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.

Friday, September 13, 2019

Tough Pinnacle team derails Gator badminton

Xavier Prep’s badminton team played its third game of the week on Thursday (Sept. 12) in the Activity Center. And although Gators coach Laura Forbes admitted her players appeared to be a bit tired, she wasn’t about to use that as the reason for an 8-1 loss to visiting Phoenix Pinnacle.

“Pinnacle has a good team and our records were similar,’’ Forbes said. “We knew it was going to be a tough match. We were competitive, had some good rallies, but today, they came out on top.’’

Pinnacle raised its record to 5-1, while Xavier slipped to 3-2. In the JV match, Xavier edged Pinnacle 5-4.

Forbes said she would discuss some things her team can improve upon when they gather on Friday (Sept. 13) to prepare for the annual Forner Invitational at Phoenix Sunnyslope on Saturday (Sept. 14) beginning at 8 a.m.

Junior Lina Vanderwey, the No. 3 singles player, was the lone winner for Xavier. She defeated Pinnacle’s Chloe Strachan, 21-17, 19-21 and 21-19.


Arizona’s badminton teams are using a different scoring method this season than has been used in the past.

It is called the Rally System. It is being tested this season, and the coaches will vote after the season whether to continue to implement that format on a permanent basis or return to the Traditional System.

The Rally System is similar to volleyball, where a team can score a point whether it is serving or not. It has been used in national and international play since 2005. The Traditional System only allows the serving team to score. Under the Rally format, the winning team must score a minimum of 21 points.

Pinnacle 8, Xavier Prep 1


Sydney Boyd, P, def. Mayse Dunn, X, 21-12, 21-15; Morgan Rucker, P, def. Sophie Riviere, X, 16-21, 21-12, 22-20; Lina Vanderwey, X, def. Chloe Strachan, P, 21-17, 19-21, 21-19; Bella Williams, P, def. Zoe Barton, X, 21-9, 21-14; Sam Dirks, P, def. Alex Kockinis, X, 19-21, 21-19, 21-12; Emma Dorch, P, def. Mia Byrd, X, 21-15, 21-14.


Boyd-Rucker, P, def. Dunn-Vanderwey, X, 22-20, 21-14; Strachan-Williams, P, def. Riviere-Barton, X, 21-18, 20-22, 21-14; Dirks-Dorch, P, def. Kockinis-Byrd, X, 21-16, 21-16.

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