Bio

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 AIA365.com, the web site of the Arizona Interscholastic Association.

Friday, April 30, 2021

Softball smacks 2 HRs, runs away from Westwood

 Xavier Prep’s softball team is entering the final stretch of the 2021 regular season.

The Gators rebounded from their second loss of the season to Chandler Hamilton on Wednesday (April 27) with a 17-0 road victory in five innings over Mesa Westwood on Thursday (April 28).

Xavier (12-2) got a solid pitching effort from sophomore Zoe Zowine, who gave up two hits, walked five and struck out 11.

The Gators also got home runs from freshman Sofia Zielinski and junior Bridget Donahey and three RBIs from senior Jazmin Andrade. And XCP also got help from the Westwood defense, which committed nine errors

Xavier, still No. 1 in the most recent release of the Arizona Interscholastic Association’s power points list, was due to face Phoenix Mountain Pointe on Friday (April 30), but that contest was canceled.

That leaves three games in three consecutive days next week to finish out the regular season. Two are on the road and one will be at home.

The first game comes on Monday (May 3) at Mesa Red Mountain, with a 6:30 p.m. start. That will be followed by another night game on Tuesday (May 4), the Gators’ final home game against Phoenix Sandra Day O’Connor at 6:30. And the finale on Wednesday (May 5) will be an afternoon contest (3:45) at Phoenix Pinnacle.


Thursday, April 29, 2021

Beach players ready for another fun ride at state

 Xavier Prep’s Gators would prefer that their ride in the Division I state beach volleyball tournament be as smooth as possible.

They are, however, realistic enough to figure that it might not end up that way – more like in an all-terrain vehicle with quite a few bumps, twists and turns, and maybe even a few surprises.

So with that in mind, are you ready to ride along?

The fun starts on Monday (May 3), just five short days after the Gators finished off their unbeaten regular season (12-0) with a 4-1 victory over visiting Chandler Basha at XCP’s Cavanaugh Family Courts on Thursday (April 28). And one day before that, on Wednesday (April 27), the Gartors defeated Buckeye Verrado 5-0, at Xavier.

Xavier, which has won seven of eight state titles (the 2020 tournament was not played due to Covid), will begin play at home against No. 16 seed Gilbert Campo Verde (9-3). The winner advances to the quarterfinals on May 5.

“It was a typical season, all season long, with little bits of chaos along the way, but we were able to get through it,’’ said Tim McHale, who has been Xavier’s coach for five of the titles and won four indoor crowns at XCP from 2007-10.

Seven of the victories went by the 5-0 route, two by 4-1 scores and one with a 3-2 finish.

 “The girls have gotten better and can appreciate what they have accomplished,’’ McHale said.

But he does not want his players to forget “what got us here in the first place, and that means working on all of the little things as well as the bigger ones.’’

It might have seemed to some that the score against Basha was somewhat easy, but McHale dismissed that idea.

“Basha has a good team,’’ he said. “Most of the games were pretty close, and even when we had the match won (the first four pairs won), their kids stood up and supported the No. 1s against our No. 1s.’’

That would be Basha’s Haley Carrington and Meghan O’Maera and Haley Carrington against XCP’s Serena Turner and Summer McCann. The Xavier duo won the first game, but Basha came back to win the next two.

“They (Basha) weren’t about to give up,’’ McHale said. “It was a reminder for us.’’

Carrington, in particular, has had plenty of success. She was a part of Basha’s indoor state title team in the fall of 2019 and was state runner-up in beach pairs with Sam Drewery in the spring of 2019.

And it might not have been the last time that Xavier will see the Bears this season. They are the fifth seed in Division I and on the same side of the bracket as Gators.

High school beach volleyball in Arizona has grown exponentially since its inaugural season in 2012 and now features 76 teams. One of those teams on the rise is Campo Verde, which posted a 9-3 record in the regular season.

Note

McHale also is an assistant beach coach at Ottawa University in Surprise, and the team just wrapped up its second straight American Volleyball Coaches Association Small College title with a win over Vanguard University from Costa Mesa, Calif.

Congrats, Coach McHale !!

Wednesday’s result

Xavier Prep 4, Basha 1

No. 1 pairing – Meghan O’Meara-Haley Carrington, B, def. Serena Turner-Summer McCann, X, 14-21, 21-15, 15-11.

No. 2 pairing – Landree Coats-Lexi Yoza, X, def. Madison Carrington-Macey Camacho, B, 21-12, 21-17.

No. 3 pairing – Katie Anthony-Zaira Reyes, X, def. Chloe Murakami-Maddie Malinas, B, 21-13, 15-21, 15-8.

No. 4 pairing – Alexa Shiner-Tiffany Tellez, X, def. Ryenne Belt-Bryanna Murdock, B, 21-14, 21-14.

No. 5 pairing – Trinity Tran-Mei Tsou, X, def. Brooke Abel-Hayden Rosales, B, 21-9, 22-20.

Division I state tournament bracketing/seeding

(Seedings in parentheses)

First round, Monday, May 3

All games, 4:30 p.m.

Gilbert Campo Verde (16) at Xavier Prep (1), Mesa Mountain View (9) at Goodyear Millennium (8), Gilbert High (12) at Chandler Basha (5), Oro Valley Ironwood Ridge (13) at Tempe Corona del Sol (4), Mesa Desert Ridge (14) at Phoenix Sandra Day O’Connor (3), Surprise Valley Vista (11) at Glendale Mountain Ridge (6), Scottsdale Desert Mountain (10) at Phoenix Desert Vista (7), Buckeye Verrado (15) at Gilbert Perry (2).

Wednesday, April 28, 2021

Tennis dominant in first round, will host quarter

 The 2021 Division I state team tennis tournament began in dominating fashion for Xavier Prep on Tuesday (April 27), as the third-seeded Gators rolled to a 5-0 victory over No. 14 seed Peoria Sunrise Mountain at XCP’s Stark Tennis Center.

Each of Xavier’s five singles players won by 6-0, 6-0 scores, eliminating the need for doubles to be played (first team to five points).

Highlight for the Gators was the return of junior Ryan Kershner to the No. 1 singles spot after nursing a nagging injury for most of the season.

“It was a good win for us, and good to have Ryan back out there,’’ said Xavier coach Laurie Martin.

Xavier (13-2) moves on to the quarterfinals for another match at home, this time against No. 6 seed Mesa Mountain View on May 4. Mountain View is 11-3 and lost 8-1 to Xavier on March 31 at Mountain View.

In the interim, the Gators turn their attention to the singles and doubles portion of the state tournament. Those first-round matches will be held on Friday (April 30) at the Mesa Tennis Center in Gene Autry Park.

Xavier will have the No. 3 doubles seed of freshmen Dani Dyer and Belani Soto. Their match against Phoenix Desert Vista’s Emi Ito and Tahlia Peper will begin at 1:30 p.m.

