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, August 28, 2021

Badminton looks good, finishes in top 4

 The Flying Feathers tournament kicked off the badminton season on Friday (Aug. 27) and Saturday (Aug. 28), and Xavier Prep came up with a respectable effort, finishing in the top four of the 16-team event at Gilbert Highland.

The Gators posted a 3-1-1 record. They were in Pool C, defeating Gilbert Campo Verde (5-1) and Queen Creek (4-2) along with a 3-3 tie against Chandler High.

They moved on to Saturday’s play, where they defeated Chandler Hamilton before falling to Tempe Corona del Sol in the semifinals.

First-year Xavier head coach Brian McNerney was pleased with his team’s play.

Junior Riley Dowdall and senior Dani Rivera played well in singles in the first day, as well as a strong effort from the doubles pairing of Junior Gigi Riviere and senior Sophia Bonilla.

The win over Hamilton on Saturday morning was keyed by the doubles team of sophomore Kasia Smigielski and junior Lexi Garman, who pulled out a crucial, exciting match.

Xavier will play its home opener on Tuesday (Aug. 31) in the Activity Center against Mesa Mountain View at 4 p.m.

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