Morenci tennis girls host section leading Thatcher on Thursday

Raymundo Frasquillo Photo/Gila Herald: Cambri McCauley attacks the net to make a return against Pima on April 1. The Morenci sophomore is one of four Wildcats seeking their initial singles win. Morenci is at Miami on Tuesday (April 6) and hosts Thatcher on Thursday (April 8).

By Raymundo Frasquillo

MORENCI – Three pairings, two singles, and a doubles, were won by the Morenci girls in their season opener with Safford on March 23. In the ensuing two duals, with Willcox on March 30 and Pima on April 1, the Brenda Street-coached Wildcats matched as many triumphs.

However, the girls in black have yet to post a win in the team pairings, falling 2-7 to Willcox and 1-8 to Pima, both in section play.

Raymundo Frasquillo Photo/Gila Herald: Katelynn Clark used a backhand to return the ball. The freshman is one of three first-year players for Morenci.

Morenci (0-3 overall, 0-2 section) is 4-14 in singles and 2-7 in doubles. Individually, junior Viviana Mendez-Draper is 3-0, senior Taylor Begay 0-3, senior Tyra McCabe 0-3, freshman Anita Gonzalez 1-2, sophomore Cambri McCauley 0-3, and freshman Katelyn Clark 0-3.

In doubles, the Draper – Begay duo is 1-1, Draper – Gonzalez 0-1, Begay – McCabe 1-0, McCabe – Gonzalez 0-2, Draper – Gonzalez 0-1, and McCauley – Clark 0-3.

This week, Morenci is at Saint David Monday, April 5 and at Miami Tuesday, April 6, and hosts Thatcher Thursday, April 8.

Raymundo Frasquillo Photo/Gila Herald: Tyra McCabe looks through her racquet as she makes contact with the ball. The Morenci senior is in the No. 3 slot.

Pima – 8, Morenci – 1

Morenci’s lone win was 8-2 by top seed junior Viviana Mendez-Draper over junior Maria Liegenfeld in singles.

Pima junior Allison Lunt, senior Beckie Peterson, freshmen Olivia Paull, freshman Bentlee Hoopes, and freshman Britley Peterson defeated Begay (9-7), McCabe (8-5), Gonzalez (8-0), McCauley (8-3), and Clark (8-3), respectively in singles.

The Lunt – Beckie Peterson duo topped Draper – Begay 8-1, Liegenfeld – Paull downed McCabe – Gonzalez 8-4, and Hoopes – Britley Peterson shutout McCauley – Clark 8-0.

Willcox – 7, Morenci – 2

Draper bested junior Jodi Denny 6-1 and 6-2 in singles and the Draper – Begay duo edged Denny – Hansen 9-8.

For Willcox, senior Sydney Hansen, junior Kamrielle Wyatt, junior Khezia Perolino, sophomore Kennedy Peterson, and freshman Valerie Durazo downed Begay (6-4, 6-0), McCabe (6-3, 6-2), Gonzalez (6-1, 6-2), McCauley (6-0 twice), and Clark (6-1, 6-0), respectively in singles. In doubles, Wyatt – Peterson, and Perolino – Durazo posted wins over McCabe – Gonzalez (8-1) and McCauley – Clark (8-2), respectively.

Raymundo Frasquillo Photo/Gila Herald: Anita Gonzalez keeps her eyes on the ball as she meets it. The Morenci freshman has one of three singles wins the team has posted.