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, February 25, 2022

Tennis, track & field, lacrosse set for '22 season

 Xavier Prep has always had a great tennis program. Now the Gators have a beautiful, remodeled facility to go with it at the Stark Tennis Center.

The team’s debut was to be on Wednesday (Feb. 23), but rain washed out the match against Phoenix Pinnacle. That will be moved to March 30, and now XCP is due to get its feet wet in the new facility on Tuesday (March 1) against Phoenix Desert Vista.

Also joining the tennis team in starting new spring season will be track and field and lacrosse (club).

Tennis is coming off a season in which the team was 14-3 and was the No. 3 seed in the Division I state tournament. The Gators fell to Chandler Hamilton in the semifinals.

Injuries led to Coach Laurie Martin having to mix and match with her lineup during the season, and it created a doubles team of a couple of freshmen who developed into a team that reached the state finals.

Belani Soto and Dani Dyer, now sophomores, fell in the state title match but served notice they will be competitive if Martin should call on them again this spring.

Among singles players are senior Ryan Kershner, who has signed a letter of intent with Boise State, sophomore Megan Wheeling and junior Sophia Kleingartner.

Track and field comes in with a number of good athletes for coach Dave Van Sickle, including numerous underclassmen.

The Gators will feature their usual group of quality distance runners (the team finished fourth in the state last fall) and are working to supplement with some possible point-producers in other events, including relays. So there is no time like the present to get moving on that goal.

Among the top distance runners are senior Tatum Goforth, senior Catherine Alaimo, senior Ellie Higgins, junior Emily Manuelito, junior Grace McClelland, senior Hannah Wheeling, and senior Macarthy Mahoney.

Goforth finished eighth among the cross country top finishers at state and the team had four others finish in the top 50.

Xavier is due to begin its season on Tuesday (March 1) with a dual meet against Gilbert Perry at the Brophy Sports Complex.

The lacrosse team finished as state runner-up to champion Higley High in the Arizona Girls’ Lacrosse Association’s Division 2 state championship game. Xavier finished the season at 9-7.

With a strong-looking roster coming back, it’s no wonder co-head coach Diana Oduhlo (with Jen Nevatt) said the coaches were “excited for the future’’ at the close of last season.

The Gators are led by junior Keilani Hong, who has been placed on the 2023 All-America Players to Watch List. Hong was named the Division 2 Attacker of the Year Last season.

She scored two games in the title match, and fellow junior Gigi Riviere had five in that contest.

Other players to watch are senior goalie Ann Obiese, junior Joan Walton, sophomore Marlee McCloskey and sophomore McKenna Boyer.

Lacrosse will open its season on the road on Tuesday against Phoenix Horizon at North Phoenix Prep.


(listed alphabetically)

McKenna Boyer, So.; Peyton Bryant, Jr.; Jenna Burch, Jr.; Gabby Celtruda, Sr.; Mattie Cork, Jr.; Bella Falcon, Jr.; Keilani Hong, Jr.; Ashley Mansour, So.; Marlee McCloskey, So.; Isabelle Nicoluzakis, Fr.; Hope Nolan, Sr.; Ann Obiese, Sr.; Gigi Riviere, Jr.; Francesca Rizzi, So.; Regan Simmons, Jr.; Payton Stewart, So.; Joan Walton, Jr.


(Subject to change)


(Arizona Girls Lacrosse Association)

Tue. 3/1 – Phoenix Horizon @ N. Phoenix Prep, 7 p.m.

Mon,3/7 – Chandler High @ XCP, 7 p.m.

Mon. 3/14 – Cave Creek Cactus Shadows @ XCP, 7 p.m.

Wed. 3/16 – Phoenix Desert Vista @ XCP, 7 p.m.

Fri. 3/18 -- @ Tempe Corona del Sol, 7 p.m.

Mon. 3/21 – Phoenix Horizon @ XCP, 7 p.m.

Thu. 3/24 -- @ Scottsdale Notre Dame Prep, 7 p.m.

Mon. 3/28 – Oro Valley Club @ XCP, 7 p.m.

Thu. 3/31 – Scottsdale Chaparral (D-2) @ XCP, 7 p.m.

Fri. 4/1 -- @ Tucson Salpointe, 7 p.m.

Tue. 4/5 – Tempe Corona del Sol @ XCP, 7 p.m.

Tue. 4/12 -- @ Cave Creek Cactus Shadows, 7 p.m.

Mon. 4/25 -- @ Scottsdale Chaparral (D-2), 6:45 p.m.

Wed. 4/27 – Tucson Salpointe @ XCP, 7 p.m.

