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, April 22, 2018

Fifth-seeded Gators host 1st-round beach contest

Xavier Prep’s beach volleyball team, which has won state championships in each of the six seasons of the sport’s existence in Arizona, begins quest for No. 7 when the Division I state tournament begins on Tuesday (April 24).

The Gators (9-2 overall) are seeded fifth and will play host to 12th-seeded Gilbert Mesquite at 4:30 p.m. at the Cavanaugh Family Courts just south across Meadowbrook Avenue from Petznick Field.

The winner will face the winner of a first-round match between No. 13 Chandler High and No. 4 Gilbert Perry on Wednesday (April 25). If it is Xavier vs. Chandler, the second round would be at Xavier. If it is Xavier vs. Perry, the contest would be at Perry.

The first-round Division I schedule . . .

No. 16 Chandler Hamilton at No. 1 Phoenix Sandra Day O’Connor, No. 9 Glendale Deer Valley at No. 8 Tucson Ironwood Ridge, No. 12 Gilbert Mesquite at No. 5 Xavier Prep, No. 13 Chandler High at No. 4 Gilbert Perry, No. 14 Glendale Mountain Ridge at No. 3 Goodyear Millennium, No. 11 Phoenix Arcadia at No. 6 Phoenix Sunnyslope, No. 10 Flagstaff Coconino at No. 7 Tempe Corona del Sol, No. 15 Surprise Valley Vista at No. 2 Tucson Salpointe Catholic.

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