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.

Tuesday, September 22, 2020

Badminton rescued by doubles teams to start season

 Laura Forbes was looking for competitive match against visiting Phoenix Pinnacle to begin her second season as Xavier Prep’s badminton coach in Tuesday’s (Sept. 22) regular-season opener against Phoenix Pinnacle.

And the Gators won 5-4, rescued by two doubles victories.

“It was a great win,’’ said Forbes.

The all-senior front line group began the afternoon with singles victories by No. 1 player Lina Vanderwey (22-20 and 21-11) and No. 2 Sophie Riviere (21-13, 20-22, 21-13. No. 3 Lauren Etsitty, No. 4 Mia Velasco and No. 5 Malindi Kilb fell short in their singles matches before No. 6 Zoe Barton evened the match at 3 with a 21-4, 21-17 triumph.

Vanderwey and Riviera teamed up in the top doubles match. They started well against the Firebirds’ Chloe Strachan and Bella Williams, scoring a 21-13 win in the first game but fell victim to a Chaparral rally to fall in the last two, 21-14 and 22-20.

Velasco and Etsitty rallied after dropping the first game 21-11 to come away with 23-21 and 24-22 wins. And Kilb and Barton put the Gators over the top with a 21-18, 21-12 win.

Xavier will play next at the Firebird Invitational on Saturday (Sept. 26) hosted by Scottsdale Chaparral. Then Xavier goes on the road on Monday (Sept. 28) to face Mesa Red Mountain.

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