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 1, 2020

Badminton rebounds nicely after close loss

 Sometimes, a team’s character can be reflected not necessarily how it handles itself in victory, but how it responds to a narrow defeat.

In the case of Xavier Prep’s badminton team, it battled back from a 5-4 road setback against Mesa Red Mountain on Monday (Sept. 28) for a 7-2 win over visiting Mesa Skyline on Wednesday (Sept. 30) at the Activity Center.

“Our first two matches were close (5-4 win over Phoenix Pinnacle and the loss to Red Mountain), so this was nice for us to respond as we did,’’ said Xavier coach Laura Forbes. “We’re getting there. Even with our JV and exhibition players, you can see the improvement.’’

The Gators chalked up singles wins by Lina Vanderwey, Sophie Riviere, Lauren Etsitty, Malindi Kilb and Zoe Barton. Doubles victories went to the teams of Etsitty and Mia Velasco and Kilb and Barton.

The doubles wins were significant because Xavier and their opponent split their first two games before the Gators decisively took control in Game 3.

Xavier goes back out on the road on Thursday (Oct. 1) with a match against Chandler Hamilton.

Wednesday’s scores

Xavier Prep 7, Mesa Skyline 2


Lina Vanderwey, X, def. Dylaina Herrera, S, 21-17, 21-14; Sophie Riviere, X, def. Priscilla Mendoza, S, 21-15, 21-10; Lauren Etsitty, X, def. Emily Muir, S, 21-14, 21-19; Whitney Brown, S, def. Mia Velasco, X, 22-20, 20-22, 21-19; Malindi Kilb, X, def. Tore Burton, S, 21-23, 21-8, 21-10; Zoe Barton, X, def. Shadyn Russo, S, 21-19, 21-13.


Mendoza-Muir, S, def. Vanderwey-S. Riviere, X, 8-21, 21-15, 22-20; Etsitty-Velasco, X, def. Herrera-Russo, S, 21-19, 26-28, 21-13; Kilb-Barton, X, def. Brown-Burton, S, 21-6, 16-21, 21-11.

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