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.

Saturday, April 27, 2019

Gator tennis players pass initial state test

Xavier’s two entries in the Division I state tennis singles and doubles tournament remain alive after second-round victories on Friday (April 26).

Senior singles player Tristanne Dechoux, the No. 2 seed, had received a first-round bye and defeated Chandler Hamilton’s Nidhi Pulicherla 6-1, 6-1 in her second-round match at the Gene Autry Sports Complex in east Mesa.

The third-seeded XCP doubles team of junior Erica Stutz and freshman Ryan Kershner also had a first-round bye and defeated Anthem Boulder Creek’s Taylor Kyle and Darlene Maitern 6-0, 6-1 in the second round.

The tournament shifts to the Paseo Racquet Center in Glendale for Saturday’s (April 27) quarterfinals and semifinals. Championship matches will be held on Monday night (April 29) at Arizona State’s Whiteman Tennis Center in Tempe.

Singles and doubles quarterfinals have check-in at 1 p.m., with the matches to follow shortly thereafter. Semifinals are at 4:30 p.m.

Dechoux will face another Hamilton player in the quarters, No. 7 seed Shivika Agrawal. If she reaches the semis, Dechoux would meet either No. 3 Savannah Kollock of Scottsdale Desert Mountain or No. 6 Tanri Nerendran of Tucson Rincon.

Stutz and Kershner will play No. 6 Elizabeth Vijan and Ava Kester of Phoenix Pinnacle in the quarters. The winner will move on to the semis against either No. 2 Hailey Stelson and McKenna Koenig of Desert Mountain or unseeded Sophia Reitano and Katie Dussault of Hamilton.

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