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.

Saturday, November 7, 2020

Vanderwey, Riviere have big day at badminton tourney

 Xavier Prep seniors Lina Vanderwey and Sophie Riviere entered Saturday’s (Nov. 7) Division I state singles and doubles badminton competition as the No. 5 seed in doubles, and after a very busy day at Glendale Independence went home as the No. 4 team, quite an accomplishment!

Xavier's senior doubles team of Lina Vanderwey, left, and Sophie Riviere (Xavier photo).

The duo began the day with a 21-6, 21-9 victory over Chandler High’s Evelyn Gomez and Tegan Sanders. Next up was a quarterfinal match against Ellie Clarkson and Vicky Nguyen of Mesa Mountain View. Vanderwey and Riviere dropped the first game 21-18 but rebounded to earn the win with 21-11, 21-15 scores in the second and third games.

Top-seeded Nikhita Jayaraj and Ashley Rodarte of defending team champion Gilbert Perry were on their game against Vanderwey and Riviere in the semifinals, taking a 21-10, 21-7 victory. The Perry team went on to defeat No. 6 seed Tricia Despain and Hannah Doyle of Chandler Basha for the title, 21-11, 19-21 and 21-11.

Xavier had one more to go, the consolation game. The girls faced Emiko Pham and Avery Roland of Scottsdale Chaparral. Vanderwey and Riviere took the first game 21-18 but fell in the next two by identical 21-16 scores.

Vanderwey and Riviere aren’t done yet with their season, however. They will join their Gator teammates on Monday at 6 p.m. with a first-round state team tournament match at Phoenix Pinnacle.

If Xavier defeats Pinnacle as it did in the regular-season opener, the Gators would advance to the next round on Tuesday night against Perry or Tempe Corona del Sol.


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