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.

Thursday, March 31, 2022

Quicksand swallows up Gator beach volleyball

 The beach volleyball team from Phoenix Sandra Day O’Connor let Xavier Prep’s Gators know in no uncertain terms on Wednesday (March 30) that it has only one thing in mind – winning the Division I state championship.

The Eagles almost did it a year ago before falling to XCP in the title match 4-1.

Then the two powerhouses renewed their rivalry at the Victory Lane Sports Complex in Glendale, and O’Connor dominated with a 5-0 victory. Xavier had lost less than five matches during its run of eight titles in nine attempts.

O’Connor gained a lot of experience last season, learning how to operate in such a high-profile environment, and that knowledge now is paying off.

Xavier has two more matches left in the regular season, on April 6 against Chandler Basha and April 12 against Chandler High. Both will be played at the Chandler district courts at Casteel High in Queen Creek.

Wednesday’s rssults

Phoenix Sandra Day O’Connor 5, Xavier Prep 0

@ Victory Lane Complex, Glendale

No. 1 pairs – Margo Smith-Sydnee Broadway, SDO, def. Landree Coats-Summer McCann, X, 21-14, 21-13.

No. 2 – Tristin Smith-Sophie Myers, SDO, def. Trinity Tran-Katie Anthony, X, 21-19, 21-19.

No. 3 – Ashlyn Rough-Liana Huesca, SDO, def. Noelle Peterson-Mei Tsou, X, 21-9, 19-21, 15-11.

No. 4 – Sarah Lewis-Emma Soncrant-SDO, def. Alexa Shiner-Tiffany Tellez, X, 23-21, 21-17.

No. 5 – Piper Rama-Olivia Le Blanc, SDO, def. Lauren Vanderwey-Maddie MacDonald, X, 21-9, 21-14.


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