing for us is that we had an opportunity to play them now and go back and work on some things that might help us if we play them again (in the state tournament).’’
Bryant said her team’s standouts were senior middle blocker Makena Patterson, junior outside hitter Lanie Wagner and junior libero-defensive specialist Alyna Draper.
The Gators have a busy week coming up, traveling to face Chandler Basha on Tuesday night (Oct. 18), followed by home games on Wednesday night (Oct. 19) against Perry and Thursday night (Oct. 20) against Chandler High.
The game against Perry will be streamed live on the AIA’s Web site, azpreps365.com.



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