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.

Friday, October 29, 2021

Gators await state v-ball after win over Mesa

 With a previously arranged eighth-grade program set for Xavier Prep’s Activity Center on Friday (Oct. 29), the school’s volleyball team had to find another place to play in Thursday night’s (Oct. 28) regular-season finale against Mesa High.

The Brophy Prep gym next door fit the bill and the Gators were right at home, scoring a 3-0 sweep of the Jackrabbits. Scores were 25-10, 25-14 and 25-16. Xavier finished the regular season at 22-10 while Mesa was at 11-13.

The victory ended a three-game Xavier losing streak and gives the Gators a bit of momentum heading into the 6A state tournament that begins next week.

Xavier will begin state play at home on Thursday (Nov.5) as one of the top eight seeds that have been determined by Arizona Interscholastic Association power points rankings. Those were released on Friday (Oct. 29).

Seeds 9-24 will compete in a “play-in game’’ on Tuesday (Nov. 2), and the winners of those contests will advance into the tournament and play in the first round on Thursday. The brackets and final rankings will be announced after the play-in games.

The top eight seeds, listed alphabetically but not by rank, are Scottsdale Chaparral, Tempe Corona del Sol, defending champion Chandler Hamilton, Peoria Liberty, Gilbert Perry, Phoenix Sandra Day O’Connor, Surprise Valley Vista and Xavier Prep.

Play-in games

Tuesday, Nov. 2

All games, 6:30 p.m. Times and locations subject to change

(Seedings in parentheses)

Phoenix Pinnacle (24) at Phoenix Sunnyslope (9), Anthem Boulder Creek (17) at Gilbert Highland (16), Maricopa High (18) at Laveen Cesar Chavez (15), Chandler High (21) at Phoenix Desert Vista (12), Mesa High (22) at Chandler Basha (11), Surprise Shadow Ridge (20) at Tucson Rincon/University (13), Avondale Westview (19) at Queen Creek (14), Yuma Cibola (23) at Mesa Mountain View (10).

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