In singles, junior Victoria Chrostowski will face Gilbert Perry’s Avery Jones at 9 a.m. Freshman Megan Wheeling is due to meet Perry’s Ashley Wellik at 10:30 a.m., but might have to withdraw due to an injury.

First-round results

Xavier Prep 5, Sunrise Mountain 0

Singles

Ryan Kershner, X, def. Megan Walsh, SM, 6-0, 6-0.

Danielle Dyer, X, def. Zoe Fonnett, SM, 6-0, 6-0.

Victoria Chrostowski, X, def. Taylor Tillman, SM, 6-0, 6-0.

Emilia Chrostowski, X, def. Melissa Margiotta, SM, 6-0, 6-0.

Sophia Kleingartner, X, def. Jaycee Meeks, SM, 6-0, 6-0.

Team scores

(Seedings in parentheses)

Scottsdale Desert Mountain (1) 5, Laveen Cesar Chavez (16) 0; Tucson Rincon/University (9) 6, Chandler Basha (8) 3; Phoenix Desert Vista (5)  5, Glendale Mountain Ridge (12) 1; Scottsdale Chaparral (4) 5, Goodyear Millennium (13) 0; Xavier Prep (3) 5, Peoria Sunrise Mountain (14) 0; Mesa Mountain View (6) 5, Phoenix Pinnacle (11) 4; Gilbert Perry (7) 5, Tempe Corona del Sol (10) 2; Chandler Hamilton (2) 5, Yuma Gila Ridge (15) 0.

Quarterfinal schedule

All matches on May 4 at 3 p.m.

Rincon/University at Desert Mountain, Desert Vista at Chaparral, Mountain View at Xavier Prep, Perry at Hamilton.


Lacrosse wins 5th straight, 2 left in regular season

 Xavier Prep’s club lacrosse team is trying to finish its regular season with a flourish.

The Gators scored a season-high 23 goals on Tuesday (April 27) for a 23-7 Arizona Girls Lacrosse Association Division 2 victory over visiting Scottsdale Desert Mountain at Petznick Field. Xavier has now won five in a row to raise its record to 7-5.

It was the final home game of the regular season for XCP and now the Gators will play two road games to wrap up the regular season, on Thursday (April 29) at Cave Creek Cactus Shadows and Friday (April 30) at Gilbert Higley.

The AGLA is expected to have some initial tournament matches early next week, with finals on April 7. More information will be forthcoming once the regular season has been completed.

Tuesday, April 27, 2021

Frosh has great deal of promise for XCP track

 

Another well-rounded track athlete is in our midst at Xavier Prep. Freshman Tatiyana Angry has the chance to become one of the most decorated competitors in the school’s history by the time she is ready to graduate.

That is high praise, indeed, but Angry believes she is up to the task. She already seems to have the ability and confidence of an older person.

She has been in sprints and relays, and now appears to be focusing on mid-range events such as the 400 meters and the 300-meter hurdles. She expects to compete in the Northeast Valley Region meet on May 3 and 5 at Phoenix Horizon and hopes to be in one or more events at the Division I state meet on May 12 and 15 at Phoenix Desert Vista.

“I enjoy the 400 and the 300 hurdles,’’ said Angry, who goes by “Tati’’ to most who know her. “The first few times I did those, I surprised myself.’’

Tatiyana Angry is a promising do-just-about-everything track athlete for Xavier (Photo by Don Ketchum).

She is in her fourth year of track after having played soccer. She said her father, Travis, a youth sports coach and motivational speaker, “along with some other coaches noticed that I have a lot of speed. So they got me out on the track, like a fast car.’’

Since coming to Xavier, Angry says she has developed good relationships with her teammates.

“There are so many girls out here who work hard and have put up some good times, I give them props,’’ said. “All of them seem to have things that they do very well, strength, speed endurance . . .’’

Angry attended elementary/middle school at a charter school near her home in Goodyear. She already has some experience with advanced placement classes in the sciences and has excelled in those environments.

“That helped me when I came here to Xavier,’’ she said.

“You want to be serious about it, but you also want to have fun. That’s what I try to do. I think if you pay attention and ask questions, you will do just fine.’’

She is the oldest of seven children, so there is plenty of interaction.

Like her classmates, Angry is trying to get back to normal after everyone was affected by the Covid pandemic.

“I don’t like anything holding me back like that,’’ she said. “I have tried to deal with it, and those masks . . . sometimes they make it harder for you to breathe.’’

All of the Gators support each other, she said, and notice little things a teammate might be doing or not doing that might help them by doing the opposite or being more consistent.

“You can always do better, but I am proud of the season we have had,’’ she said. “You want to push each other and encourage them to not give up when it gets tough. I try to be the best I can be and want to look back and say that I gave everything that I had.’’

 

 

Gator softball hasn't found a way to stop Hamilton

 There is no need to use algorithms, hieroglyphics or lengthy mathematical formulas to figure this one out.

The answer is simple . . .

Chandler Hamilton has got Xavier Prep’s number.

No matter what Xavier has tried to do against Hamilton on the softball field this spring, very little has worked. It’s one of those things – a team can beat virtually anyone else in the world except for this particular foe.

The first time was on April 6, when Hamilton handed the Gators their first loss of the season, 6-4, at XCP’s Petznick Field.

The second time on Monday (April 26) was even more decisive when Hamilton unleashed 14 hits, four of them home runs, to account for Xavier’s second loss, 13-7, at Hamilton.

It appeared initially that Xavier (11-2) might drop from the top spot on the Arizona Interscholastic Association’s power points list, but the Gators remained No. 1 on Tuesday (April 27) and again on Wednesday (April 28). Hamilton (12-5) now has won nine in a row in a streak that began with the first win at Xavier. The Huskies climbed briefly to No. 2 on Tuesday before settling in at No. 4 on Wednesday behind Queen Creek and Phoenix Sunnyslope.

It appeared that the Gators might be able to avoid a sweep when they scored three runs right off the bat in the first inning on a two-run homer by junior Bridget Donahey and a solo shot by senior Macy Lee for a 3-0 lead. The inning was then cut short when an XCP baserunner was caught in a rundown between second base and shortstop.

Hamilton got those runs back and then some with six runs in the second. Kelly Downs led off the inning with a home run and Kate Vance slugged a three-run homer to fan the flames against Xavier junior ace Riley Flynn.

Xavier tied it at 6 in the third on an RBI single by Donahey off an infielder’s glove, and a two-run single to left-center by junior Elliot Smith on the first pitch she saw.

The Hamilton lead went to 8-6 in the fourth and 13-7 in the fifth. Flynn gave Xavier its seventh run when she led off the top of the fifth with a homer.

The Gators did not help their cause with five errors, including a costly one in the second when the shortstop and second baseman brushed against each other and allowed a pop fly to drop near second base. That would have been the third out of the inning, but Vance, the next better, connected for the three-run homer.

In the third, a Gator baserunner was called out at third base when it was ruled that she interfered with the third baseman’s attempt to catch the ball on a sharply hit line drive along the foul line, the two making slight contact.

