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, October 16, 2020

Swarming with seniors, XCP badminton wins

 In what seemed like a cast of thousands, Xavier Prep honored its elder badminton players on Thursday (Oct. 15) with its annual Senior Day.

The cast was bigger than normal, because all six of its top players (Lina Vanderwey, Sophie Riviere, Lauren Etsitty, Mia Velasco, Malindi Kilb and Zoe Barton), along with managers Jillian Brown and Sienna Martinez, are seniors.

The Gators responded with an impressive 8-1 victory over Chandler High, giving them a 5-4 overall record.

For awhile, the season appeared to be in jeopardy with all of the confusion that was the result of the invasion of the Corona virus.

“They (players) didn’t know if they were going to miss a lot of the senior experience,’’ said Xavier coach Laura Forbes.

“We needed this, because there are a lot of good teams in our region (Premier). We came out flat against (Chandler) Basha (on Wednesday) and we came out strong today. It was nice to get that energy back.’’

The Gators were energetic from the get-go and appeared to be unaffected at even the smallest hint of a challenge from the Wolves.

Xavier has two road matches in the coming week – at Gilbert Perry on Tuesday (Oct. 20) and at Tempe Corona del Sol on Wednesday (Oct. 21).

Xavier Prep 8, Chandler 1


Lina Vanderwey, X, def. Mattie Shumaker, C, 21-18, 21-10. Sophie Riviere, X, def. Tegan Sanders, C, 21-13, 21-18. Katie DeDakis, C, def. Lauren Etsitty, X, 11-21, 22-20, 21-16. Mia Velasco, X, def. Evelyn Gomez, C, 22-20, 21-6. Malindi Kilb, X, def. Adamaris Lopez Morales, C, 21-12, 21-5. Zoe Barton, X, def. Sabina Guzman, C, 21-11, 21-5.


Vanderwey-S. Riviere, X, def. Sanders-Gomez, C, 21-10, 21-15. Etsitty-Velasco, X, def. DeDakis-Shumaker, C, 21-15, 21-15. Kilb-Barton, X, def. Guzman-Lopez Morales, C, 21-13, 21-8.

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