Morenci tennis girls face Pima on Tuesday, Friday

Raymundo Frasquillo Photo/Gila Herald: Katelyn Clark keeps her eyes on the ball during a return attempt. The Morenci sophomore recently moved up to the No, 4 slot from No. 5 The Wildcats are at Pima on Tuesday, March 29, and host Willcox on Thursday, March 31, and Pima on Friday, April 1.

Third-ranked Thatcher heads to Willcox on Monday, welcomes Benson on Tuesday

By Raymundo Frasquillo

MORENCI – The Brenda Street-coached Morenci tennis girls travel to Pima on Tuesday, March 29, and welcome both Willcox on Thursday, March 31, and Pima on Friday, April 1.

The Wildcats had the March 10 and March 15 matches with Elfrida Valley Union canceled, but, were able to take on Safford, succumbing 3-6 on March 22.

Raymundo Frasquillo Photo/Gila Herald: Anita Gonzalez tosses the ball up for a serve during a recent match. The Morenci sophomore is the No. 5 seed.

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.

The regular season concludes in less than four weeks. The current 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, 10.0639 rating) is ranked No. 3 of 41 teams, Safford No. 6 (5-1, 7.5369), Willcox No. 15 (4-2, 2.5576), Morenci No. 21 (1-1, 0.7209), Pima No. 30 (1-2, minus 3.3271), and Benson No. 40 (0-5, minus 12.9905). Duncan is one of 13 teams unranked because it has less than 10 matches scheduled.

Raymundo Frasquillo Photo/Gila Herald: Cambri McCauley follows the ball into her racket to return it across the net. The Morenci No. 3 seed is one of four returning players.

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

Safford has wins of 9-0 over Pima (March 10), 8-1 over Miami (March 3) and over Queen Creek San Tan Foothills (March 9), 6-3 over Morenci (March 22), and 5-4 over Willcox (Feb. 24),

Willcox shut out Pima (March 1) and Benson (March 22), defeated Saint David 7-2 (March 3), and Duncan 6-3 (March 8). The other loss was 6-3 to Tombstone (March 24).

Morenci’s lone win has been 8-1 over Duncan (Feb. 28), Pima’s 9-0 over Benson (March 3), and Duncan’s 7-0 over Benson (March 24).

Raymundo Frasquillo Photo/Gila Herald: Julye Burrola serves the ball during a varsity match. The Morenci junior, a first-time participant, broke into the No. 6 slot.

Benson’s two other losses were 1-3 to Saint David (Feb. 24) and 0-9 to Tucson Desert Christian (March 1) while Pima also lost to Miami twice, 3-6 (March 4) and 2-7 (March 24).

Thatcher is a combined 40-14 (.741) in singles and 20-7 (.741) in doubles during nine matches, Safford 26-10 (.722) and 13-5 (.722) during six matches, Willcox 26-16 (.619) and 14-7 (.667) during seven matches, Morenci 8-4 (.667) and 0-6 (.000) during two matches, Pima 11-25 (.306) and 3-15 (.167) during six matches, Benson 0-17 (.000) and 0-12 (.000) during five matches, and Duncan 8-15 (.348) and 3-8 (.273) during four matches.

Duncan has five on its team while Benson has three. Thatcher has two forfeit wins included in both singles and doubles, Willcox seven forfeit wins in singles and four in doubles, Morenci a forfeit win for both singles and doubles, Pima three forfeit wins in singles and two forfeit wins in doubles, Benson 12 forfeits in singles and seven in doubles, and Duncan two forfeit wins in singles and one in doubles.

Safford – 6, Morenci – 3

The Wildcats won three of six singles while Safford captured the other three as well as all doubles pairings. Morenci top singles seed senior Viviana Mendez-Draper, No. 2 junior Kryzzia Cortez, and No. 5 sophomore Anita Gonzalez downed senior Maddison Peterson (5-7, 6-0, 10-7), junior Kali Gluyas (6-2, 6-1), and senior Savannah Barnes (7-5, 6-2), respectively.

Raymundo Frasquillo Photo/Gila Herald: Viviana Mendez-Draper focuses on returning the ball during a recent singles pairing. The Morenci senior has won both of her seeding matches in the No. 1 slot.

For Safford, singles wins were by No. 3 junior Emma David over junior Cambri McCauley (6-2, 6-0), No. 4 senior Emily Goodman over sophomore Katelyn Clark (7-5, 6-3), and No. 6 sophomore Rachel Peterson over junior Julye Burrola (6-2, 6-3).

In doubles, No. 1 Maddison Peterson – Gluyas slipped past Mendez-Draper – Cortez 9-7, No. 2 David – Barnes defeated McCauley – Gonzalez 8-5, and No. 3 Goodman – Rachel Peterson edged Clark – Burrola 9-7.

Raymundo Frasquillo Photo/Gila Herald: Kryzzia Cortez follows through on a backhand return as she watches the ball. The Morenci junior is in the No. 2 slot for the Wildcats.