Morenci tennis girls defeat Duncan 8-1 in season-opening match

Raymundo Frasquillo Photo/Gila Herald: Viviana Mendez-Draper focuses on returning the ball during a singles pairing with Kaylee Kempton. The Morenci senior won in two sets. Duncan is at Thatcher Thursday, March 3 and Morenci is one of four teams scheduled for the all-day H.T. Clothier Invitational Saturday, March 5.

By Raymundo Frasquillo

DUNCAN – The Brenda Street-coached Morenci tennis girls just missed sweeping the neighboring Duncan Wildkats, leaving the H.T. Clothier courts with an 8-1 triumph on Feb. 28.

Safford edged Willcox 5-4 and Benson downed Saint David 3-1 on Feb. 24; Willcox swept Pima 9-0 for a section match, Thatcher defeated Anthem Pre 5-2, and Tucson Desert Christian downed Benson 8-1 on March 1; and Tucson Pusch Ridge Christian defeated Thatcher 7-2 on March 2.

After seven days since competition began, the Division III – Section I member standings are Willcox first 1-1 in seeding matches and 1-0 in section matches, Morenci second (1-0, 0-0), Safford third (1-0, 0-0), Thatcher fourth (1-1, 0-0), Duncan fifth (0-1, 0-0), Pima sixth (0-1, 0-0), and Benson seventh (0-2, 0-0).

Duncan is at Thatcher and Benson at Pima for section matches, and Safford is at Miami (0-0, 0-0 Section IV) and Willcox hosts Saint David (1-2, 0-2 Section III) on Thursday, March 3. Pima is at Miami on Friday, March 4.

Morenci’s next outing is at the all-day Duncan-held H.T. Clothier Invitational on Saturday, March 5, beginning at 8 a.m. Saint David and Tombstone (1-0, 1-0 Section III) make up the rest of the four teams scheduled to attend.

Morenci – 8, Duncan – 1

The Wildcats prevailed during five of six singles and all three doubles pairings in Duncan.  Morenci top singles seed senior Viviana Mendez-Draper, No. 2 junior Kryzzia Cortez, No. 4 sophomore Anita Gonzalez, No. 5 sophomore Katelyn Clark, and No. 6 junior Isabella Villa defeated junior Kaylee Kempton (6-0, 6-1), sophomore Rachel Summer (6-1, 6-2), senior Ella Jernigan (6-0, 6-3), junior Emily Hinton (6-3,6-0), and freshman Mackenzie Richins (6-3, 6-2), respectively.

Raymundo Frasquillo Photo/Gila Herald: Emily Kempton attacks the ball during the season-opening match with Morenci on Feb. 28. The Duncan freshman needed a tie-breaker to record the Wildkats’ lone win against the visitors.

In doubles, No. 1 Mendez-Draper – Cortez and No. 2 McCauley – Gonzalez downed Kaylee Kempton – Summer and Jernigan – Emily Kempton, respectively, by identical 8-6 scores. The No. 3 duo of C defeated lark – Villa downed Hilton – Richins 8-5.

For Duncan, No. 3 freshman Emily Kempton defeated Morenci junior Cambri McCauley in a tie-breaker 10-7. She lost the first set 5-7 and won the second set 6-4.