Donahey and Lee led the Gators with three hits each and Smith had two.

Xavier travels to Mesa on Thursday (April 29) for a game at Westwood.


Monday, April 26, 2021

Chura, Campbell among azcentral soccer honorees

 It’s no stretch at all to say that Xavier Prep’s Barb Chura did one of her best coaching jobs for the Gators during the recently completed soccer season.

She was able to mix returning players with former players coming back from duty at soccer academies.

The Gators seemed to get better each time out and it culminated with the school’s 11th big-school state championship in a 2-0 triumph over perennial powerhouse Scottsdale Chaparral.

Adding to the accomplishment was that XCP did it as the No. 5 seed, defeating No. 12 Tucson High, No. 4 Gilbert Highland, No. 1 Gilbert Perry and No. 3 Chaparral in the finale.

And it’s no stretch at all to say that Xavier senior Jaden Campbell was one of the top goalkeepers in the state and a primary reason why the Gators were able to hoist the trophy.

Chura and Campbell have been honored by The Arizona Republic/azcentral.com, Chura as Coach of the Year and Campbell as one of 12 selections on the media outlet’s All-Arizona Team.


Xavier soccer coach Barb Chura, top, and goalkeeper Jaden Campbell (Xavier photos).

Those on the All-Arizona Team are eligible for the Player of the Year honor, which will be announced at the annual Sports Awards event on July 15.

XCP sophomores Eva Allen and Bella Leonard were listed as Honorable Mention selections.

Xavier has won six titles under Chura’s leadership. She also gets key input from longtime assistant coach Rafael Rios. Xavier finished with a 10-2-1 record this season.

“It was a tremendous honor to be selected for this award,’’ Chura said. “I think what it means is that I am very fortunate to coach young women who are exceptional soccer players, great students, and amazing people. I am grateful to work at a place like Xavier where the administration supports you and the team 100 percent and provides what you need to be successful.

“The season was incredible, one of the best in all of my 18 years of coaching. The greatest challenge was Covid-19, but our team did an amazing job of adhering to protocols and guidelines to keep everyone safe. I believe the postseason run was one of the best I have been a part of.’’

Campbell recorded six shutouts, surrendered just four goals all season and finished with 96 saves. She has signed a letter of intent to study and play at Benedictine University in Mesa.

She was one of the team’s bigger and stronger players and her agility was a key element of her success.

“Jaden was sensational this year, especially during the playoffs,’’ Chura said. “This is when you need to be playing your best and I believe she was the best goalkeeper in the tournament.

“She was an amazing captain and provided excellent leadership throughout the entire season. She was very determined to win a state championship this year and it was something we discussed during the regular season. Jaden put the work in each day at practice and it paid off in the end. She was a big piece to us winning  the state championship.’’

Allen was the team’s top scorer with nine goals and had six assists. Leonard nearly matched those numbers with eight goals and three assists.

Leonard’s name will forever be etched in Xavier folklore as the result of her last-second overtime goal to defeat Gilbert Perry 1-0 in the semifinals. It came from about 40 yards away near the right sideline, dropped just beyond the Perry goalkeeper’s reach and into the back of the net. The goal was recognized by ESPN as one of the top plays of the day and was shown on nationwide TV.

“Being on the Top 10 ESPN sports highlights when we knocked out No. 1 seed Perry is something I will forever remember,’’ Chura said.


Sunday, April 25, 2021

Here comes the sun, here comes Gator lacrosse

 That big, yellow round thing up in the sky was the sun.

And it was hot.

But maybe not as hot as Xavier Prep’s club lacrosse team.

In a rare day duel on Saturday (April 24), the Gators won their fourth Arizona Girls Lacrosse Association match 21-13 against visiting Phoenix Horizon at Petznick Field.

And not even the water cannons designed to help clean the artificial turf and lessen the impacts of the heat could cool off the Gators during the halftime break, when the temperature stood at 90 degrees.

With the four straight wins, Xavier inched over the .500 mark to 6-5 in the AGLA’s Division 2 standings, while Horizon slipped to 5-6. Xavier also defeated Horizon 11-7 on April 14 at North Phoenix Prep.

Xavier led 11-8 at halftime on Saturday and scored the first five goals of the second half to gain control. The Gators went on to surpass the 20-goal mark in a game for the first time this season.

Co-head coaches Jen Nevatt and Diana Oduhlo and assistant Clay Zuba and their players are thrilled with the way the team is playing, but at the same time realize they can’t afford any complacency.

“When we play aggressively, we are giving ourselves more opportunities to score,’’ Nevatt said. “That includes the defense being aggressive.’’

It is a matter of maintaining possession of the ball, Oduhlo said.

“When we maintain possession, we have more opportunities and that means the other team doesn’t,’’ she said.

Six players scored for the Gators, all with two goals or more.

They were led by freshman McKenna Boyer, with five goals, and sophomore Keilani Hong and freshman Marlee McCloskey getting four each. Other scorers were sophomore Gigi Riviere (three), sophomore Joan Walton (three) and junior Gabby Celtruda (two).

“It has been a good month for us,’’ Hong said. “We are taking the initiative. We are a lot better off the draw.’’

When the season began, there were quite a few new players coming in, and it took some time for them to become comfortable with each other as well as the returnees.

“We’re more of a team now,’’ Boyer said. “That creates reliability in each other. And it motivates us. This was a big win for us.’’

Said senior defender Bella Giannini, “At the beginning, we had a mixed skill level. But we were able to build a good bond, be more consistent, and it led to today, when we had our first game over 20 (goals). If we can keep this going, that should put us in a good spot for the tournament.’’

The Gators have three matches left in the regular season.

The first will be the team’s final home contest, on Tuesday (April 27) against Scottsdale Desert Mountain.  A Thursday (April 29) match at Cave Creek Cactus Shadows would be next, followed by the finale at Gilbert Higley on Friday (April 30).


Saturday, April 24, 2021

Gator softball feels right at home on Sunnyslope field

 When the Covid outbreak loosened its grip somewhat and it became apparent that spring sports would get the go-ahead to be played in Arizona, it provided a challenge for the schedule-makers and those in charge of lining up facilities at schools.

Winter sports, nearing their playoff time, took precedence as far as any of the facilities overlaps were concerned. The spring sports were in the process of team tryouts and preseason practices.

At Xavier Prep, the beautiful all-purpose Petznick Field, soccer was the sport of the day, going on to win the Division I state championship. Softball, one of the other tenants, more or less had to fend for itself. That meant scheduling its work at another school with a more relaxed schedule.

So the softball team reached an agreement for tryouts and preseason practices to be held at Phoenix Sunnyslope, about five miles north of the XCP campus. Sunnyslope, with one of the nicer fields in the Valley, would practice at one time and Xavier another, mostly at night.

In a trade-off, Sunnyslope’s beach volleyball team was allowed to practice and play a handful of games at Xavier’s Cavanaugh Courts while the City of Phoenix was doing work on beach courts in north Phoenix near Sunnyslope.

