Duncan tennis girls 2-1 after three seeding duels

Raymundo Frasquillo Photo/Gila Herald: Duncan junior Kaitlyn Lunt turned in a 10-5 singles tie-breaker to keep Thatcher from sweeping the Wildkats. Thatcher won 8-1 on Feb. 26. Lunt is 3-0 in the No. 2 slot.

By Raymundo Frasquillo

The Duncan tennis girls have a 2-1 seeding record, falling 8-1 at Thatcher Feb. 26, plus edging Benson 5-4 Feb. 28 and defeating Morenci 6-3 March 7 on the H.T. Clothier Complex.

Duncan sits third in the Division III – Section I standings through the first three weeks of the 2019 season, behind Thatcher (5-0 seeding, 4-0 section) and Safford (4-1, 3-1), and ahead of Pima (1-2, 1-2), Morenci (1-3, 1-3), Willcox (1-3, 1-3), ands Benson (3-0, 2-0). None of the section teams have a match scheduled this week, returning to competition on Tuesday, March 19. Thatcher is at Pima, Benson at Safford, and Duncan at Willcox in section pairings. Morenci is at Miami for a non-section duel.

The Wildkats are 9-9 in singles and 3-6 in doubles, including a forfeit loss both in singles and doubles.

In singles, No. 2 junior Kaitlyn Lunt is 3-0, No. 3 sophomore Melissa Claridge and No. 5 sophomore Kinsley Rapier 2-1 apiece, No. 1 senior Brooklyn Kempton and No. 4 junior Lynnie Neilson both 1-2, and No. 6 freshman Ella Jernigan 0-2.

The No. 1 Kempton – Claridge duo is 2-1, No. 2 Lunt – Neilson 1-2, and No. 3 Rapier – Jernigan 0-2.

Raymundo Frasquillo Photo/Gila Herald: Senior Brooklyn Kempton returns the ball with a backhand swing. The Wildkats’ No. 1 singles player has a 1-2 record.

Duncan – 6Morenci – 3

Duncan hosted Morenci with a 5-member squad, forfeiting the No. 5 singles and No. 3 doubles matches.

The wins were by Kempton (10-3 over Keonna Cortez), Lunt (10-0 over Izabel Uranzorig), Claridge (10-7 over Corrie White), Neilson (10-5 over Monica Gonzalez), and by Rapier (10-6 over Taylor Rapier) in singles and by Kempton – Claridge (8-4 over Cortez – White) in doubles.

For Morenci, the Uranzorig – Gonzalez duo downed Lunt – Neilson 8-5. The other two wins were by forfeits, for junior Madalyn Wright in singles and for the Wright – freshman Viviana Mendez-Draper duo.

Raymundo Frasquillo Photo/Gila Herald: Sophomore Melissa Claridge moves forward to return the ball against Morenci. The Duncan No. 3 player is 2-1 in singles and in doubles with Brooklyn Kempton.

Thatcher – 8Duncan – 1

A 10-5 tie-breaker favoring Lunt decided a singles pairing kept the Eagles from making it a clean sweep. Thatcher junior Savanna Turley won the first set 6-1 and Lunt the second 6-4.

For Thatcher, senior Lacie Whitmer (6-0, 6-1 over Kempton) along with sophomores Ashlyn McWhorter (6-1, 6-0 over Claridge), Sydnie Alder (6-0 twice over Neilson), Maddie Palmer (6-0 twice over Rapier), and Ellie Alder (6-0 twice over Jernigan) each won singles pairings. The doubles wins were by Whitmer – McWhorter (8-0 over Kempton – Claridge), Turley – senior Lexee Scarborough (8-1 over Lunt – Neilson), and Alder – Alder (8-0 over Rapier – Jernigan).

Duncan – 5Benson – 4

Duncan slipped past the visiting Bobcats by winning two of the three doubles matches, with the teams going 3-3 in singles.

The Kempton – Claridge duo defeated senior Kay Lee Merrill – sophomore Taylor Lutz 8-5 and the Lunt – Neilson duo defeated senior Julia Little – sophomore Paige Vaughn 8-6. 

Lunt (8-5 over Little), Claridge (8-3 over Lutz), and Rapier (8-2 over junior Lacy Hamilton) each posted singles wins.

For Benson, it was Merrill (8-1 over Kempton), Vaughn (7-2 tie-breaker after 8-8 deadlock over Neilson), and freshman Marley Hermes (8-1 over Jernigan) recording singles wins and Hamilton – Hermes (8-2 over Rapier – Jernigan) with the doubles win.

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