Notable: Defending state champ Phoenix Xavier Prep loses four of its top five players from last season, meaning it will have to reload quickly if it wants to advance to the final for the seventh year in a row and compete for a third straight title. The doubles field features several pairs capable of winning it all, while in singles Phoenix Desert Vista senior Karen Guo will attempt to match her performance from 2014, when she went undefeated and cruised to the championship.
2014 state champions: Karen Guo, Phoenix Desert Vista (singles); Tara Garretson/Kristin McCann, Phoenix Mountain Pointe (doubles); Phoenix Xavier Prep (team).
Teams to watch: Phoenix Xavier Prep, Gilbert Perry, Mesa Skyline, Phoenix Sunnyslope, Phoenix Desert Vista.
Players to watch: Aitzya Alvarez, Sr., Mesa Westwood; Samantha Berg, Sr., Mesa Red Mountain; Karen Guo, Sr., Phoenix Desert Vista; Hayden Jones, Sr., Westwood; Qindeel Kanwar, Sr., Chandler; Lauren Kater, Sr., Gilbert Perry; Ellen Lam, Sr., Phoenix Central; Makaila Mason, Sr., Phoenix Greenway; Alexis Mee, Jr., Chandler; Denise Nieves, Jr., Mesa Skyline; Laike Reader. Sr., Perry; Kirielle Singarajah, Sr., Phoenix Xavier Prep; Sarah Weldon, Sr., Skyline.
Mark on the calendar: Sept. 19, Forner Invitational at Phoenix Sunnyslope; Sept. 26, Independence High School Badminton Invitational at Glendale Independence; Oct. 2, Peoria Unified School District Badminton Tournament at Glendale Ironwood; Oct. 8, Mesa Public Schools – Badminton Tournament at Mesa Skyline; Oct. 16-17, DVUSD District Badminton Tournament at Anthem Boulder Creek.
State tournament schedule: Singles and doubles initial rounds begin at 10 a.m. Oct. 23 at Glendale Independence, with final rounds at 10 a.m. Oct. 24 at Independence. First two rounds of the team tournament will be held at 4 and 5:30 p.m. Oct. 26 at the top four seeds, with the semifinals Oct. 28 and the finals Oct. 30 at a time and site to be determined.
2014 high school badminton championship photos: