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, March 30, 2019

Xavier spring sports wrap up busy week

Xavier Prep spring sports teams wrapped up a busy week of competition on Friday (March 29).

Here is a quick look at how the Gators did . . .

Softball – Xavier made a long trek to Yuma, where the Gators faced Kofa High and came away with a 6-2 victory.

Kofa held Xavier scoreless until the fifth, when the Gators scored four runs. They added two more in the seventh.

Catcher Macy Lee and outfielder Cameron Martin each had two hits and two RBIs. Pitcher Riley Flynn earned the victory by giving up two runs on six hits, with 11 strikeouts.

Xavier (10-2) will play three games in the coming week – on Tuesday (April 2) against visiting Chandler Basha at Petznick Field, on Thursday (April 4) against Basha, this time at Basha, and Friday (April 5) at home against Gilbert Perry.

Beach volleyball – Coach Tim McHale’s crew raised their record to 9-0 with home victories over Phoenix Sandra Day O’Connor, 3-2, on Wednesday (March 27) and Glendale Deer Valley, 5-0, on Friday (March 29).

The Gators will have two matches this week – on Wednesday (April 3) at Anthem Boulder Creek and Friday (April 5) against Phoenix Sunnyslope at XCP.

Lacrosse – The Xavier club lacrosse team is now 4-3 after a 17-5 setback to Scottsdale Chaparral, one of the top teams in the Arizona Girls LaCrosse Association.

Xavier will have three matches this week – at home against Phoenix Desert Vista on Monday (April 1), on Wednesday (April 3) at home against Scottsdale Notre Dame Prep, and on Friday (April 5) at Chandler Hamilton.

Track and field --  Xavier’s freshmen and sophomores finished second with 84 points behind winner Phoenix Desert Vista in the Fr. Olivier Invitational on Thursday (March 28) at the Brophy Sports Campus.

Xavier won three events – Brooke Bream in the 800- and 1,600-meter runs, Sammy Braun in the 3,200-meter run and the 4x800-meter relay team of Maria Benitez, Jamie Stelnik, Tatum Goforth and Sammy Braun.

In the Open Division, Xavier had two second-place  finishes – Leila Grant in the 300-meter hurdles and Helen Innes in the 3,200-meter run.

The Gators will be involved in two large meets near the end of the week.

The first will be the annual Sun Angel Classic at Arizona State on Thursday (April 4) and Saturday (April 6). And the second will be the Arcadia (Calif.) Invite on Friday (April 5) and Saturday.

Tennis – Xavier rolled to a 9-0 win at host Chandler High on Thursday (March 28).

Singles winners were Lorelei Glidden, Kate Stegman, Emilia Chrostowski, Katelyn Cowan, Kate Greene and Izzy Kozub.

In doubles, the winning teams were Glidden and Chrostowski, Stegman and Cowan and Kozub and Greene.

Xavier has three matches this week – on Tuesday (April 2) against Gilbert Perry at XCP, on Wednesday (April 3) against Phoenix Desert Vista at XCP; and on Thursday (April 4) at Chandler Basha.


Tuesday, March 26, 2019

Flynn's 5-inning perfect game helps Gators reach 9-2

Xavier Prep’s softball team scored in double figures in most of its early season games. Now the Gators are on the verge of entering Double-Digit Land in victories.

After two big shutout wins over Avondale La Joya and Phoenix Trevor Browne on back-to-back days, Xavier is now 9-2.

The Gators’ latest triumph came against Trevor Browne on Tuesday (March 26), 11-0 in a game shortened to five innings by the 10-run rule. On Monday (March 25), Xavier routed La Joya 25-0, also in five innings.

The win over Trevor Browne was noteworthy because freshman pitcher Riley Flynn tossed a perfect game. Last week she threw a no-hitter against Chandler Hamilton.

Against Trevor Browne, she struck out 14 in five innings, and the only other out was not put in play between the white lines – it was a pop foul to first baseman Elliot Smith to end the first inning.

Freshman shortstop Bridget Donahey started things off with a two-out home run to left field for a 1-0 lead. The Gators scored another run in the second, four in the third and five in the fourth.

Catcher Macy Lee and second baseman Sydney Johnson had two-run singles in the third, and a two-run double by Donahey highlighted the fourth.

Xavier had 31 hits against La Joya. Donahey also homered in that contest and had five RBIs, and third baseman Jazmin Andrade had a home run. Outfielder Cameron Martin was 5-for-5 with five RBIs.

Flynn pitched a hitless first inning and Analisa Roman worked the next four, giving up just two hits.

Xavier will hit the road – the long road – for its next game on Thursday (March 28). The game will be in Yuma against host Kofa High.

Monday, March 25, 2019

Vote for Flynn, Donahey for Week 5 Player of Week

Gators, it’s time to vote!

Your candidates for Week 5 Softball Player of the Week for the azcentral.com media outlet are freshmen Riley Flynn and Bridget Donahey. Both were instrumental in Xavier’s 3-1 record this week.

Flynn posted a 3-0 record as a pitcher, including a no-hitter against a tough-hitting Chandler Hamilton team. She also hit a home run for the only run of the game that day at Hamilton (Wednesday) in a 1-0 victory. On Tuesday, she also hit a home run in a win over Mesa Mountain View at Xavier.

The Gators completed their busy week with a 9-3 road win over Phoenix Desert Vista. Flynn got the win, and Donahey went 4-for-4, including two home runs and two doubles, driving in five runs.

Voters can make their selections by going to azcentral.com and clicking on “high schools.’’ Voting ends at noon on Wednesday (March 27).

Sunday, March 24, 2019

Another Chandler Rotary meet is in the books

Several Xavier Prep track and field athletes performed at personal records, while others
posted season bests at the 79th annual Nike Chandler Rotary Invitational on Friday (March 22) and Saturday (March 23) at Chandler High.

Top performers on Saturday were (Friday's results will be announced soon):

Senior Jada Sims, with a new personal and school record in the 100-meter hurdles. Sims, who will compete in college at Vanderbilt in Tennessee, also finished third in the high jump. Junior Sophie Brohard, with a personal record in the 400 meters and fifth all-time on the XCP Track Top Ten List.

Sophomore Sammy Braun had a personal record in the mile. Senior Johnnie Mitchell had a personal record in the 800-meter run.

Senior Karina Hawkins had a season best in the mile, as did sophomore Brooke Bream. Senior Leila Grant had a season best in the 300-meter hurdles.

Junior Mia Olson and sophomore Jamie Stelnik both had a season best in the 2-mile (3,200 meters).

Top effort of the day was the 4x400-meter relay. They had a season-best but they also earned a trip to the podium, meaning the Gators placed in the top five of all 175 school entries.

Next up for the Gators are the Fr. Olivier Invitational on Thursday (March 28) at 3 p.m. and the Dutch Decathlon on Thursday (2:30 p.m.) and Friday (March 29) at 11 a.m. Both events are at the Brophy Sports Campus.



Xavier results, Nike Chandler Rotary Invitational

100-meter dash – Taylor Brown, 13.33; Cierra Gonzalez, 13.84; Lana Kline, 14.25.

200-meter dash – Lauren Eby, 29.21; Amaka Alilonu, 29.58; 35th, 29.49; Alessandra Galasso, 31.34.

100-meter hurdles – Jada Sims, 14.83; Mia Portillo, 20.20.

300-meter hurdles – Leila Grant, 48.71; Ellie Higgins, 54.73; Mia Portillo, 57.32.

400-meter dash – Sophie Brohard, 58.74; Amaka Alilonu, 1:06.85.

800-meter run – Johnnie Mitchell, 2:30.91.

1,600-meter run – Karina Hawkins, 5:18.81.

3,200-meter run – Mia Olsen, 11:22.66; Jamie Stelnik, 11:28.83.

4x400-meter relay – Xavier “A’, 4:02.5310:35.82. (Sophie Brohard, Johnnie Mitchell, Jada Sims, Leila Grant).

Discus – Janna Hynds, 68-02; Maeve Jones, 61-11.

High jump – Jada Sims, 5-06.

Long jump – Kolbe Pierce, 14-10.

Shot put – Jozlin Tanner, 26-06.

Javelin – Bethany Barnwell, 61-02; Kendall Swanson, 49-02.


Two Xavier teams win their divisions in Cat Box

Two Xavier Prep beach volleyball tandems picked up victories in their respective divisions on Saturday (March 23) in the Cat Box Classic at Tucson Ironwood Ridge and Tucson Canyon del Oro high schools. The event was sponsored by the University of Arizona.

Xavier’s Shea Sciarappo and Grace Lincoln defeated Miranda Uribe and Bianca Devitas of Tucson Salpointe Catholic 21-16, for the Open Silver Division title.

And Xavier’s Katie Anthony and Ania Hiler defeated Kaiessa Sounart and Maddie Mortenson of Tempe Corona del Sol in the Select Gold Division title.

Xavier’s next match is on Wednesday (March 27) at its Cavanaugh Courts home against Phoenix Sandra Day O’Connor. Start time is 4 p.m.

Saturday, March 23, 2019

Freshmen fired up in softball win over Desert Vista

The freshmen continue to produce big results for Xavier Prep’s softball team.

Shortstop Bridget Donahey hit a pair of home runs along with two doubles and five RBIs and Riley Flynn had another strong pitching performance as the Gators defeated host Phoenix Desert Vista in Ahwatukee 9-3 on Friday (March 22).

Xavier raised its record to 7-2 while Desert Vista fell to 5-6.

Donahey’s power display comes on the heels of another big game in which she recently hit three homers in a game.

Flynn, who threw a no-hitter against Chandler Hamilton earlier in the week, gave up six hits, did not walk a batter and struck out 11. She also had two hits, including a double, and drove in a run.

Freshman Elliot Smith drove in two runs with a pair of hits, and sophomore Macy Lee drove in a run with two hits.

Xavier has three games next week – on Monday (March 25) at Avondale La Joya, on Tuesday (March 26) at home against Phoenix Trevor Browne, and on Thursday (March 28) at Yuma Kofa.

Friday, March 22, 2019

Xavier triumphs, heads to beach tourney at UofA

Xavier Prep’s beach volleyball team is stepping out of the sand and into a box of kitty litter.

Ewwwww. Say what?

Yes, that’s right. The Gators remained unbeaten on Friday (March 22) with a 4-1 victory over Scottsdale Chaparral at Scottsdale Ranch Park and on Saturday will be in Tucson for the annual Cat Box Classic hosted by the University of Arizona.

If Xavier continues to play in Tucson like it did against Chaparral, the trip should prove to be successful. Action starts at 9 a.m.

The Gators’ win on Friday was highlighted by its No. 1 (seniors Shannon Shields and Trinity Cavanaugh) and No. 2 (junior Abby Conrad and sophomore Serena Turner) teams.

Also impressive was a big two-game sweep by the No. 3 duo, Lydia Rush and Tori Burton.

“Our energy level was up,’’ said Xavier coach Tim McHale. “Yesterday (Thursday), we practiced a lot on serving. We did well, and we continued to do well today.’’

Shields, who was the Arizona Gatorade Player of the Year for Xavier’s state champion indoor team and is headed to Louisville for indoor, continues to learn the nuances of the beach game. And Cavanaugh, who will play beach at TCU, is ready to help.

Shields has a tendency to get amped up, too much so at times, and Cavanaugh helps keep her grounded, McHale said.

“There’s a lot of communication there,’’ McHale said.

Both players served well, and did a good job of using misdirection to place the ball where the Chaparral girls could not get to it.

Shields and Cavanaugh won 21-10 and 22-20. Converse and Turner were dominant, winning 21-2 and 21-12. And Rush and Burton won 21-12 and 21-6. McHale said Rush had 11 service aces in the No. 3 match.

The No. 4 team of Grace Lincoln and Shea Sciarappo took its match 21-10 and 23-21.

And the No. 5 team of Zaira Reyes and Katie Anthony won their first game but Chaparral rallied in the next two games, 28-26 and 15-13.

