Safford tennis girls remain unbeaten, first in own tourney

Raymundo Frasquillo Photo/Gila Herald: The undefeated Safford tennis girls scored 25 points, with five winning three singles pairings and four winning three doubles pairings, to earn the title of their own invitational on March 10. Members of the sextet are, from left, Kali Gluyas, Rachel Peterson, Hazel Green, Savanna Clonts, Brynlee Alder, and Camille Alder. The Bulldogs next host Thatcher on Monday, March 20.

By Raymundo Frasquillo

SAFFORD – The Thomas Biggs-coached Safford tennis girls have yet to record a loss, sporting a 3-0 mark in seeding duals as well as going 3-0 in their own all-day tourney.

Safford defeated Florence 8-1 on Feb. 23, Willcox 5-4 on Feb. 28, and Morenci 7-2 on March 7. The Bulldogs have won 89 percent (32-36) of singles and 78 percent (14-18) of doubles pairings, with forfeits in two singles and two doubles.

The Division III – Section I teams have all played at least three matches thus far. Safford is 6-0 overall, 3-0 seeding, and 0-0 in the section; Thatcher (2-1, 2-1, 0-0), Willcox (2-1, 2-1, 0-0), Duncan (4-2, 2-1, 0-0), Morenci (5-4, 1-2, 0-0), Pima (1-3, 1-3, 1-0), and Benson (0-3, 0-3, 0-0).

Last week, Duncan defeated Patagonia 6-1, Pima fell 4-5 to Miami, Safford defeated Morenci 7-2, and Willcox defeated Tombstone 8-1 on March 7; Thatcher fell 2-7 to Tucson Pusch Ridge Christian on March 8, Benson fell 0-9 to Pusch Ridge, Morenci defeated Miami 6-3, Pima fell 0-9 to Tucson’s The Gregory School, Thatcher defeated Gilbert Christian 8-1, and Willcox defeated Duncan 8-1 on March 9, and Safford captured its all-day tourney title on March 10.

This week (March 13-18), Benson visited Tombstone on Tuesday, March 14; Morenci visits Miami on Wednesday, March 15; and Willcox visits Morenci on Thursday, March 16.

March 10:

Safford Invitational

The Bulldogs totaled 25 points, with five winning three singles and four winning three doubles pairings, to earn the 2023 Safford Invitational title. Morenci was second with 16 points, Miami third (10), and Florencefourth (3).

Earning singles medals by winning three pairings were Morenci No. 1 senior Cambri McCauley, Safford No. 2 junior Rachel Peterson, Safford No. 3 junior Hazel Green, Safford No. 4 senior Savanna Clonts, Safford No. 5 junior Brynlie Alder, and Safford No. 6 junior Camille Alder.

Medalists in doubles were Morenci No. 1 McCauley – junior Anita Gonzalez, Safford No. 2 Peterson – Green, and Safford No. 3 Alder – Alder.

Raymundo Frasquillo Photo/Gila Herald: Cambi McCauley inches toward the net to meet the ball. The Morenci senior placed first in the Safford Invitational’s top singles slot and teamed up with junior Anita Gonzalez to also earn the top doubles medal.

Round One:

Saffor– 7, Morenci – 2

The Bulldogs won five singles and two doubles while the Wildcats won one of each.

Junior Rachel Peterson, junior Hazel Green, senior Savanna Clonts, junior Brynlie Alder, junior Camille Alder defeated junior Anita Gonzalez 6-2, junior Katelynn Clark 6-1, senior Isabella Villa 6-0, freshman Izzalona Gobert 6-0, and freshman Alannah Suarez 6-0, respectively.

In doubles, Peterson – Green and Alder – Alder defeated Clark – Villa and Gobert – Suarez, respectively, by identical 6-0 scores.

For Morenci, senior Cambri McCauley defeated senior Kali Gluyas 7-4 in the tie-breaker following a 6-6 tie and the McCauley – Gonzalez duo defeated Gluyas – Clonts 6-2.

Miami – 7Florenc– 2

Raymundo Frasquillo Photo/Gila Herald: Rachel Peterson reaches up to meet the ball. The Safford junior was the No. 2 singles and, along with Hazel Green, the No. 2 doubles medalist.

The Vandals won five head-to-head pairings, three singles and two doubles plus received two forfeits whilethe Gophers won two singles.

Junior Vanessa Stemm defeated sophomore Belem Vasquez 6-3, junior Jillian Lee defeated sophomore Kaylin Bolan 6-3, and freshman Adrina Kaulaity defeated freshman Giovanna Gray 6-3. Freshman Daisy Pacheco received a forfeit.

In doubles, junior Adrianna Lopez – Stemm defeated senior Grace Moak – Vasquez 6-2 and senior Emily Byington – Kaulaity defeated junior Lillie Rodriguez – Bolan 6-1. The Lee – Pacheco duo received a forfeit.

For Florence, Moak defeated Lopez 6-1 and Rodriguez defeated  Byington 6-3.

Safford sophomore Charlotte Graham, filling in for the No. 6 Florence slot, lost both an exhibition singles and paired with Gray, and exhibition doubles, by identical 0-6 scores. 

Round Two:

Safford – 9Miami – 0

The Bulldogs Blanked the Vandals, taking all six singles and three doubles.

Gluyas, Peterson, Green, Clonts, Brynlie Alder, and Camille Alder defeated Lopez 6-2, Stemm 6-0, Byington 6-0, Lee 6-2, Kaulaity 6-2, and Pacheco 6-2, respectively.