The exchanges worked, particularly for softball.

The Gators and Vikings rose to the heights among 6A Conference teams during the regular season that is entering its final stages.

And it just so happened that the two teams met on Friday night (April 23), and when top-ranked Xavier walked onto the field to meet the No. 2 Vikings, it almost seemed like a home away from home.

Xavier rode a strong pitching performance by junior Riley Flynn and got a titanic, two-run home run by junior Bridget Donahey, holding off a late-game surge by ‘Slope for a 6-3 victory.

Xavier climbed to 11-1, while ‘Slope slipped to 11-3.

“They (‘Slope) have a good team. We knew we would have to play a full game against them,’’ said Xavier coach Brad Downes.

The teams were locked in a scoreless duel for the first three innings, Flynn against Vikings junior star Sam Hildebrandt.

Xavier broke the seal with three runs in the top of the fourth, two coming on Donahey’s home run that was so high and deep that it still might not have returned to Earth, even as we speak. The third run came on a fielder’s choice grounder by senior Jazmin Andrade.

Donahey made it 4-0 in the fifth with a sacrifice fly.

Moving into the bottom of the sixth, Flynn had not given up a hit and had 14 strikeouts when the door opened for ‘Slope.

Flynn struck out the first two batters, but gave up the first hit to Jordan McMahon, followed by Taylor Nilsen’s two-run homer and a solo shot by Maddie Udall.

Clinging to a 4-3 lead entering the seventh, Xavier opened up some breathing room on a run-scoring double to the left-field corner by freshman Sofia Zielinski and a bloop single to right-center by freshman Lauren Putz that fell between three or four defenders trying to make a play.

Flynn returned to what got her there in the seventh, retiring the leadoff hitter on a pop fly to junior second baseman Meghan Schouten and recording strikeout Nos. 15 and 16 to end it.

Downes said he is hopeful that the close battle will help the Gators maintain their focus for their next game, on Monday (April 26) at Chandler Hamilton.

The Huskies pinned the only loss on Xavier’s record on April 6 with a 6-4 triumph at Xavier. Hamilton was 3-5 at that point but since has gone 7-0 to become a contender.


Friday, April 23, 2021

Gators like "Dutch'' track & field very much

 The Xavier Prep track and field team had an effort in the Fr. Harry “Dutch’’ Olivier Friendship Invitational on Wednesday (April 21) and Thursday (April 22) that might be considered one of the team’s best of the season.

A good time for it, to be sure, with the Division I state meet approaching on May 12 and 15.

Xavier tallied 158 points to sit atop of the team list. Phoenix Desert Vista was next with 110, followed by Gilbert Williams Field with 101 ½, Phoenix Mountain Pointe with 85 ½, Waddell Canyon View with 82, Phoenix Barry Goldwater with 19, Chandler Hamilton with 6, Phoenix St. Mary’s with 5 and Maricopa High with 1.

In the event at the Brophy Sports Campus, Xavier had athletes compete in two divisions – the Invitational and the Open.

Xavier had a number of first-place finishers.

Invitational – Lordes Lauterborn (high jump), Reyna Silva (1,600-meter run) and Naomi Young (800-meter run).

Open – Tatum Goforth (1,600-meter run) and Jamie Stelnik (3,200-meter run).

Complete Xavier results

Invitational high jump – Lordes Lauterborn, 1st, 4-08 (fewer misses); Mackenzie Lopez, 2nd, 4-08.

Invitational shot put – Callie Ehmann, 4th, 24-00; Layla Torres, 9th, 20-06; Rylie Wood, 12th, 19-10; Aubrey Clark, 13th, 19-07.

Open shot put – Elena Soderstrom, 3rd, 27-07; Bethany Barnwell, 4th, 25-04.

Invitational 4x800 relay – Xavier “B” 1st, 11:20.24; Xavier “A’’ 2nd, 11:34.56.

Open 4x800 relay – Xavier “A’’ 4th, 11:33.50.

Invitational 100-meter hurdles – Grace McClelland, 9th, 20.08; Morgan Finch, 11th, 20.55.

Open 100-meter hurdles – Mia Portillo, 2nd, 20:29.

Invitational 100-meter dash – Madigan Moran, 3rd, 13.37; Bella Gomez, 5th, 13.65; Ava Sharett, 11th, 13.90.

Open 100-meter dash – Reese Brown, 6th, 14.21; Kylie Graf, 8th, 14.27.

Invitational 1,600-meter run – Reyna Silva, 1st, 5:46.88; Olivia Charles, 2nd, 5:58.53; Summer Goodman, 3rd, 6:08.23; Emily Manuelito, 4th, 6:11.86.

Open 1,600-meter run – Tatum Goforth, 1st, 5:22.53; Hannah Wheeling, 2nd, 5:25.23; Macarthy Mahoney, 3rd, 5:26.10; Catherine Alaimo, 4th, 5:33.99; Karime Morales, 6th, 5:57.17.

Invitational 400-meter run – Lordes Lauterborn, 2nd, 1:02.88; Bella Gomez, 3rd, 1:03.91; Kylie Graf, 6th, 1:05.89; Reese Brown, 7th, 1:05.96.

Open 400-meter run – Callie Ehmann, 5th, 1:05.87; Grace Kline, 9th, 1:06.79; Sejal Patel, 10th, 1:08.73.

Invitational 300-meter hurdles – Tatiyana Angry, 2nd, 49.42; Collins Entz, 5th, 52.68; Morgan Finch, 9th, 55.06; Grace McClelland, 12th, 1:03.56.

Open 300-meter hurdles – Mia Portillo, 5th, 54.80; Cecilia Yanes, 7th, 1:01.50.

Invitational 800-meter run – Naomi Young, 1st, 2:31.80; Lily Beaver, 2nd, 2:33.87; Reyna Silva, 5th, 2:43.11; Maya Nagaraj, 9th, 2:50.41.

Open 800-meter run – Ansley Burns, 3rd, 2:31.94; Catherine Alaimo, 5th, 2:35.80; Macarthy Mahoney, 6th, 2:36.73.

Invitational 200-meter dash – Madigan Moran, 2nd, 27.63; Ava Sharett, 7th, 28.39.

Open 200-meter dash – Cierra Gonzalez, 6th, 28.91; Grace Kline, 11th, 30.47; Audrey Schaub, 14th, 31.93.

Open 3,200-meter run – Jamie Stelnik, 1st, 11:36.99; Erika Germinario, 8th, 14:05.99.

Invitational 4x400 relay – Xavier “B’’, 1st, 4:11.21; Xavier “A’’. 3rd, 4:26.54.

Invitational javelin – Callie Ehmann, 2nd, 75-04; Rylie Wood, 5th, 63-08.

Open javelin – Bethany Barnwell, 6th, 68-05; Elena Soderstrom, 7th, 66-09.

Open pole vault – Avery Allen, 3rd, 10-00.