Hamilton's bats heat up against Gators

After being no-hit by Xavier Prep’s Riley Flynn on Wednesday (March 20), the odds were good that Chandler Hamilton’s hard-hitting softball team would not allow something similar to happen when the teams met again on Thursday (March 21), this time at Xavier.

And so the Huskies made up for their 1-0 setback with a 14-6 victory over the Gators, hitting three home runs as Xavier used a pair of pitchers for their first time since middle school.

Hamilton raised its record to 13-7, while Xavier slipped to 6-2. The Gators were due to play their fourth game of the week on Friday (March 22) at Phoenix Desert Vista in Ahwatukee. Desert Vista is 5-5.

Flynn did not start, but pitched the final two innings after playing the first five in left field. By then, coach Brad Downes used senior Analisa Roman to start and freshman Bridget Donahey after that. Senior pitcher Marisa Sgambati has been ruled out for the season with a knee injury that required surgery this week.

“I thought they (Roman and Donahey) did a good job,’’ Downes said. “It’s not easy for anyone to face a good-hitting team like Hamilton.’’

The Gators knew what they were up against and Downes said the girls continued to support each other as the game slipped away with five Hamilton runs in the second inning and seven more in the third. Two of the Huskies’ homers were hit by Danielle Cole.

“It was a good team-building experience for us,’’ Downes said.

Xavier had taken a 2-0 lead in the first on a two-run homer by junior Katie Donahey.

Then the Hamilton deluge started in the second.

Downes liked the way the Gators remained aggressive with the bats. They produced 13 hits, matching Hamilton.

The coach made a number of substitutions in the fourth inning and was pleased with the way the girls played, since most of them had not played much until that point.

He had started Flynn in left after regular left fielder Sydney Johnson started at second base. That was necessary after an ankle injury in the first game against Hamilton shelved regular second baseman Meghan Schouten. Her return to the lineup is uncertain, perhaps next week.

Senior Ashlee Sanchez went in at second base in the fourth and responded with an opposite-field, two-run triple to the right-field corner in the bottom of the inning.

Gators' Stutz excels on, off tennis court

Led by junior Erica Stutz, the Xavier Prep tennis team defeated host Scottsdale Chaparral 8-1 on Thursday (March 21).

Stutz, who scored a 6-4, 6-1 win as the No. 2 singles player on this day, also teamed with freshman Ryan Kershner in the No. 1 doubles slot for an 8-3 victory over the Firebirds.

Also on Thursday, Stutz was selected as the Academic All-Star of the Week by the azcentral.com media outlet.

Stutz carries a 4.5 weighted GPA and is involved with a number of civic organizations.

Congrats, Erica, and way to go, Gators !!

Xavier (8-0) returns to the court on March 28 with a home match against Chandler High.



Thursday’s result

Xavier Prep 8, Chaparral 1

Singles

Tristanne Dechoux, X, def. Gabriella Moss, C, 6-3, 4-6, 10-6; Erica Stutz, X, def. Maitlyn Wang, C, 6-4, 6-1; Ryan Kershner, X, def. Analise Wachtel, C, 6-0, 6-1; Lorelei Glidden, X, def. Cassie Seminoff, C, 7-6, 3-6, 12-10; Kate Stegman, X, def. Anna Ramsook, C, 6-4, 6-3; Erin Hannen, C, def. Emilia Chrostowski, X, 6-3, 6-3.

Doubles

Kershner-Stutz, X, def. Wang-Wachtel, C, 8-3; Glidden-Dechoux, X, def. Seminoff-Moss, C, 8-4; Victoria Chrostowski-E. Chrostowski, X, def. Ramsook-Katrina Moss, C, 8-3.

Thursday, March 21, 2019

Seniors rule as beach v-ball tops Notre Dame

It was a big Senior Day for Xavier Prep’s beach volleyball team on Wednesday (March 20) with sixe seniors being honored and the the team earning a 5-0 victory over visiting Scottsdale Notre Dame Prep at the Cavanaugh Courts.

Xavier is now 5-0 heading into Friday’s (March 22) match against Scottsdale Chaparral at the Scottsdale Ranch Park in north Scottsdale.
Xavier Prep's seniors were honored on Wednesday and the Gators defeated Scottsdale Notre Dame Prep 5-0 (photos by Sr. Lynn Winsor).

Xavier's Grace Lincoln follows through on a serve.

Gators set for Rotary track & field in Chandler

Xavier Prep’s track and field team will participate in one of its biggest meets of the season this weekend, the Chandler Rotary at Chandler High.

It will be a two-day event, with action beginning at 9 a.m. on Friday (March 22) and 9:15 a.m. on Saturday (March 23).

Wednesday, March 20, 2019

YES! Flynn tosses no-no, hits HR against Hamilton

What is better, throwing a no-hitter or hitting a home run to win the game?

Xavier Prep freshman Riley Flynn had the best of both worlds on Wednesday (March 20) when she hit a solo home run in the third inning and no-hit one of the top-hitting softball teams in the state for a 1-0 victory over host Chandler Hamilton in a 6A Conference Premier Region game.

Now the teams will move on to Xavier for another hard-fought contest on Thursday (March 21). First pitch is at 3:45 p.m.

Hamilton (12-7), which finished as 6A runner-up to Phoenix Pinnacle last season and won the state title in the two years before that, could only get three batters on base against Flynn, all on walks. She finished with two strikeouts.

The effort put Xavier’s record at 6-1, and came on the heels of a 5-1 Xavier home victory over Mesa Mountain View on Tuesday (March 19).

Flynn allowed just five hits and struck out 11 in that one and hit the first home run of her high school career, so that’s two homers in two days! She also hit a single against Hamilton to go with her home run. Catcher Macy Lee doubled for the third Xavier hit.

Schedule gets busy for Xavier softball


After a week of not playing any games, the Xavier Prep returns to the field this week with a very busy schedule.

The Gators are playing four straight games. It all started with a home contest against Mesa Mountain View on Tuesday (March 19), followed by a back-to-back challenges with Chandler Hamilton (at Hamilton Wednesday and at Xavier Thursday) and finishing up with a road game at Phoenix Desert Vista on Friday (March 22).

