The start of the 2020 tennis season is almost here, and Xavier Prep appears to have the necessary ingredients to produce a second straight Division I state championship and 20th overall.
of the most noteworthy story lines involve senior Emily Even and sophomore Ryan
sharing doubles state runner-up finishes with Jordan Craft in 2017 and Erica
Stutz in 2018, Even returns for her final XCP season after sitting out 2019
with back issues. With the help of physical therapy and other treatments, Even
is ready to go.
“I am back,
and this is important for me,’’ said Even, one of four seniors with Lorelei
Glidden, Stutz and McKenzie Virden.
she still is managing some pain, but exercises in the morning help push her
“I have been
hitting for a few months now, my serve and my forehand are much better and I’m
looking forward to being in a competitive situation.’’
open its season on Thurday (Feb. 26) with a home match at Stark Tennis Center
against Mesa Mountain View.
uncertain whether Even will play singles and doubles from the get-go or whether
she will wait to try more than one until she and coach Laurie Martin feel
comfortable with the idea.
not be paired with Stutz in doubles, and Stutz’s playing partner likely will be
sophomore Ryan Kershner, who also is expected to be No. 1 in singles.
doubles placements, Martin said, “There are a lot of different combinations.’’
impressed with Kershner’s play as a freshman last season, and said Kershner
“continues to grow in her game.’’
like nothing more than to win a state title before she heads off to college
next year. She isn’t sure of the school yet, but would like to study computer
like yesterday when we first started out as freshmen. We (seniors) want to soak
in our last season,’’ Even said.
expected to go on and play collegiately at Hamilton in upstate New York, near
policy appears to be her main interest. Could that lead to a career in politics
some day, perhaps winding up on a debate stage?
never know,’’ she said with a laugh.
tennis here at Xavier has been great. It has helped me make a lot of
“I think I
have gotten better overall, I think we all have. Winning state last year helped
give us more confidence and we are all excited about it.’’
teams expected to challenge the Gators this spring are Scottsdale Chaparral, Scottsdale
Desert Mountain and Chandler Hamilton.
some good teams out there, and that’s what makes it fun,’’ Martin said.
2020 Xavier Prep tennis
Head coach – Laurie Martin. Assistants – Amy Gallo, Wendy McDaniel, Ford Oliver, Joy Rodey.
Seniors – *Emily Even, *Lorelei Glidden,
*Erica Stutz, *McKenzie Virden.
Juniors – Caroline Brewer, *Emilia
Chrostowski, Brooke Wiley.
Sophomores – *Victoria Chrostowski, Caroline
Cobb, *Katelyn Cowan, Lily Gabler, Emily Lunt, *Ryan Kershner, Piper Kilb,
Nataly Oviatt, Elena Titus, Halston Yerxa.
Freshmen – Riley Dowdall, Sophia Kleingartner,
Alissen Orrego, Olivia Taylor, Maria Wolowiecki, *Nyla Vranic.