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.

Tuesday, April 6, 2021

XCP tennis No. 1, beach might be there soon

 The team that sits atop the Arizona Interscholastic Association’s first Division I tennis power rankings looks familiar.

As well it should.

Because the No. 1 team is your very own Xavier Prep Gators!

The Gators, who last won the D-I championship in 2019 before the Covid virus put a quick halt to the 2020 season, are 7-0, with three other teams also posting unbeaten records at this point. They are No. 2 Scottsdale Desert Mountain (8-0), No. 3 Chandler Hamilton (7-0) and No. 4 Gilbert Perry (6-0).

Xavier returns to action on Wednesday (April 7) with a road match at fifth-ranked Phoenix Desert Vista in Ahwatukee, and meets Queen Creek Casteel on Thursday (April 8) at XCP’s Stark Tennis Center.

Beach volleyball

Xavier Prep’s Gators opened the post-Easter week on Monday (April 5) with a 5-0 victory over visiting Mesa Westwood at the Cavanaugh Courts.

Xavier has a good chance to join tennis as a No.1-ranked team when the AIA releases its power points list at noon on Thursday (April 8).

But for the Gators to reach that level, they most certainly would need to defeat visiting Phoenix Sandra Day O’Connor at Cavanaugh on Wednesday (April 7).

Both teams are 5-0 and have won all of their matches with shutouts.


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