Xavier raised its record to 5-1 with a 5-1 victory over Mountain View.

Freshman Riley Flynn looked strong in the pitching circle and with the bat. She gave up five hits and struck out 11, although she couldn’t quite get the shutout as the Toros (2-7) scored their only run in the top of the seventh inning on two hits and an error.

In the fourth, Flynn hit the first home run of her high school career, a shot to deep center field, for two runs that gave Xavier a 3-1 lead.

Xavier picked up its final two runs on a home run hit high down the left-field line by junior Katie Donahey. This is sure to create some conversation at the Donahey family dinner table, especially after Katie’s sister, freshman Bridget Donahey, hit three home runs in a game on March 7.

Until this game, Xavier had scored 10 or more runs in every game.

“This shows that you don’t always need to score that many if you can do other things right,’’ said Gators coach Brad Downes.

Flynn continues to pitch well. She has become the team’s main pitcher after a season-ending knee injury to Marisa Sgambati, but Downes has to use caution and try not to overwork Flynn.

He has been experimenting in practice with a few position players, and one or both candidates could see some time during this busy week.

It is tempting to keep Flynn in there, to be sure. She has very good speed and her off-speed offerings seem to come toward the plate at different angles. Mountain View players told their coach that Flynn’s off-speed pitches broke at least 18 inches off the plate as they often swung and missed or watched the ball settle in catcher Macy Lee’s mitt.

“Marisa’s injury was unfortunate, but we’ll just have to work through it,’’ Downes said.

He said the Gators had a good week of practice, “but that isn’t the same as a game. We just have to keep working, keep hitting. We love to hit.’’

Tuesday, March 19, 2019

Gator track & field competes well in weekend meet

Xavier Prep’s track and field athletes got a chance to do what they do best and had a solid effort on Saturday (March 16) in the Rattler Booster Invite at Phoenix North Canyon.

The Gators’ top performers were Jada Sims (first in the high jump at 5-6 and third in the 100-meter hurdles), the 4x400 and the 4x800 relays (second in both) and Jamie Stelnik (third in the 3,200-meter run).

Xavier’s next meet, a dual against Phoenix Mountain Pointe, is tentatively scheduled for Wednesday (March 20) at the Brophy Sports Campus. Start time is 3:45 p.m.


Xavier results, Rattler Invite

100-meter dash – Sierra Gonzalez, 36th, 13.85; Lana Kline, 55th, 14:23.

200-meter dash – Lauren Eby, 35th, 29.49; Alessandra Galasso, 57th, 30.73.

100-meter hurdles – Jada Sims, 3rd, 15.12; Mia Portillo, 32nd, 20.54.

300-meter hurdles – Leila Grant, 6th, 49.09; Ellie Higgins, 33rd, 57.97; Mia Portillo, 40th, 1:00.42.

400-meter dash – Sophie Brohard, 6th, 1:00.87; Johnnie Mitchell, 7th, 1:02.74; Maria Benitez, 25th, 1:06.10.

800-meter run – Karina Hawkins, 6th, 2:29.35; Sammy Braun, 7th, 2:31.62; Karina Smith, 9th, 2:32.77.

1,600-meter run – Karina Hawkins, 5th, 5:30.59; Sammy Braun, 8th, 5:32.80; Karina Smith, 10th, 5:38.35.

3,200-meter run – Jamie Stelnik, 3rd, 11:40.57; Helen Innes, 5th, 11:47.92; Grace Valandra, 16th, 12:48.34.

4x400-meter relay – Xavier Prep, 2nd, 4:08.91 (Sophie Brohard, Leila Grant, Johnnie Mitchell, Jada Sims).

4x800-meter relay – Xavier Prep, 2nd, 10:25.24 (Sophie Brohard, Ellie Higgins, Maria Benitez, Johnnie Mitchell).

Discus – Janna Hynds, 22nd, 77-10; Bethany Barnwell, 36th, 69-10; Maeve Jones, 41st, 66-05.

High jump – Jada Sims, 1st, 5-06.

Long jump – Kolbe Pierce, 15th, 14-10; Sofi Valencia, 19th, 14-06.

Shot put – Janna Hynds, 21st, 27-07; Kendall Swanson, 32nd, 26-02; Jozlin Tanner, 33rd, 26-01 ½.

Javelin – Bethany Barnwell, 20th, 69-06; Jozlin Tanner, 29th, 58-04.

Pole vault – Macy Kerwin, 9th, 6-06; Lauren Besh, 11th, 6-00.

Sunday, March 17, 2019

XCP's McIntosh named to All-Arizona hoops team

It’s official: Xavier Prep’s Leilani McIntosh is one of the top eight basketball players in Arizona.

The 5-foot-5 senior was among the selections for the azcentral.com All-Arizona Basketball Team, as announced on Sunday (March 17).

McIntosh, a point guard who led the Gators to a 28-5 overall record and their second straight 6A Conference state runner-up finish, averaged 14.9 points, 4.2 steals, 3.6 assists, 3.0 rebounds, shot 53 percent from the floor and had 22 3-point field goals. McIntosh will go on to play collegiately at Pepperdine.

McIntosh’s Xavier teammate, senior guard Addie Putnam, was named an Honorable Mention selection. The 5-9 Putnam averaged 15.5 points, 3.5 rebounds, 2.6 steals, shot 46 percent from the floor, made 57 3-point field goals and shot 75 percent from the free-throw line.

The All-Arizona Team will be honored with athletes from around the state at the annual azcentral Sports Awards program on June 9 at Arizona State University’s Gammage Memorial Auditorium. The Players of the Year also will be announced at that time. Arizona Cardinals quarterback Josh Rosen will be the featured speaker.


2018-19 azcentral All-Arizona Girls Basketball Team

Coach of the Year – Rick Sanchez, Whiteriver Alchesay.
Players – Alyssa Brown, Tucson Sahuaro; Haley Cavinder, Gilbert High; Hanna Cavinder, Gilbert High; Leilani McIntosh, Xavier Prep; Anna Ostlie, Scottsdale Chaparral; Dominique Phillips, Goodyear Millennium; Senya Raboin, Phoenix Shadow Mountain; Alexandra Zelaya, Goodyear Millennium.




