Morenci tennis boys visit Pima on Tuesday, host Roughriders on Friday

Second-ranked Thatcher travels to Willcox on Monday, hosts Benson on Tuesday

Raymundo Frasquillo Photo/Gila Herald: Tristan Burke focuses on returning the ball during a recent singles pairing. The Morenci freshman is in the Wildcats’ No. 6 slot. This week, Morenci visits Pima on Tuesday, March 29, and welcomes Willcox on Thursday, March 31, and Pima on Friday, April 1.

By Raymundo Frasquillo

MORENCI – The Morenci tennis boys visit Pima on Tuesday, March 29, and host both Willcox on Thursday, March 31, and Pima on Friday, April 1.

The Wildcats had a pair of matches (March 10, March 15) with Elfrida Valley Union canceled, but got in one at Safford, falling 3-6 on March 22.

Raymundo Frasquillo Photo/Gila Herald: Jakob Camacho is in the No. 4 slot. The Morenci sophomore was one of three Wildcats winning their singles match against Safford on March 22.

Other pairings this week include Thatcher at Willcox, Pima hosting Saint David, and Benson at Tucson Saint Augustine Catholic on Monday, March 28; Thatcher hosting Benson, Safford hosting Duncan, and Willcox at Saint David on March 29; Safford is at Benson and Pima at Duncan on Thursday, March 31; and Safford welcomes Miami on April 1.

With less than a month left in the regular season, the Division III – Section I member standings are Thatcher first (3-0 section), Safford second (2-0), Willcox third (3-1), Duncan fourth (1-2), Pima fifth (1-3), Morenci sixth (0-1), and Benson seventh (0-3).

Thatcher (6-1 seeding, 10.4090 rating) is ranked No. 2 of 38 teams, Willcox No. 6 (6-1, 7.9399), Safford No. 18 (3-3, 1.5085), Morenci No. 21 (1-1, minus 0.9189), Pima No. 29 (1-5, minus 3.2231), and Benson No. 36 (0-5, minus 10.7532). Duncan is one of 14 teams unranked because it has less than 10 matches scheduled.

Raymundo Frasquillo Photo/Gila Herald: Ryan Biggs readies to serve during a recent match. The Morenci sophomore is in the No. 5 slot.

To date, Thatcher has 9-0 wins over Duncan (March 3), Safford (March 9), Miami (March 22), and Pima (March 24); 7-2 over Tucson Pusch Ridge Christian (March 2), and over Willcox (March 10); and 6-3 over Tucson’s The Gregory School (March 7). The Eagles have losses of 1-8 to Anthem Prep (March 1) and 2-7 to Chandler Arizona College Prep (March 25).

Willcox shutout Safford 9-0 (Feb. 24), Pima (March 1), Duncan (March 8), and Benson (March 22), defeated Tombstone 8-1 (March 24), and Saint David 6-3 (March 3).

Safford has wins of 7-2 over Queen Creek San Tan Foothills (March 9) and over Tucson Palo Verde Magnet (March 25) plus 6-3 over Pima (March 10) and over Morenci (March 22). The Bulldogs’ other loss was 2-7 to Miami (March 3).

Morenci’s lone win has been 5-4 over Duncan (Feb. 28), Pima’s 6-1 over Benson (March 3), and Duncan’s 6-1 over Benson (March 24).

Benson’s two other losses were 0-9 to Saint David (Feb. 24) and 1-8 to Tucson Desert Christian (March 1) while Pima also lost to Miami twice, 1-8 (March 4) and 3-6 (March 24).

Raymundo Frasquillo Photo/Gila Herald: Sophomore Andrew McCallum brings his racket up as he tosses the ball up for a serve. He was No. 3 for Morenci during a match with Safford on March 22.

Thatcher is a combined 39-15 (.722) in singles and 20-7 (.741) in doubles during nine matches, Willcox 34-8 (.810) and 18-3 (.857) during seven matches, Safford 15-27 (.357) and 12-9 (.571) during seven matches, Morenci 6-6 (.500) and 2-4 (.333) during two matches, Pima 10-26 (.278) and 4-13 (.235) during six matches, Benson 3-26 (.103) and 0-13 (.000) during five matches, and Duncan 7-16 (.304) and 3-8 (.273) during four matches.

Duncan has five on its team while Benson has four. Morenci’s records include a forfeit win for both singles and doubles, Pima’s a forfeit win plus four forfeit losses in singles and two forfeit losses in doubles, Benson’s eight forfeits in singles and three in doubles, and Duncan’s a forfeit win plus four forfeit wins in singles and four forfeit losses in doubles.

Raymundo Frasquillo Photo/Gila Herald: Josh Biggs attacks the ball during a return attempt in a recent match. The No. 2 seed moved up a spot from No. 3 at the season’s start.

Safford – 6, Morenci – 3

Morenci won three singles pairings. The Wildcats’ No. 1 junior Jarel Diaz, No. 4 Jakob Camacho, and No. 6 freshman Tristan Burke defeated freshman Camden Montierth (6-4, 7-5), freshman Xavier Owens (6-4 twice), and freshman Kyle Lines (7-5, 7-6), respectively.

Raymundo Frasquillo Photo/Gila Herald: Jarel Diaz focuses on returning the ball during a recent outing. The Morenci top seed won his singles pairing against Safford.

For Safford, 2-set single wins were by No. 2 sophomore Kody Gluyas over junior Josh Biggs (6-1, 6-0), No. 3 sophomore Thomas Biggs over sophomore Andrew McCallum (6-0, 6-1), and No. 5 sophomore Brayden Bowman over sophomore Ryan Biggs (6-4, 7-5).

The Bulldogs swept the doubles matches, No. 1 Montierth – Gluyas over Diaz – Josh Biggs (8-3), No. 2 Biggs  Bowman over McCallum – Camacho (8-2), and No. 3 Owens – Lines over Ryan Biggs – Burke (8-6).