It has been a remarkable season for the Xavier Prep badminton team The Gators won seven of their first eight matches, with five shutouts.
That, however, might have been the Gators’ apogee. The regular season is nearing its end and the Gators are doing their best to maintain a good orbit, but an 8-1 setback to a strong Chandler Hamilton team and a 9-0 domination by five-time defending state Division I champion Gilbert Perry on Thursday (Sept. 29) have had an effect.
There are a handful of regular season matches remaining, followed by the playoffs.
“Our record (8-3) has been fantastic, and we want to do the best we can to have a decent finish,’’ said Xavier coach Brian McNerney.
|Xavier's seniors, from left, Riley Dowdall, Lexi Garman, Sarah Castlen, Ava Hilsabeck and Gigi Riviere, are pleased by the badminton team's good showing this season (Photo by Sr. Lynn Winsor).|
Despite the recent scoring discrepancy, the coach has seen good signs from his players as far as maturity and skill development are concerned.
“When you have a certain mindset against one of those teams, you can think that a loss is just OK,’’ he said. “That’s not what we’re looking at. I think we were better than the last time we played them. So we will be working on our next opponent and beyond that.
“We take a lot of pride in what we have done, especially since our players did not have much varsity experience coming in.’’
Xavier has three regular-season matches remaining – on Monday (Oct. 3) at Phoenix Sunnyslope, on Tuesday (Oct. 4) at home against Chandler Basha, and on Oct. 13 at home against Chandler High. The contest against Basha is a postponement from Sept. 22.
Gilbert Perry 9, Xavier Prep 0
Emma James, P, def. Gigi Riviere, X, 21-16, 21-9; Amiya Hernandez, P, def. Maggie Henry, X, 21-1, 21-16; Vienna Morley, P, def. Riley Dowdall, X, 21-14, 21-13; Oanh Le, P, def. Ava Hilsabeck, X, 21-12, 21-19; Robin Bui, P, def. Lexi Garman, X, 21-13, 21-19; Talisa Chafey, P, def. Sarah Castlen, X, 21-14, 21-16.
Le-Morley, P, def. Riviere-Henry, X, 22-20, 21-12; James-Hernandez, P, def. Dowdall-Castlen, X, 21-5, 21-7; Chafey-Bui, P, def. Hilsabeck-Garman, X, 21-12, 21-6.