Friday, March 15, 2019

Lacrosse battles Pinnacle to finish, falls in OT

Although the final result didn’t turn out the way they wanted, Xavier Prep’s lacrosse players can take solace in their strong state tournament-type effort while battling the Arizona Girls Lacrosse Association’s No. 1 team, Phoenix Pinnacle, on Thursday night (March 14).

Xavier overcame a three-goal deficit for a one-goal lead at halftime, and after Pinnacle rallied for an 11-10 lead with 2:18 left in the match, the Gators sent the contest to overtime on a goal by senior Grace Martinez with just 19 seconds left.

In the three-minute, first-to-score overtime format, Pinnacle managed to keep its unbeaten record intact with a goal just 57 seconds in for a 12-11 victory. Karla Christensen scored on a rebound of a teammate’s shot that had been turned away by Gator goalkeeper Tanya Barakat.

Pinnacle is 6-0, Xavier 3-2. Xavier’s second loss also came in overtime, to Phoenix Desert Vista.

In a few of the games leading up to this one, Xavier coach Jen Nevatt was happy with victories but said some of the elements for success came intermittently. This match, the Gators were much more consistent.

“This was more like it,’’ she said.

“We had two amazing halves, the entire team did. In practice, we knew they were going to put the pressure on us and decided how we were going to handle it. We passed well, we shot well and we were very disciplined on defense.  That’s what their coach said afterward, that we were very disciplined. She was complimentary.’’

Indeed, the Pioneers knew they had been in a tough battle when they exchanged handshakes with the Gators afterward. The crowd, that included Brophy Prep students, was very vocal for the entire match.

As she has all season, senior Sarah Minton was on target with four goals, and Martinez had a hat trick with three. Junior Kit Blouin had a pair of goals and junior Nina Mackey and junior Caroline Andreen had one each.

Pinnacle leads the AGLA with 63 goals scored, but Xavier is right behind with 61, with one fewer match played.

Xavier plays again on March 22 at 7 p.m. against Cave Creek Cactus Shadows at the Horseshoe Trails Elementary School in north Phoenix. The game originally was to have been played on Feb. 22, but was postponed due to weather. The teams also played on March 11 at Xavier, with Xavier winning 12-6.

Back-to-back tennis wins put XCP at 7-0

Xavier Prep’s tennis team continued down its unbeaten path with home victories over Phoenix Sunnyslope (9-0) on Wednesday (March 13) and Phoenix Horizon (8-1) on Thursday (March 14).

Senior Kate Stegman and sophomore Emilia Chrostowski each picked up singles wins in both matches to help raise Xavier’s record to 7-0.

The Gators’ next match should be a bit more challenging. They will face Scottsdale Chaparral (4-0 entering a Tuesday match against Mesa Mountain View) on Thursday (March 21) at Chaparral.



Xavier results

Xavier 9, Sunnyslope 0

Wednesday, March 13 at Xavier

Singles

No. 1 – Lorelei Glidden, X, def. Spencer Green, S, 6-2, 6-1; No. 2 – Kate Stegman, X, def. Emma Johnson, S, 6-0, 6-0; No. 3 – Emilia Chrostowski, X, def. Kiera Leskovar, S, 6-0, 6-0; No. 4 – Victoria Chrostowski, X, def. Heidi Wolf, S, 6-0, 6-0; No. 5 – Katelyn Cowan, X, def. Christine Smith, S, 6-1, 6-0; No. 6 – Phoebe Ransco, X, def. Adela Diaz, S, 6-0, 6-1.

Doubles

No. 1 – Glidden-Stegman, X, def. Green-Johnson, S, 8-1; No. 2 – E. Chrostowski-V. Chrostowski, X, def. Leskovar-Smith, 8-1; No. 3 – Cowan-Ransco, X, def. Diaz-Megan Murphy, X, 8-2.

Xavier 8, Horizon 1

Thursday, March 14 at Xavier

Singles

No. 1 -- Tristanne Dechoux, X, def. Cate Broerman, H, 6-0, 6-2; No. 2 – Erica Stutz, X, def. Liza Isayev, H, 6-3, 6-2; No. 3 – Ryan Kershner, X, def. Corinne Mitra, H, 6-0, 6-0; No. 4 – Lorelei Glidden, X, def. Anna Meyer, H, 6-1, 6-2; No, 5 – Kate Stegman, X, def. Sona Shah, H, 6-1, 6-3; No. 6 – Emilia Chrostowski, X, def. Hannah Mitchell, H, 6-0, 6-0.

Doubles

No. 1 -- Broerman-Isayev, H, def. Stutz-Kershner, X, 8-1; No. 2 – Glidden-Dechoux, X, def. Mitra-Hannah Churan, H, 8-0; No. 3 – V. Chrostowski-E. Chrostowski, X, def. Shah-Meyer, X, 8-0.

Thursday, March 14, 2019

Another beach trip to Tucson, another win


The Xavier Prep beach volleyball team made a second trip to Tucson this season a successful one on Wednesday (March 13) with a 4-1 victory over Tucson Salpointe Catholic at the Tucson Racquet Club.

Xavier climbed to 4-0 while Salpointe dipped to 5-2.

The Gators will play next on March 22 against Scottsdale Chaparral at Scottsdale Ranch Park and will follow that up with another trip to Tucson for the annual Catbox Classic on March 23 at the University of Arizona.


Tuesday, March 12, 2019

Lacrosse wins third match in four attempts

Finally, a home lacrosse match!

And Xavier Prep’s Gators were not to be denied, dancing through raindrops on the way to a 12-6 victory over Cave Creek Cactus Shadows on Monday night (March 11) at Petznick Field.

Xavier raised its record to 3-1, with a game against Phoenix Pinnacle (5-0), the top team in the Arizona Girls Lacrosse Association, on Thursday night (March 14) at Petznick with first draw at 5:30 p.m.

