Chaparral duo McGuire-Foltz have doubles vision

August 30, 2010 by Les Willsey, AZPreps365

Stacey McGuire and Ashleigh Foltz came close to beating out a couple of Mountain Pointe seniors last year for the 5A state badminton doubles title. They even got two chances at state to do it, but fell short in a pair of three-game matches.

McGuire and Foltz, now seniors, began their quest Monday for what figures to be a tougher road to the doubles championship than last year when the bowed to the Pride's Sienna Martinez and Holly Phillips.

"There will be more schools competing and it's single elimination," Foltz said between matches at Chaparral's season opening dual against visiting Desert Mountain. "What's nice is if you're the champion this year, you're the champion. All the 5A and 4A are together. But we don't get to see the 4A teams during the season. It'll be hard to know going against some of them when state comes."

Badminton, like the other fall sports other than football and volleyball, have undergone changes in their state tournament  format. There still will be 5A and 4A teams champions this year, but the 5A and 4A singles and doubles competition  will be for one title this year and going forward. Overall, that's fine with the Chaparral duo.

McGuire and Foltz have been doubles mates since late in their sophomore year. They teamed up last year again as juniors. They didn't start strong, but by season's end they were in the hunt.

"Our styles complement each other," Foltz said. "By the end of the year we could anticipate what the other one was going to do. Winning doubles this year is what drives us."

If not for her older sister, Stacey McGuire might not have played badminton. Christina McGuire played on Chaparral's 2007 4A state team championship team.

"I saw how much fun my sister had and decided I had to play," McGuire said. "I started playing my freshman year. Never played before that. ... Our trouble last year was starting out slow. We had a mentality if we got beat like 15-4, we'd say, OK, now let''s go. We want to change that this year."

Foltz actually toyed with the idea of playing singles  last year, but after a few looks at then Desert Mountain senior Emily Harris, she was more than happy to go with doubles.As it turned out last year, and often does, seniors rule the top spots. All four 5A singles placers last year were seniors as were Martinez and Phillips.

"I watched her and it was unreal," Foltz said of Harris. "There was no way I was going to play singles last year.  She made a lot of good players look bad."

McGuire and Foltz hope to do the same this year. They get their first tournament test on Saturday when Chaparral hosts its annual invitational with many of the top 5A schools in the mix.