Invitational discus – Rylie Wood, 4th, 69-10; Aubrey Clark, 10th, 51-00; Layla Torres, 14th, 43-01.

Open discus – Elena Soderstrom, 3rd, 81-03; Bethany Barnwell, 4th, 77-09.

Open heptathlon – Ellie Higgins, 6th 3,371 points; Cierra Gonzalez, 8th, 2,579; Illiana Kockinis, 9th, 1,885; Sofia Asher, 10th, 1,832.


No. 3 state seed for XCP tennis, will face Sunrise Mtn.

 The first round of the Division I state team tennis tournament is set, and Xavier is the No. 3 overall seed.

The Gators will play a first-round match at home on Tuesday (April 27) against No. 14 Peoria Sunrise Mountain at 3 p.m.

The winner would advance to the quarterfinals on May 4 against the winner of a first-round match between No. 11 Phoenix Pinnacle and No. 6 Mesa Mountain View.

Xavier, which finished 12-2 during the regular season, did not face Sunrise Mountain, but did defeat both Pinnacle and Mountain View, both by 8-1 scores.

There also will be a singles and doubles portion of the state tournament, and both of those groups will begin play on April 30 at the Gene Autry Sports Complex in east Mesa.

Division I tennis first-round bracket

Tuesday, April 27 at sites of highest seeds

(Seedings in parentheses)

Laveen Cesar Chavez (16) at Scottsdale Desert Mountain (1).

Tucson Rincon/University (9) at Chandler Basha (8).

Glendale Mountain Ridge (12) at Phoenix Desert Vista (5).

Goodyear Millennium (13) at Scottsdale Chaparral (4).

Peoria Sunrise Mountain (14) at Xavier Prep (3).

Phoenix Pinnacle (11) at Mesa Mountain View (6).

Tempe Corona del Sol (10) at Gilbert Perry (7).

Yuma Gila Ridge (15) at Chandler Hamilton (2).


Thursday, April 22, 2021

Brisk wind helps softball defeat Perry

 The biggest obstacle for Xavier Prep’s softball team on Wednesday (April 21) might have been figuring out how to get the portable (and collapsible)  outfield fences at Petznick Field to remain standing in the face of powerful wind gusts.

The Gators also had a hand in knocking them over, watching the Gilbert Perry outfielders scramble after the hard-hit neon softballs. The outfielders would run out of room, bump against the fence while XCP rounded the bases with a pair of home runs on the way to a 7-0 victory over the Pumas.

Fans attending the game probably expected a similar hard-fought contest as the one at Perry on March 30 that went nine innings with Xavier winning 3-1.

But Xavier was pretty much in control from the first pitch in this one, getting the jump in the third inning on a three-run home run by rising freshman star Lauren Putz. Junior Bridget Donahey connected for her team-high seventh homer in the fifth inning, also giving her a team-high 20 RBIs.

And junior Elliot Smith continued to ride a hot streak with three hits, including a double.

Junior pitcher Riley Flynn had another strong showing in the circle, giving up just three hits and striking out 11.

Xavier is now 10-1 and is the top-ranked team on the Arizona Interscholastic Association’s power points list. The Gators are scheduled to play No. 2 Phoenix Sunnyslope at Sunnyslope on Friday (April 23) at 7 p.m.

Xavier coach Brad Downes said his players put in a lot of work getting ready to face Perry, particularly with their hitting and their patience.

Downes continues to be impressed with the left-handed hitting Putz, a third baseman. Her home run against Perry was to left field.

“She is hitting to all fields,’’ Downes said.

Smith has been hitting primarily in the No. 7 spot in the batting order of late and Downes said she gives the team another element on offense, capable of bringing more runners home.

 

 

Lacrosse wins third in row, tennis No. 3 in final rank

 Xavier Prep’s club lacrosse team won its third straight match on Tuesday night (April 20), 18-6 over host Scottsdale Chaparral in a Division 2 showdown for the Arizona Girls Lacrosse Association.

Xavier is now 5-5 overall and has outscored its opponents 42-25 during its winning streak.

The Gators are set to play a day game on Saturday (April 24) at Petznick Field, with a 4 p.m. start.

Tennis

Xavier Prep’s tennis team has been ranked third on the Arizona Interscholastic Association’s final power points list for the regular season.

The two teams that defeated the Gators (12-2) are top-ranked Scottsdale Desert Mountain and No. 2 Chandler Hamilton. Both teams get automatic bids in the Division I state tournament that begins Tuesday (April 27). Xavier is not automatic because Hamilton is considered the winner of the Premier Region, with Xavier second.


Wednesday, April 21, 2021

Goforth goes 800, large Gator group in invite 3,200

 The inaugural Altis Carry the Shield Invitational was held for track and field athletes on Tuesday (April 20), and Xavier Prep was well represented in the middle- and long-distance running events.

Junior Tatum Goforth flew solo and finished fifth in the 800-meter run with a time of 2:22.95.

The Gators had 10 runners in the 3,200-meter run.

Junior Karime Morales was the top finisher in the sixth spot with a time of 12:45.57.

Other XCP participants in the 3,200:

Junior Charlotte McClelland, 8th, 12:50.94; freshman Summer Goodman, 10th, 13:05.48; sophomore Emily Manuelito, 11th, 13:34.42; freshman Sophia Corona, 12th, 13:35.20; freshman Sophia Maroufkani, 13th, 13:41.84; sophomore Bella Titus, 14th, 13:42.13; junior Erika Germinario, 15th, 13:43.30; freshman Adelaide Luna, 16th, 13:57.02; and freshman Susan Findlay, 19th, 14:09.25.

Most of Xavier’s athletes will be competing in the Fr. Olivier Invite at Brophy Prep on Thursday (April 22).


Gator tennis finishes regular season 12-2

 Xavier Prep’s tennis team wrapped up its regular season schedule on Tuesday (April 20) with a 9-0 victory at home over Gilbert Perry.

Xavier finished with a 12-2 record and opens play in the Division I team state tournament on April 27. The Gators are expected to have a home match.

Tuesday’s results

Xavier Prep 9, Perry 0

Singles

No. 1 – Danielle Dyer, X, def. Campbell Bueler, P, 6-1, 6-0.

No. 2 – Victoria Chrostowski, X, def. Jaiden Colyar, P, 6-0, 6-2.

No. 3 – Megan Wheeling, X, def. Ashley Weilik, P, 6-2, 7-5.

No. 4 – Belani Soto, X, def. Callie Whitney, P, 6-1, 6-1.

No. 5 – Sophia Kleingartner, X, def. Avery Jones, P, 6-0, 6-0.

No. 6 – Kristina Stender, X, def. Brooke Newton, P, 6-1, 6-0.

Doubles

No. 1 – Ryan Kershner-Dyer, X, def. Bueler-Colyar, P, 8-1.

No. 2 – Victoria Chrostowski-Emilia Chrostowski, X, def. Weilik-Jones, P, 8-5.

