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.

Thursday, October 8, 2020

Badminton foe doesn't cower, it has power

 The new kids on the Division I badminton block are not cowering in the corner. They are a force to be reckoned with.

Phoenix Sunnyslope climbed up from Division II and appears to be a legitimate state championship contender.

The Vikings were methodically dominant in virtually every aspect of the game on Wednesday (Oct. 7), rolling to an 8-1 victory over host Xavier Prep at the Activity Center.

Sunnyslope, which won three D-II titles from 2016-18, raised its record to 8-1, losing only to powerful Gilbert Perry. Xavier, which dropped its second straight, stands at 3-3 entering an early 2 p.m. match against visiting Peoria Liberty on Thursday (Oct. 8).

“You can see why they (Sunnyslope) will be a factor at the top level,’’ said Xavier coach Laura Forbes. “They are tall, have good racquet discipline and their strategy is tough to go against.

“It was a good learning match for our team. That type of play is something we would like to work toward.’’

Xavier extended three of the singles matches to three games but could not break through.

The Gators’ top effort of the day was a 27-25, 21-19 victory by No. 5 singles player Malindi Kilb.

Sunnyslope 8, Xavier Prep 1


Sofia Lovesy, S, def. Lina Vanderwey, X, 21-18, 21-17. Maddie Schlesinger, S, def. Sophie Riviere, X, 12-21, 21-14, 21-18. Allison Rodriquez, S, def. Lauren Etsitty, X, 17-21, 21-12, 21-14. Rebecca Rodriquez, S, def. Mia Velasco, X, 19-21, 21-16, 21-14. Malindi Kilb, X, def. Maggie Bacon, S, 27-25, 21-19. Amber Coleman, S, def. Zoe Barton, X, 21-12, 21-5.


Bacon-Lovesy, S, def. S. Riviere-Vanderwey, 21-14, 21-17. A. Rodriquez-Schlesinger, S, def. Etsitty-Velasco, X, 21-15, 21-13. Coleman-R. Rodriquez, S, def. Barton-Kilb, X, 21-9, 21-13.

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