Fri. 4/29 – Oro Valley Club @ Naranja Park, 7 p.m.


(listed alphabetically)

Julia Chrostowski, Fr.; Dani Dyer, So.; Lily Gabler, Sr.; Ryan Kershner, Sr.; Sophia Kleingartner, Jr.; Laura Shennib, Fr.; Belani Soto, So.; Kristina Stender, So.; Nyla Vranic, Jr.; Megan Wheeling, So.


(Subject to change)

Wed. 2/23 – Phoenix Pinnacle @ XCP, 3:30 p.m. (ppd rain, moved to March 30).

Tue. 3/1 – Phoenix Desert Vista @ XCP, 3:30 p.m.

Thu. 3/3 -- @ Scottsdale Desert Mountain, 3:30 p.m.

Tue. 3/8 -- @ Chandler High, 3:30 p.m.

Thu. 3/10 -- @ Gilbert Perry, 3:30 p.m.

Tue. 3/15 – Scottsdale Chaparral @ XCP, 3:30 p.m.

Wed. 3/16 – Phoenix Mountain Pointe @ XCP, 3:30 p.m.

Tue. 3/22 -- @ Glendale Ironwood, 3:30 p.m.

Wed. 3/23 -- @ Tempe Corona del Sol, 3:30 p.m.

Thu. 3/24 – Phoenix Sunnyslope @ XCP, 3:30 p.m.

Tue. 4/29 -- @ Chandler Basha, 3:30 p.m.

Sat. 5/2 – Tiger Quad tourney @ Goodyer Millennium, Noon.

Thu. 5/7 – Queen Creek Casteel @ Gilbert Regional Park, 3:30 p.m.

Tue. 5/12 – Chandler Hamilton @ XCP, 3:30 p.m.


(listed alphabetically)

Vivian Amoia, Fr.; Sarao Arleveld, Jr.; Sofia Asher, Sr.; Reese Brown, Jr.; Olivia Charles, Jr.; Sophia Corona, Jr.; Mia Feix, Jr.; Morgan Finch, Jr.; Susie Findlay, So.; Tatum Goforth, Sr.; Summer Goodman, So.; Mary Hill, So.; Nora Hinkle, Jr.; Zoe Lopez, So.; Sophia Maroufkani, So.; Riley Meza, So.; Maya Nagaraj, So.; Maya Ofori, So.; Sejal Patel, So.; Samantha Patton, Jr.; Mia Portillo, Sr.; Sofia Singh, So.; Marley Stoller, Fr.; Riley Ward, Jr.; Naomi Young, Jr.


(Subject to change)

Wed. 3/2 – Gilbert Perry @ Brophy Sports Complex, 4 p.m.

Sat. 3/5 – Aztec Invitational @ Tempe Corona del Sol, 10 a.m.

Wed. 3/16 – Phoenix Mountain Pointe @ Brophy, 4 p.m.

Fri. 3/18 – Brophy AMDG Invitational @ Brophy, 2 p.m.

Fri. 3/25 – Red Mountain Rampage @ Mesa Red Mountain, 10 a.m.

Sat. 3/26 – Chandler Rotary Invitational @ Chandler High, 9:15 a.m.

Fri. 4/1 – Ron Smith Classic @ Phoenix Shadow Mountain, 9 a.m.

                 Becky Matthews Invitational (Fr./Soph.) @ Phoenix Desert Vista, 11 a.m.

Wed. 4/6 – Phoenix North Canyon @ Brophy, 4 p.m.

Fri. 4/8 – Arcadia (CA) Invitational Day #1, 4:30 p.m.

                 Scottsdale Distance Classic @ Scottsdale Saguaro, 6 p.m.

Sat. 4/9 – Arcadia (CA) Invitational Day #2, 10 a.m.

Wed. 4/13 – Fr. Olivier Multis (Fr./Soph.) @ Brophy, 3:15 p.m.

Thu. 4/14 – Fr. Olivier Multis @ Brophy, 1:30 p.m.

Mon. 4/25 – NE Valley Region #1 @ Phoenix Horizon, 4 p.m.

Wed. 4/27 – NE Valley Region #2 @ Phoenix Horizon, 4 p.m.

Fri. 4/29 – NE Valley Region #3 @ Phoenix Horizon, 5 p.m.

Sat. 5/7 – State Meet #1 @ Mesa CC, 4:30 p.m.

Wed. 5/11 – State Meet #2 @ Mesa CC, 3:45 p.m.

Sat. 5/14 – State Meet #3 @ Mesa CC, 1:45 p.m.



No comments:

Post a Comment