No. 3 – Wheeling-Soto, X, def. Whitney-Newton, P, 8-1.

 

 

Home runs, fresh pitching lift XCP softball

 Xavier Prep’s softball team won for the ninth time in 10 attempts on Tuesday (April 20), rolling to an 11-2 victory over host Chandler High.

The Gators got a strong combined pitching effort from junior Emma Petersen and sophomore Zoe Zowine, Petersen pitched six innings, giving up nine hits, both runs and striking out four. Zowine worked a hitless seventh with one strikeout.

Juniors Bridget Donahey and Meghan Schouten connected for home runs. Sophomore Izzy Hycnar drove in three runs and stole a pair of bases.

Xavier returns to action on Wednesday (April 21) with a home game against Gilbert Perry. First pitch is at 3:45 p.m.


Tuesday, April 20, 2021

Tennis heads for regular-season finale at 11-2

 The long tennis regular season comes to a close on Tuesday (April 20) with a home match between Xavier Prep and Gilbert Perry. Xavier (11-2) is ranked No. 3 on the Arizona Interscholastic Association’s Division I power points list and Perry (10-2) is No. 6.

Xavier set up the finale with a 9-0 win over visiting Chandler High on Monday (April 19) at the Stark Tennis Center.

Highlight of the match was the No. 1 doubles team’s 8-2 win. Junior Ryan Kershner and freshman Dani Dyer teamed up in that one.

Kershner has been sidelined intermittently during the season with an injury, but she and coaches are hopeful that her participation on Monday is a good sign heading into the D-I state team tournament that begins on April 27.

Monday’s results

Xavier Prep 9, Chandler High 0

Singles

No. 1 – Danielle Dyer, X, def. Devyn Rodriguez, C, 6-3, 6-2.

No. 2 – Victoria Chrostowski, X, def. Macy Winn, C, 6-0, 6-1.

No. 3 – Megan Wheeling, X, def. Hannah Truong, C, 6-2, 7-5.

No. 4 – Belani Soto, X, def. Andrea Lee-Cruz, C, 6-0, 6-0.

No. 5 – Sophia Kleingartner, X, def. Maddie Moran, C, 6-0, 6-0.

No. 6 – Kristina Stender, X, def. Gianna Alexander, C, 6-0, 6-0.

Doubles

No. 1 – Ryan Kershner-Dyer, X, def. Rodriguez-Winn, C, 8-2.

No. 2 – Victoria Chrostowski-Emilia Chrostowski, X, def. Truong-Lee Cruz, C, 8-1.

No. 3 – Wheeling-Soto, X, def. Shruthi Sadhasivam-Sophie Ogles, C, 8-0.


Lacrosse, beach volleyball earn victories

 Xavier Prep’s club lacrosse team can reach the .500 level on Tuesday night (April 20) with a victory over host Scottsdale Chaparral in an Arizona Girls Lacrosse Association Division 2 contest. First draw is at 7 p.m.

Xavier (4-5) has won two straight, 11-7 over Phoenix Horizon on April 17 and a close 13-12 triumph over visiting Cave Creek Cactus Shadows on Monday night (April 19).

Beach volleyball

Xavier ran its record to 9-0 as the AIA’s top beach volleyball team with a 5-0 defeat of visiting Chandler High on Monday (April 19).

The Gators have three regular-season matches remaining before the Division I state tournament begins on May 3.

Those matches are on Wednesday (April 21) against Chandler Hamilton at Queen Creek Casteel, April 27 against Buckeye Verrado at XCP’s Cavanaugh Courts, and April 28 against Chandler Basha at Xavier.


Monday, April 19, 2021

Gators' Davis, Miller selected HM in hoops

 It’s safe to say that Xavier Prep’s basketball team would not have reached the 6A Conference semifinal round in 2021 without the all-around ability displayed by two of its top young players, sophomore Mia Davis and freshman Sarah Miller.

Xavier finished among the top four teams in the state for the third time in the last five years, posting a 13-4 overall record as the No. 3 seed in the state tournament. Xavier fell in the semis, 54-46 to eventual champion Surprise Valley Vista.

On Monday (April 19), Davis, a 6-foot-1 guard-forward, and Miller, a 5-10 strong forward, were recognized as Honorable Mention selections as the azcentral.com Web site announced its annual All-Arizona teams.

Miller played in all 17 of the Gators’ games, leading the team with a 13.5 scoring average. She also averaged 5.5 rebounds and 1.9 steals, shot 51 percent from the floor and 72 percent from the free-throw line.

Davis played in 15 games, averaging 11.6 points, 4.8 rebounds, 1.9 assists. 2.8 steals and 1.1 block. She connected on 14 3-point attempts and shot 80 percent from the free-throw line.

Perhaps her finest moment came on March 5 when she banked in a 3-pointer as the final buzzer sounded to give Xavier a 62-60 victory over visiting Gilbert Perry at the Activity Center.

Sunday, April 18, 2021

Track & field 7th in Ron Smith Classic

 Xavier Prep’s track and field team finished a respectable seventh out of 20 teams on Saturday (April 17) in the annual Ron Smith Classic at Phoenix Shadow Mountain.

The Gators totaled 49 ½ points, behind No. 1 Scottsdale Chaparral, No. 2 Phoenix Sandra Day O’Connor, No. 3 Phoenix North Canyon, No. 4 Phoenix Pinnacle, No. 5 American Leadership Academy and No. 6 Chandler Basha.

Xavier’s top individual finishers were junior Tatum Goforth, third in the 800-meter run, senior Jamie Stelnik, third in the 3,200-meter run, and junior Avery Allen, third in the pole vault.

And XCP’s 4x800-meter relay was in second place. The four runners in that event were sophomore Reyna Silva, junior Catherine Alaimo, freshman Lily Beaver and sophomore Naomi Young.

Xavier will participate in the Brophy Fr. Olivier Invite on Thursday (April 22) at Brophy Prep and the Brophy Dutch Decathlon on Friday (April 23), also at Brophy.

Ron Smith Invitational – Xavier results

Saturday, at Phoenix Shadow Mountain

4x800-meter relay – Xavier 2nd, 10:16.21. (Xavier runners were sophomore Reyna Silva, junior Catherine Alaimo, freshman Lily Beaver and sophomore Naomi Young.)

100-meter hurdles – Ellie Higgins, Jr., 17.59, 9th; Mia Portillo, Jr., 20.58; Grace McClelland, So., 21.31, 26th.

100-meter dash – Maya Ofori, Fr., 13.33, 16th; Ava Sharett, Fr., 13.40, 19th; Madigan Moran, So., 13.47, 23rd.

1,600-meter run – Hannah Wheeling, Jr., 5:30.71, 5th; Macarthy Mahoney, Jr., 5:33.15, 6th.

4x100-meter relay – Xavier 6th, 52.21. (Xavier runners were freshman Maya Ofori, freshman Tatiyana Angry, freshman Mackenzie Lopez and sophomore Madigan Moran).

