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, November 5, 2020

XCP swept by Hamilton again, awaits final ranking

 A 3-0 volleyball sweep at the hands of Chandler Hamilton on Wednesday night (Nov. 4) was not exactly how Xavier Prep’s Gators wanted to finish the regular season. But now the Gators will have next week to put that and a previous 3-0 sweep by Hamilton aside as the Division I state tournament moves into focus.

At midday on Thursday (Nov. 5), Xavier was listed at No. 7 in the Arizona Interscholastic Association’s power points rankings. The top eight will automatically qualify for the state tournament, and the next 16 will have “play-in’’ games on Tuesday (Nov. 10) to determine which eight teams will move into the “real’’ tournament that begins Nov. 14.

Xavier (9-6) had been playing improved ball of late before meeting Hamilton, which would finish at 13-2 and stand No. 2 behind Premier Region rival Gilbert Perry (15-0).

Hamilton-Xavier scores from Wednesday (Hamilton listed first): 25-15, 25-21, 25-17.

Noteworthy numbers for the Gators: junior Tiffany Tellez, 10 kills; only 2 service aces (one by Tellez); only 3 blocks (2 by junior Bella Sinacori); 27 digs by senior libero Kaori Robertson and 17 digs by junior Emma Soderstrom; and 25 assists by junior setter Alexa Shiner.

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