“It will be a challenge for us,’’ said Xavier coach Jen Nevatt. “We struggled with some things tonight and that will give us a few days (of practice) to get that out of our system.’’

It took just 1:02 of the first half for Cactus Shadows (0-4) to score the first match of the contest.

Nearly four minutes later, senior Sarah Minton got the equalizer for the Gators. She would go on to record four more goals for a fantastic five night. Junior Nina Mackey also figured prominently with four goals. Junior Caroline Andreen got two and sophomore Emmie Halter got one.

Xavier held a 4-2 lead at halftime, but looked somewhat sluggish.

“We weren’t playing our game,’’ Nevatt said. “I don’t know if it was the rain or the field, but our passes and a lot of our shots were not connecting. We did a better job of that in the second half.’’

Cactus Shadows kept it close for the most part, and it probably would have been closer if the Falcons had not had two goals erased by offside calls.

“We controlled the draws pretty well, especially in the second half,’’ Nevatt said.

Friday, March 8, 2019

Sims shines in AMDG track & field meet

Senior Jada Sims was in elite form on Thursday (March 7), winning two events in the AMDG Invitational track and field meet at the Brophy Sports Campus.

Sims captured the 100-meter hurdles event with a time of 15.28. She also led the field in the high jump at 5 feet, 8 inches.

The next-best finishers were junior Sophie Brohard, second in the 400-meter dash at 59.95, and the 4x800-meter relay “A’ team, second at 10:00.85.

Defending state champion Chandler High dominated in most of the events.


AMDG Invitational

Thursday, March 7 at Brophy Sports Campus

Xavier results

100-meter dash – Sophie Brohard, 19th, 13:58.

100-meter hurdles – Jada Sims, 1st, 15.28; Mia Portillo, 11th, 20.33.

300-meter hurdles – Leila Grant, 8th, 51.11.

400-meter dash – Sophie Brohard, 2nd, 59.95; Johnnie Mitchell, 8th, 1:02.89.

800-meter run – Karina Hawkins, 8th, 2:29.12; Sammy Braun, 11th, 2:32.00; Karina Smith, 14th, 2:35.04.

1,600-meter run – Helen Innes, 5th, 5:21.34; Mia Olsen, 6th, 5:23.66; Jamie Stelnik, 7th, 5:26.73.

4x400-meter relay – Xavier Prep “A,’’ 4th, 4:09.60.

4x800-meter relay – Xavier Prep “A,’’ 2nd, 10:00.85; Xavier Prep “C,’’ 7th, 11:12.52; Xavier Prep “B,’’ 8th, 11:26.65.

Discus – Janna Hynds, 14th, 71-05; Bethany Barnwell, 19th, 65-11; Maeve Jones, 21st, 62-02.

High jump – Jada Sims, 1st, 5-08.

Long jump – Kolbe Pierce, 5th, 16-01.

Shot put – Kendall Swanson, 9th, 27-06; Jozlin Tanner, 15th, 25-06; Janna Hynds, 17th, 24-11.



Phoenix Union High School District Metro Relays

March 1 at Phoenix Alhambra

Xavier results (28 points, 8th place)

1,600-meter run – Sammy Braun, 1st, 5:37.71; Mia Olsen, 3rd, 5:42.12; Helen Innes, 4th, 5:43.96; Grace Valandra, 7th, 6:05.19.

4x800-meter relay – Xavier Prep, 2nd, 10:36.64 (Karina Hawkins, Karina Smith, Karli Baker, Johnnie Mitchell).

4x1600-meter relay – Xavier Prep 1st, 23:08.98 (Grace Valandra, Mia Olsen, Sammy Braun, Helen Innes).

DMR relay (1,200, 400, 800, 1,600) – Xavier Prep, 1st (Mia Olsen, Johnnie Mitchell, Sammy Braun, Jamie Stelnik).

Xavier wins as Bridget Donahey hits 3 HRs

Call her Bridget the Basher.

Because freshman infielder Bridget Donahey bashed three home runs and a double and drove in seven runs as Xavier Prep’s softball team routed visiting Phoenix Maryvale, 16-0, on Thursday (March 7). The game only lasted five innings due to a 10-run rule.

Xavier is now 4-1 and has scored 10 or more runs in every game.

The Gators also got a pair of hits and two RBI from freshman pitcher Riley Flynn and two hits from freshman infielder Megan Schouten, including a triple.

Flynn was virtually untouchable again in the pitching circle, giving up just one hit and striking out 11 for her third straight shutout.

Xavier will not play next week, but will have four straight games the following week – March 19 against Mesa Mountain View at Xavier, March 20 at Chandler Hamilton, March 21 against Hamilton at Xavier and March 22 at Phoenix Desert Vista in Ahwatukee.

Thursday, March 7, 2019

Day turns to night, XCP wins beach classic

Did you hear that?

It sounded like the rooster was clearing his throat in anticipation of crowing the entrance of a new day.

At least that’s the way it seemed on Wednesday (March 6).

Darkness had descended on Xavier Prep’s Cavanaugh Courts as the beach volleyball teams of Xavier and Gilbert Perry staged a match for the ages. The contest lasted a full three hours, so long that people might have wondered if it would last until dawn instead of dusk.

Xavier won the Nos. 5 and 4 matches, but Perry, the defending state Division I champion, rebounded for wins in the Nos. 3 and 2 matches. Perry had defeated Xavier in the state quarterfinals last year.

A battle for supremacy was next between the No. 1s, Xavier’s Trinity Cavanaugh and Shannon Shields, and Perry’s Noelle Weintraub and Erin Myers.

The first game was a classic in itself, going back and forth, pendulum-like. It went beyond the 21-point mark before Perry emerged with a 27-25 victory. All the Pumas had to do was win one more game to secure the match.

Cavanaugh and Shields came back to pull even with a 21-17 victory in the second game. It was on to the 15-point third game. The sun was disappearing quickly and the clock was moving toward 7 p.m.