400-meter dash – Kylie Graf, So., 1:05.61, 19th; Callie Ehmann, So., 1:07.05, 26th.

300-meter hurdles – Tatiyana Angry, Fr., 51.00, 10th; Collins Entz, So., 52.14, 14th; Morgan Finch, So., 55.54, 21st.

800-meter run – Tatum Goforth, Jr., 2:23.19, 3rd; Hannah Wheeling, Jr., 2:33.45, 10th; Bella Gomez, Fr., 2:36.92, 18th.

200-meter dash – Madigan Moran, So., 27.71, 6th; Cierra Gonzalez, Jr., 28.67, 20th; Ava Sharett, Fr., 29.19, 25th.

3,200-metere run – Jamie Stelnik, Sr., 11:43.05, 3rd; Catherine Alaimo, Jr., 12:11.47, 7th; Reyna Silva, So., 12:30.80, 10th.

4x400-meter relay – Xavier 4th, 4:23.45, 4th. (Xavier runners were freshman Tatyana Angry, junior Tatum Goforth, freshman Mackenzie Lopez and junior Ellie Higgins).

Pole vault – Avery Allen, Jr.  09-03, 3rd.

High jump – Mackenzie Lopez, Fr., 04-07, 8th; Ellie Higgins, Jr., 04-07, 10th; Morgan Finch, So., 04-05, 12th.

Long jump – Cierra Gonzalez,  Jr., 14-10, 11th; Sofia Asher, Jr., 13-10, 19th.

Discus – Elena Soderstrom, Jr., 81-03, 9th; Bethany Barnwell, Sr., 72-00, 15th; Jozlin Tanner, Sr., 74-09, 18th.

Shot put – Elena Soderstrom,  Jr., 28-07, tie for 5th; Jozlin Tanner, Sr. 23-03, 26th; Layla Torres, So., 22-06 ½, 28th.

Javelin – Callie Ehmann, So., 77-01, 10th; Rylie Wood, So., 73-11, 12th; Bethany Barnwell, Sr., 66-06, 18th.

TEAM SCORES – Scottsdale Chaparral 89, Phoenix Sandra Day O’Connor 88, Phoenix North Canyon 86, Phoenix Pinnacle 63.66, American Leadership Academy 54.16, Chandler Basha 51, Xavier Prep 49 ½, Flagstaff Coconino, 34.33, Anthem Boulder Creek 34, Scottsdale Desert Mountain 32, Phoenix Horizon 30.16, Glendale Prep 20, Glendale Deer Valley 19, Scottsdale Saguaro 16, Phoenix Shadow Mountain 12.16, Glendale Ironwood 6, Phoenix Barry Goldwater 6, Phoenix Arcadia 5, Payson High 3, North Phoenix Prep 3.

Information – arizonamilesplit.


Friday, April 16, 2021

Injuries add concern to young XCP tennis team

 The Division I state tennis tournament will be here before you know it, but Xavier Prep already has played a state-type schedule this week with mixed results.

The Gators lost to second-ranked Chandler Hamilton, defeated No. 10 Phoenix Pinnacle but were dominated by top-ranked Scottsdale Desert Mountain at Xavier, 9-0 on Thursday (April 15).

Xavier will play two more matches at home next week to wrap up the regular season before the state team tournament begins on April 27.

That means Xavier Coach Laurie Martin will be burning the midnight oil trying to figure out which players give her team the best chance for success. And it will not be easy, given the fact that the roster is loaded with underclassmen, including at least four freshmen in the lineup, and of late has been affected by injuries. Some injured players might return, others likely will not.

“This is the most of this type of thing that I have ever had, but what are you going to do?’’ she said. “You have to get out your glue gun and try to piece everything together.

“We have been pushed and been challenged and that’s fantastic. It’s a great experience for the girls, although we have had to shift some of them up several positions (against tougher competition).’’

One of the injured players is No. 1 Ryan Kershner. She started slow at the beginning of the season, played some doubles recently before being nagged again and is hopeful to return by tournament time.

That has allowed freshman Dani Dyer to develop her game as the No. 1 singles player most of the time, as well as become a solid doubles player.

Dyer lost against Hamilton on Tuesday, won at Pinnacle and then encountered Desert Mountain junior Savanna Kollock, the Wolves’ top player who was state runner-up as a freshman in 2019 before the Covid virus forced cancellation of last year’s tournament.

Kollock is left-handed and the ball often comes at an opponent with a different angle and different spin. She also is tall with long arms, and the length of her reach also is a big asset.

Dyer had some good shots on Thursday but not enough of them as Kollock prevailed.

“They (Desert Mountain) are a very good team, showing all different types of shots and spins,’’ Martin said. “As our players continue to grow, we hope to be able to play like that when we go out. It will happen all in good time.’’

The Gators’ last two regular-season matches will be on Monday (April 19) against Chandler High and Tuesday (April 20) against Gilbert Perry.

Thursday’s results

Desert Mountain 9, Xavier Prep 0

Singles

No. 1 – Savanna Kollock, DM, def. Danielle Dyer, X, 6-1, 6-1.

No. 2 – Julia Frazier, DM, def. Victoria Chrostowski, X, 6-0, 6-1.

No. 3 – Olivia Kim, DM, def. Megan Wheeling, X, 6-0, 6-0.

No. 4 – Ava Koenig, DM, def. Belani Soto, X, 7-6, 2-6, 10-4.

No. 5 – Analise Wachtel, DM, def. Kristina Stender, X, 6-3, 6-0.

No. 6 – Catherine Palmer, DM, def. Lily Gabler, X, 6-2, 6-3.

Doubles

No. 1 – Frazier-Kim, DM, def. Soto-Dyer, X, 8-4.

No. 2 – Kollock-Koenig, DM, def. Victoria Chrostowski-Emilia Chrostowski, X, 8-2.

No. 3 – Wachtel-Palmer, DM, def. Wheeling-Stender, X, 9-8.


Thursday, April 15, 2021

Very little difficulty for XCP beach squad

 Xavier Prep’s beach volleyball team kept its record unblemished with a 5-0 victory over Mesa High on Wednesday (April 14) at XCP’s Cavanaugh Courts.

Xavier is 8-0 and all but one of its victories have been by shutout.

The Gators will be back in action on Monday (April 19) with a home match against Chandler High.

Wednesday’s results

Xavier Prep 5, Mesa High 0

No. 1 pair – Serena Turner-Summer McCann, X, def. M, 21-7, 21-8.

No. 2 pair – Lexi Yoza-Landree Coats, X, def. M, 21-10, 21-4.

No. 3 pair – Tiffany Tellez-Katie Anthony, X, def. M, 21-10, 21-8.

No. 4 pair – Trinity Tran-Mei Tsou, X, def. M, 21-7, 21-6.

No. 5 pair – Maddie McDonald-Angela Valentine, X, def. M, 21-7, 21-4.

