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.

Wednesday, November 11, 2020

XCP v-ball faces Corona del Sol, tickets limited

 Xavier Prep will open the 6A Conference state volleyball tournament on Saturday (Nov. 14) with a home match against Tempe Corona del Sol. First serve is 1 p.m. at the Activity Center.

Xavier (9-6) is the eighth and final team to avoid a “play-in game’’ on Monday (Nov. 9) and is seeded No. 8. Corona del Sol, meanwhile, is 8-6 as the No. 9 seed and defeated Mesa Red Mountain in a play-in game. Xavier and Corona del Sol met late during the regular season on Nov. 3 and the Gators came away with a 3-1 victory.

The number of tickets for Saturday is very restricted due to Covid. Details about tickets and viewing it through the NFHS Network will be released on Thursday (Nov. 12). Check the Arizona Interscholastic Association Web site,

The Gators and Aztecs have had a long history of playing very competitive contests in the state tournament.

The winner of Saturday’s match will advance to a quarterfinal on Tuesday night (Nov. 17) with top-seeded Gilbert Perry (15-0) likely serving as the host team. Perry faces No. 16 seed Glendale Mountain Ridge on Saturday in a first-round match.

Perry and Xavier met twice during the regular season as Premier Region rivals, and Perry swept the Gators 3-0 in both matches, the most recent on Oct. 20 at Xavier.

Xavier’s top players are junior setter Alexa Shiner, senior libero Kaori Robertson, junior middle blocker Bella Sinacori and senior middle blocker Phoebe Lewis. The team also has two strong junior outside hitters, Tiffany Tellez and Emma Soderstrom.

Chandler Basha, the 14th seed, is the defending state champion, having defeated Perry in 2019. Another team to watch is Phoenix Sunnyslope, which moved up from 5A. Sunnyslope has won seven straight state titles between 5A and its earlier appearance in 6A.

6A Conference state tournament schedule

First round, Saturday, Nov. 14

(Seedings in parentheses)

All games, 6:30 p.m., unless noted.

Glendale Mountain Ridge (16) at Gilbert Perry (1), Tempe Corona del Sol (9) at Xavier Prep (8), 1 p.m. Surprise Valley Vista (12) at Phoenix Sandra Day O’Connor (5), Queen Creek (13) at Mesa Mountain View (4), Chandler Basha (14) at Gilbert Highland (3), Phoenix Sunnyslope (11) at Phoenix Pinnacle (6), Chandler High (10) at Phoenix Desert Vista (7), Peoria Liberty (15) at Chandler Hamilton (2).

Quarterfinals, Tuesday, Nov. 17

Matches at high seeds, 6:30 p.m.

Semifinals, Thursday, Nov. 19

Matches at high seeds, 6:30 p.m.

State championship, Saturday, Nov. 21

7 p.m. at Gilbert Mesquite

Play-in results

Tuesday, Nov. 10

Tempe Corona del Sol def. Mesa Red Mountain, Peoria Liberty def. Mesa Desert Ridge, Chandler Basha def. Scottsdale Chaparral, Phoenix Sunnyslope def. Surprise Shadow Ridge, Glendale Mountain Ridge def. Tucson Rincon/University, Surprise Valley Vista def. Mesa High, Queen Creek def. Tucson High, Chandler High def. Mesa Westwood.

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