There was more back and forth to start the game, but the Xavier duo began to establish itself. The Gators were on the verge of winning when Shields, the Gatorade Player of the Year last fall for indoor, made a great save and Xavier earned the point for a 14-9 lead.

Perry wasn’t done yet. The Pumas scored two more points, but the Gators finally got point No. 15 for a 3-2 match win. Xavier players just barely saw well enough to locate their triumphant teammates and swarmed them.

“That was the longest game in Xavier beach volleyball history (now in its eighth year). We’ve had a couple of matches run long before, but nothing like this,’’ said Xavier coach Tim McHale.

“Everyone did a great job,’’ he said. “The 4s (Grace Lincoln, Shea Sciarappo) and 5s (Ania Hiler, Katie Anthony) pulled through, and this last one was an epic battle.’’

He said that Cavanaugh and Shields, both seniors, “are still learning to play together. In the last game, they were able to control their emotions. In the times that things didn’t go their way, they just said, “Let’s just put it behind us and move on.’ ’’

Shields said, “Playing in the dark was so hard. It was hard to judge what the ball was doing, or if it was floating on the serves.’’

Cavanaugh agreed.

“I was late to a few balls because it was tough to get a good look at their (Perry) arm speed,’’ she said. “We were aggressive with our serves, and getting the early lead helped.

“It was a great win for us.’’

Xavier, which already has one trip to Tucson, will make another drive south for its next match on March 13, against Tucson Salpointe Catholic at the Tucson Racquet and Fitness facility. First serve is 4 p.m.


Xavier Prep 3, Perry 2

No. 1 – Shannon Shields-Trinity Cavanaugh, X, def. Noelle Weintraub-Erin Myers, P, 25-27, 21-17, 15-11. No. 2 – Matea Suan-Canon Bongard, P, def. Serena Turner-Lydia Rush, X, 21-7, 21-15. No. 3 – Kylee Brinkerhoff-Morgan Seibel, P, def. Zaira Reyes-Tori Burton, X, 21-16, 16-21, 16-14.

No. 4 – Grace Lincoln-Shea Sciarappo, X, def. Ella Rud-Alyssa Montoya, P, 21-18, 21-19. No. 5 – Ania Hiler-Katie Anthony, X, def. Tatum Stall-Jillian Hatch, P, 21-15, 19-21, 15-9.

Wednesday, March 6, 2019

XCP tennis shuts out O'Connor, Red Mtn.

Fresh off a victory in the 16-team Kiwanis Invitational tournament over the weekend, the Xavier Prep tennis team kept the momentum going with a 9-0 defeat of Phoenix Sandra Day O’Connor at Xavier on Tuesday (March 5) and a 9-0 win over visiting Mesa Red Mountain on Wednesday (March 6).

Xavier coach Laurie Martin mixed up the lineups in those two matches, and the girls came through with flying colors.

“We are playing pretty well right now,’’ Martin said.

The Gators return to action on Tuesday (March 12) with another home match, this time against Phoenix Sunnyslope.


Xavier Prep 9, Sandra Day O’Connor 0

Singles

Ryan Kershner, X, def. Alexa Lewis, SDO, 6-0, 6-0; Emilia Chrostowski, X, def. Morgan Tollefson, SDO, 6-0, 6-0; Victoria Chrostowski, X, def. Julia Curtiss, SDO, 6-0, 6-0; Katelyn Cowan, X, def. Ria Saraswat, SDO, 6-0, 6-0; Phoebe Ransco, X, def. Emily Serban, SDO, 6-0, 6-0; Ashton Foster, X, def. Temi Morgan, SDO, 6-0.

Doubles

Kershner-E. Chrostowski, X, def. Lewis-Tollefson, SDO, 8-0; Cowan-V. Chrostowski, X, def. Saraswat-Curtiss, SDO, 8-0; Lindley Gifford-Foster, X, def. Serban-Morgan, SDO, 8-1.


Xavier Prep 9, Red Mountain 0

Singles

Erica Stutz, X, def. Kendra Farrell, RM, 6-3, 6-4; Lorelei Glidden, X, def. Catie McCauley, RM, 6-2, 6-3; Kate Stegman, X, def. Elle Harris, RM, 6-0, 6-3; Victoria Chrostowski, X, def. Ella Petersen, RM, 6-0, 6-0; Katelyn Cowan, X, def. Christiana Lumabas, RM, 6-0, 6-0; Phoebe Ransco, X, def. Sage Skidmore, RM, 6-3, 6-1.

Doubles

Stutz-Glidden, X, def, Harris-McCauley, RM, 8-1; V. Chrostowski-Emilia Chrostowski, X, def. Petersen-Farrell, RM, 8-1; Stegman-Cowan, X, def. Skidmore-Lumabas, RM, 8-1.

Tenacity pushes Gators to another softball win

As the softball season became a reality, Xavier Prep players picked a word that would carry them through any situation.

They grabbed it and have not let go.

The word is tenacious.

“The girls are tenacious. They all work together and they are not being intimidated,’’ said coach Brad Downes.

The team played its fourth game of the season on Tuesday night (March 5), and for the fourth time scored 10 or more runs in an 11-0 victory over Scottsdale Chaparral. The game went just five innings because of the 10-run (lead) rule.

Xavier is now 3-1 and will face visiting Phoenix Maryvale on Thursday (March 7).

The Gators produced 12 hits, including a three-run home run and a run-scoring triple by freshman second baseman Megan Schouten. And freshman Riley Flynn again was on target in the pitching circle, tossing a four-hitter and striking out six. She also shut out Glendale Mountain Ridge in five innings last week.

The first two innings were scoreless and then Xavier put two runs on the board in the third.

Schouten tripled off the tip of the glove of the Chaparral right fielder, bringing home one run, and Katie Donahey accounted for the second run with a long foul to left field that went for a sacrifice fly.

The floodgates opened for the Gators in the fourth.

The team went on to score nine runs on eight hits. The highlights were Schouten’s home run, again to right field, that just seemed to take off and quickly sailed over the fence, followed by three straight doubles. All runs came with only one out.

Chaparral appeared it might score first in the third inning, but a heads-up defensive play by Xavier.