Gator tennis bounces back against Pinnacle

 Xavier Prep’s tennis team rebounded from its loss to Chandler Hamilton on Tuesday (April 13) with an 8-1 victory over host Phoenix Pinnacle on Wednesday (April 14).

The Gators will play their third match in as many days on Thursday (April 15) at their Stark Tennis Center home against top-ranked Scottsdale Desert Mountain. Match is at 3:30 p.m.

Wednesday’s results

Xavier Prep 8, Pinnacle 1

Singles

No. 1 – Danielle Dyer, X, def. Cristina Kester, P, 6-0, 6-0.

No. 2 – Ava Kester, P, def. Victoria Chrostowski, X, 7-5, 4-6, 10-5.

No. 3 – Megan Wheeling, X, def. Liv Lubenow, P, 6-3, 6-4.

No. 4 – Belani Soto, X, def. Sophie Uzzanti, P, 6-1, 6-1.

No. 5 – Kristina Stender, X, def. Emma Kesic, P, 6-1, 6-2.

No. 6 – Lily Gabler, X, def. Aditi Baghel, P, 6-0, 6-2.

Doubles

No. 1 – Dyer-Soto, X, won when Pinnacle was disqualified.

No. 2 – Victoria Chrostowski-Emilia Chrostowski, X, def. Uzzanti-Kesic, 8-2.

No. 3 – Wheeling-Stender, X, def. Lubenow-Baghel, P, 6-0.

 

 

Wednesday, April 14, 2021

Softball has everything in good working order

 Although one game does not a rivalry make, it does go to illustrate the quality of softball being played in Tucson and how teams like Tucson High’s Badgers stack up against the bigger schools from the Phoenix area.

The most recent instance came in 2018, when the current crop of Xavier seniors were freshmen.

Xavier traveled south on Interstate 10 to play Tucson in a “play-in game,’’ with the winner advancing to the actual 6A Conference state tournament. Tucson rolled to a 4-0 victory.

Flash forward to 2021, and this time Tucson came north to Phoenix for a stop at Xavier’s Petznick Field. It was as if the Gators were trying to make up for their long-lost opportunity.

Tucson continues to be a fundamentally sound program, but this time could not match up to Xavier’s strength across the board and the Gators claimed a 16-1 victory in a contest that was shortened to five innings by the 5-run rule.

Xavier slugged three home runs and junior pitcher Riley Flynn tossed a two-hitter while striking out 12.

Xavier raised its record to 8-1, while Tucson dropped to 6-4.

The win, coupled with a loss by Phoenix Pinnacle to Chandler Hamilton, enabled Xavier to reach the No.1 spot in the Arizona Interscholastic Association’s power points standings, with Pinnacle slipping to No. 2. Hamilton, which has defeated both schools, has risen to No. 6 and might be the hottest team in the state right now.

Xavier will get a few days to work on its approach before returning to game action for three games next week.

The Gators will play at Chandler High on April 20, at home against Gilbert Perry on April 21, and at Phoenix Sunnyslope on April 22.

Against Tucson, Xavier scored five times in the first inning off left-hander Ivangelina Cota and three more times in the second, later finishing it up vs. right-hander Lisette Urquidez.

There was some adjustment to Cota, “although we don’t see a lot of lefties,’’ said Xavier coach Brad Downes. “We did get to see what she had, the different spins and so forth, but the other girl (Urquidez) came in and I thought threw pretty well.’’

The Gators have been working on situational hitting, bringing in runs through contact but not necessarily getting a hit – hitters giving themselves up with an out but still getting the run home.

Xavier did this in the third inning on back-to-back ground-ball outs to shortstop by Bridget Donahey and Macy Lee.

Those two, along with Meghan Schouten, also connected for home runs. Donahey finished with five RBI and Lee had four.

Tucson’s run came on a third-inning home run by Marina Chacon.


Schedule becomes very difficult for tennis

 If Xavier Prep is going to win the Division I tennis championship, it is going to have to defeat teams such as Scottsdale Desert Mountain, Chandler Hamilton and Phoenix Pinnacle.

The Gators are getting the test of all tests this week by playing all of those teams.

The team began with a visit to Hamilton on Tuesday (April 13) and the Huskies immediately asserted themselves, earning an 8-1 victory, Xavier’s first loss of the season.

Xavier was due to get back on the road on Wednesday (April 14), facing Pinnacle. And the Gators would finish going through the gauntlet on Thursday (April 15) with a match against Desert Mountain at Xavier’s Stark Tennis Center.

So as of Wednesday at noon, Desert Mountain was No. 1 in the Arizona Interscholastic Association’s  D-I power points rankings, Hamilton was No. 2, Xavier was No. 3 and Pinnacle was No. 10.

Tuesday’s results

Hamilton 8, Xavier Prep 1

Singles

No. 1 – Shivika Agrawal, H, def. Danielle Dyer, X, 6-0, 6-2.

No. 2 – Ana Badulescu, H, def. Victoria Chrostowski, X, 6-0, 6-0.

No. 3 – Victoria Milionis, H, def. Megan Wheeling, X, 6-2, 6-2.

No. 4 – Nidhi Pulicherla, H, def. Belani Soto, X, 7-5, 6-2.

No. 5 – Esther Qiu, H, def. Sophie Kleingartner, X, 6-4, 6-4.

No. 6 – Sophia Reitano, H, def. Kristina Stender, X, 4-6, 6-2, 10-8.

Doubles

No. 1 – Badulescu-Agrawal, H, def. Dyer-Soto, X, 8-4.

No. 2 – Pulicherla-Milionis, H. def. Victoria Chrostowski-Emilia Chrostowski, X, 8-5.

No. 3 – Wheeling-Stender, X, def. Reitano-Qiu, H, 8-5.


Tuesday, April 13, 2021

Quick start pushes Pinnacle lacrosse past Gators

 After losing its only club lacrosse match this season to Scottsdale Chaparral on April 1, the Phoenix Pinnacle White team did not want to leave anything to chance when it faced Xavier Prep at Petznick Field on Monday night (April 12).

From the opening draw, the Pioneers were all business. They scored when they needed to and applied a suffocating defense that produced a shutout until 3:21 remained in the contest, when Xavier’s Keilani Hong scored her team’s lone goal in a 15-1 setback.

Pinnacle White competes in the Arizona Girls Lacrosse Association’s Division 1. A second Pinnacle team, the Blue, is in Division 2 along with Xavier. The Pinnacle White is now 7-1 and Xavier is 2-5.

The Pinnacle White is averaging 14.8 goals per match and limiting opponents to just 6 goals.  Xavier is averaging 9.57 goals per match and has given up an average of 10.71.

With a little more than a minute gone on Monday night, Pinnacle had a 3-0 lead. The Pioneers scored six more times before reaching the halftime break.

Pinnacle again used a quick-scoring formula to begin the second half, scoring twice in the first 1:45 for an 11-0 lead.

Xavier plays its next match on Wednesday (April 14) against Phoenix Horizon. The contest will be played at North Phoenix Prep and begin at 5 p.m.