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, March 6, 2020

Improved beach play helps XCP win again

Two for two.

Xavier Prep’s beach volleyball team scored its second victory in as many matches on Friday (March 6), 4-1 over visiting Anthem Boulder Creek.

The Gators had defeated Chandler Basha by the same score a week ago and this time looked as though they had smoothed out some of the rough edges.

XCP excelled with good placement on its shots, choosing to not rely on a power game as much.

The only setback, if you could even call it that, was a loss by the No. 1 team of Abby Converse and Serena Turner. The pair lost the first game, battled back to win the second and narrowly missed coming back to earn an overall sweep for the team as Boulder Creek won 15-13.

“The Boulder Creek (No. 1 team) was absolutely amazing,’’ said Xavier coach Tim McHale. “Our girls played well also. It’s tough that somebody had to lose a match like that.’’

The coach altered a few of the pairs that played against Basha.

One involved senior Grace Lincoln, who had been out with an injury. She got the OK to get back out on the sand and was paired with freshman Lexi Yoza at No. 3. They looked strong, winning 21-13 and 21-12.

The No. 4 duo of sophomore Alexa Shiner and senior Tori Burton lost their first match, but rallied to win two in a row.

Xavier will now have 10 days to refine its skills even more in practice, not playing again until March 16 when it faces Chandler High at Queen Creek Casteel.

Xavier Prep 4, Boulder Creek 1

No. 1 – BC def. Abby Converse-Serena Turner, X, 23-21, 18-21, 15-13.

No. 2 – Analy Carbine-Katie Antony, X, def. BC, 22-20, 21-15.

No. 3 – Grace Lincoln-Lexi Yoza, X, def. BC, 21-13, 21-12.

No. 4 – Alexa Shiner-Tori Burton, X, def. BC, 13-21, 21-14, 15-10.

No. 5 – Zaira Reyes-Summer McCann, X, def. BC, 22-20, 21-15.

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