Duncan tennis girls 7-3 after seven duels, ranked in top 20

Photo By Raymundo Frasquillo: Freshman Melissa Claridge serves the ball during a doubles home match against Saint David on March 23. Duncan hosts Thatcher on Tuesday, March 27.

By Raymundo Frasquillo

DUNCAN – The Shannon Kempton-coached Duncan tennis girls host the second-ranked Thatcher Eagles on Tuesday, March 27. Duncan is No. 19.

Duncan succumbed 6-3 to the Bulldogs in Safford on March 20 and defeated the Superior Panthers 6-3 March 22 and the Saint David Tigers 8-1 March 23, both in Duncan.

The Wildkats are 7-3 after ten duels, going 35-25 in singles and 18-12 in doubles, including four forfeits, two each in singles and doubles.

In singles, No. 1 junior Brooklyn Kempton is 6-4, No. 2 sophomore Kaitlyn Lunt 7-3, No.3 senior Natalie Jensen 5-3, No. 4 freshman Melissa Claridge 6-4, No. 5 sophomore Lennie Neilson 8-2, and No. 6 freshman Kinsley Rapier 3-7.

The No. 1 Kempton – Claridge duo is 4-6, No. 2 Lunt – Neilson 7-2, No. 3 Jensen – Rapier 6-2, and Claridge – Rapier 1-0.

Photo By Raymundo Frasquillo: Sophomore Lennie Neilson meets a long return to keep a volley ongoing during a doubles match with Saint David. Neilson and Kaitlin Lunt won 10-2, and the Wildkats prevailed 8-1.

Duncan – 8, Saint David – 1

The Wildkats won six of seven head-to-head pairings with the Tigers and gained two forfeits.

Posting wins were Kempton (10-6 over Haley Wichman), Lunt (10-0 over Alana Betancourt), Jensen (10-8 over Camilla Freestone), Claridge (10-1 over Claire Daley), and Neilson (10-0 over Carly Judd) in singles plus Lunt – Nielson (10-2 over Freestone – Daley) in doubles. Rapier and Jensen – Rapier received forfeits.

Saint David’s lone win was by the Wichman – Betancourt duo (10-4 over Kempton – Claridge).

Duncan – 6, Superior – 3

Duncan won six head-to-head pairings, four singles and two doubles, with wins for Kempton (10-6 over Jewel Meza), for Lunt (10-3 over Ashley Lira), for Claridge (10-5 over Augi Hing), and for Neilson (10-0 over Danielle Banks) in singles plus Lunt – Nielson (10-2 over Freestone – Daley) and Jensen – Rapier (8-2 over Claudia Delgado – Alandira Munoz) in doubles.

Superior’s wins were each 10-8, by Naomi Hing (over Jensen) and Delgado (over Rapier) in singles plus by Meza – Augi Hing (over Kempton – Claridge) in doubles.

Safford – 6, Duncan – 3

The Bulldogs won four singles and two doubles pairing from the Wildkats.

Jensen (6-3, 6-2 over freshman Rylan Taylor) and Neilson with a 7-3 tie-breaker (3-6, 6-4 over freshman Sonja Estrada) plus Lunt – Neilson (10-2 over Taylor – Allissa Carter) were Duncan’s wins.

For Safford, senior Lines (6-4, 6-1 over Kempton), sophomore Ella Peterson with 7-5 second set tie-breaker (2-6, 7-6, 10-8 over Lunt), sophomore Carter with 7-1 tie-breaker (0-6, 6-0 over Claridge), freshman Cambry Cluff (6-0, 6-2 over Rapier) in singles plus Lines – Peterson (10-7 over Kempton – Claridge) and Estrada – Cluff (10-7 over Jensen – Rapier) in doubles.

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