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 22, 2020

Xavier volleyball silences the Thunder

 If Xavier Prep goes on to bigger and better things in the 6A Conference state volleyball tournament, perhaps it can say that its effort on Wednesday night (Oct. 21) was a turning point.

The Gators, who had been swept in their two previous matches, took to the road against Phoenix Desert Vista and overcame a two-set deficit against the Ahwatukee school for a 3-2 victory.

Scores were (Xavier listed first): 25-19. 17-25, 23-25, 25-15 and 16-14.

Xavier raised its record to 7-5 while the Thunder fell to 7-3. On Thursday night (Oct. 22), Xavier will play its third match in as many nights when it travels to face Phoenix Sunnyslope, which lost its first match of the year on Wednesday night, a 3-0 sweep at the hands of Phoenix Sandra Day O’Connor.

After Xavier’s loss to Gilbert Perry on Tuesday night, Gators coach Lamar-Renee Bryant said her team needed a confidence-building win, and soon. XCP got that against Desert Vista.

Xavier got a fine all-around game from junior Tiffany Tellez, who had 14 kills, 3 blocks and 22 digs. Junior setter Alexa Shiner produced 53 assists and had 23 digs. And senior Phoebe Lewis was strong at the net with 15 kills.

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