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.

Thursday, September 28, 2017

Volleyball tops Chandler, on to Nike tourney

Playing for the second night in a row, Xavier Prep’s volleyball team scored a 3-0 sweep of host Chandler High on Wednesday (Sept. 27). Scores were 25-11, 25-14 and 25-23.

The top two players were outside hitters Briana McKnight and Lanie Wagner. McKnight, a sophomore, had 14 kills and 10 digs. Wagner, a senior, had 10 kills and 3 blocks.

Junior Ashley Yeung had a pair of service aces, senior libero Alyna Draper had 25 digs, junior setter Kate Spellman had 15 assists and junior setter Shannon Shields had 26 assists.

Xavier (16-1) moves on to play in the annual Nike Tournament of Champions beginning on Friday (Sept. 29) and continuing Saturday (Sept. 30).

The Arizona State University Fitness Center will be the site of most of the matches involving the Gators. Address is 400 E. Apache Boulevard, Tempe.

Pool play highlights the action on Friday. Xavier is in Pool G along with Sacred Heart of Louisville, Ky., Leon of Tallahassee, Fla., and Beckman of Irvine, Calif.

The Gators’ first match on Friday will be at 10:30 a.m. against Sacred Heart. Leon follows at 12:30 p.m. and Beckman at 3:30. Matches are best-of-three instead of the normal best-of-five.

Play resumes on Saturday with a qualifying match at 9:30 a.m., then bracket play depending on the outcome of the qualifiers.

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