With one out and a runner at first base, a Chaparral batter hit a ball straight up the chimney, high over catcher Macy Lee, who was standing near the plate. Flynn and a couple of the Xavier infielders converged, but Lee could not handle it and the ball dropped just in front of the plate. The umpire signaled fair ball.

The runner at first attemped to go to third when she thought the third-base bag was unoccupied by a defender. But Xavier left fielder Sydney Johnson had snuck in to cover the bag, took the throw and tagged the runner out.

“The way we are playing is exciting to watch,’’ Downes said.

Schouten is one of the most exciting. Despite being just a freshman, she is becoming a vocal leader.

“She has played well and we have all worked well together,’’ said Downes, who had seven underclassmen in the starting lineup against Chaparral.  That bodes well for the rest of this season and for the future.

Saturday, March 2, 2019

Xavier beach brigade edges Corona del Sol

When Xavier Prep and Tempe Corona del Sol get together on a beach volleyball court, it usually seems like a playoff match.

Friday’s (March 1) contest was no different, as Xavier outlasted the Aztecs 3-2 at the Cavanaugh Family Courts.

Xavier (2-0) was keyed by three-set wins by the Nos. 4 (senior Shea Sciarappo and sophomore Zaira Reyes) and 5 (junior Grace Lincoln and freshman Katie Anthony) duos and an outstanding effort from the No. 2 pair, junior Abby Converse and sophomore Serena Turner.

The two-set win by Converse and Turner gave Xavier the point that would prove to be the difference. Corona del Sol’s wins went to its Nos. 1 and 3 teams.

“It was a typical Xavier-Corona match,’’ said Xavier coach Tim McHale. “Before the match, I told Ben (Maxfield, Corona coach) that it would be a tight one because it always is.

“Someone usually steps up. You don’t exactly know who or when that’s going to be.

“Corona is a good team and we were able to pick up some big power points (the eventual determining factor in state seeding).’’

Xavier’s No. 4 and 5 teams won their first set, but lost the second to set up the third and decisive set.

Sciarappo and Reyes won their third 15-9, and Lincoln and Anthony won their third 15-12.

“They kept battling and believing,’’ McHale said. “At No. 5, the older player did a good job of settling down the freshman.’’

McHale didn’t get a chance to see much of the No. 2 match because he was stationed at one of the other courts, but said Converse gave him a full report on a dominant effort by Turner, who is an indoor volleyball teammate for the Gators.

“She (Converse) said Serena was everywhere. That’s just a sign of her maturity,’’ McHale said.

The 6-foot-1 Turner had some killer kills.

Next for the Gators comes one of their toughest tests of the season, a match at Cavanaugh against defending state champion Gilbert Perry on Wednesday (March 6) at 4 p.m.

It was Perry that ended Xavier’s reign of state titles last season. After winning the trophy in the first six years of the sport, the Gators fell to Perry in the quarterfinals and Perry went on to claim the crown.

“Perry is big and physical. We’re going to have to be ready,’’ McHale said.


Xavier Prep 3, Corona del Sol 2

No. 1 – CDS def. Trinity Cavanaugh-Shannon Shields, X, 21-18, 21-13. No. 2 – Abby Converse-Serena Turner, X, def. CDS, 21-11, 21-15. No. 3 – CDS def. Tori Burton-Lydia Rush, X, 16-21, 21-15, 15-10. No. 4 – Shea Sciarappo-Zaira Reyes, X, def. CDS, 21-15, 19-21, 15-9. No. 5 – Katie Anthony-Grace Lincoln, X, def. CDS, 21-12, 15-21, 15-12.

Big softball score not enough for Gators

The early season scoring spree continued for Xavier Prep’s softball team on Friday (March 1), but a third straight effort of 10 or more runs fell short as the Gators fell to host Mesa Red Mountain 13-11.

Xavier is now 2-1.

The Gators scored three times in the first inning, five in the fifth and three in the seventh after Red Mountain had taken a 13-8 lead. Red Mountain’s bats were hot with 18 hits.

After playing its third game of the week, Xavier will get a bit of a break and return to action on Thursday (March 7) at home against Phoenix Maryvale. First pitch is at 3:45 p.m.

Friday, March 1, 2019

Xavier softball likes those double-digit games

Xavier Prep’s softball team needs to take out a savings account.

Not for money, for runs.

The Gators put up a 10-spot in a season-opening win over Surprise Valley Vista on Tuesday (Feb. 26) and on Thursday (Feb. 28) were back at it again for their home opener against Glendale Mountain Ridge.

Xavier collected 11 hits on the way to a 15-0 victory in a contest shortened to five innings by the 10-run rule.

Better save some of those – you might need them later.

“They’re improving,’’ said Xavier coach Brad Downes of his team. “We have worked on hitting the outside pitch, and you can see that it helped. We (right-handed hitters) hit the ball to right-center today, hit with power.

“We are trying to be more aggressive, not just with our hitting, but with everything.’’

Four of the Gators’ hits went for extra bases. Three players each had a pair of hits – third baseman Jazmin Andrade, catcher Macy Lee and pitcher Riley Flynn. Andrade had three RBIs, Lee and Flynn two.

Downes also was pleased with his defense.

Perhaps the defensive play of the day came in the top of the second inning, when a Mountain Ridge player hit a single to left center field and decided to try to make it to second base. Xavier second baseman Meghan Schouten, positioned near the bag but facing out toward the outfield, took the throw and reached her glove behind her without looking, into the basepath, and the runner slid into Schouten’s glove.

That hit was only one of two given up by Gators pitcher Flynn, who also struck out nine in the five innings. Not bad for a freshman’s first start.

“Riley threw a very good game,’’ Downes said. “She was hitting her spots (locations).’’

There will be a quick turnaround for the Gators. They travel to east Mesa on Friday (March 1) for a game against Red Mountain at 3:45 p.m. The Mountain Lions lost their season opener, but don’t be fooled – they have had one of the state’s most successful programs for more than a decade, winning six state titles, including five in a row from 2010-14.

“They are always quality. We expect a good game,’’ Downes said.