In doubles, Gluyas – Clonts, Peterson – Green, and Alder – Alder defeated Stemm – Lopez 6-0, Boyington -Kaulaity 6-0, and Lee – Pacheco 6-2, respectively.

Morenci – 8Florence – 1

Raymundo Frasquillo Photo/Gila Herald: Hazel Green eyes the ball to her racquet. The Safford junior earned the No. 3 singles medal and teamed up with Rachel Peterson for the No. 2 doubles medal.

The Wildcats won six head-to-head pairings, four singles and two doubles plus received two forfeits while the Gophers prevailed in a lone singles.

McCauley, Gonzalez, Clark, and Villa defeated Moak 6-0, Vasquez 6-0, Rodriguez 6-0, and Bolan 6-4,respectively. Suarez received a forfeit.

In doubles, McCauley – Gonzalez defeated Moak – Vasquez 6-0 and Clark – Villa defeated Rodriguez – Bolan 6-4. Gobert – Suarez received a forfeit.

For Florence, Grey defeated Gobert 6-2.

Graham won both an exhibition singles and paired with Grey, and exhibition doubles, by identical 6-0 scores.

Round Three:

Safford – 9, Florence – 0

Raymundo Frasquillo Photo/Gila Herald: Brynlie Alder watches her backhand return as it zips over the net. The Safford junior earned the No. 5 singles medal and along with her sister Camille, the No. 3 doubles medal.

The Bulldogs win all seven head-to-head pairings, five singles and two doubles plus received two forfeits/.

Gluyas, Peterson, Green, Clonts, and Brynlie Alder defeated Moak 6-2, Vasquez 6-0, Rodriguez 6-0, Bolan 6-1, and Gray 6-0, respectively. Camille Alder received a forfeit.

Gluyas Clonts defeated Moak – Vasquez 6-0 and Peterson – Green defeated Rodriguez – Bolan 6-1. Alder -Alder received a forfeit.

Graham lost both an exhibition singles and paired with Grey, and exhibition doubles, identically by losing tie-breakers 7-5 after a 6-6 deadlock.

Morenci – 6Miami – 3

The Wildcats won four singles matches and two doubles from the Vandals. 

McCauley, Gonzalez, Clark, and Villa defeated Lopez (6-0), Stemm (6-2), Byington (6-1), and Lee (6-2), respectively.

In doubles, McCauley – Gonzalez defeated Stemm – Lopez 6-4 and Clark – Villa defeated Boyington – Kaulaity 7-5.

For Miami, Kaulaity defeated Gobert 6-1, Pacheco defeated Suarez 6-0 and the Lee – Pacheco duo defeated Gobert – Suarez 6-0.

March 9:

Pusch Ridge – 9Benson – 0

Raymundo Frasquillo Photo/Gila Herald: Camille Alder tosses the ball up for a serve. The No. 6 Safford junior earned the No. 6 singles medal and along with her sister Brynlie , the No. 3 doubles medal.

The Bobcats were shut out by the Section II Lions in Tucson.

Senior Madi Van Holsbeke, freshman Emma Bartruff, senior Ella Pierpont, freshman Brady Imes, freshman Melaney Johnson, and sophomore Sophia Barnett defeated senior Destiny Foster (6-0 twice), freshman Kaylee Whitney (6-0 twice), freshman Andrea Hummel (6-0 twice), junior Sierra Brooks (6-0 twice), freshman Juana Macias (6-0 twice), and freshman Meena Marsh (6-1, 6-0), respectively.

In doubles, Van Holsbeke – Bartruff, Pierpont – Johnson, and Imes – Barnett defeated Whitney – freshman Kylie Peterson 8-1,  Foster – Hummel 8-0, and Macias – freshman Maryann Preston 8-0, respectively.

The Gregory School – 9, Pima – 0

The Roughriders were shut out by the Section III Hawks in Tucson.

Freshman Anacelia Moore defeated sophomore Kennedy Minor (6-3 twice), junior Lily Messing defeated sophomore Mia Ashby (6-0 twice), freshman Ellie Sundt defeated sophomore Brooklynn Burk (6-0 twice), sophomore Dalia Cohen defeated senior Paula Gonzalez (6-1 twice), senior Molly Crown defeated senior Lea Pinnow (6-0 twice), and junior Sam Mayer defeated freshman Merrill DeCrow (6-0 twice).

In doubles, Moore – Messing defeated Ashby – Minor 8-2, Sundt – Cohen defeated Burk – DeCrow 8-0 and sophomores Paloma McMahon – Avery Johnson defeated Gonzalez – Pinnow 8-4.

Morenci – 6, Miami – 3

Raymundo Frasquillo Photo/Gila Herald: Kaylee Kempton moves forward to meet the ball. The Duncan senior, along with sister Emily, is on the unbeaten in seeding pairings No. 1 doubles team.

The host Wildcats won four singles matches and two doubles from the visiting Vandals. 

McCauley, Gonzalez, Clark, and Villa defeated Lopez (6-0 twice), Stemm (6-0 twice), Byington (6-1, 6-3), and Lee (6-3, 6-4), respectively.

In doubles, McCauley – Gonzalez defeated Stemm – Lopez 8-3 and Clark – Villa defeated Boyington – Kaulaity 8-2.

For Miami, Kaulaity defeated Gobert (6-0, 6-2), Pacheco defeated Suarez (6-0 twice) and the Lee – Pacheco duo defeated Gobert – Suarez 8-1.

Thatcher – 8, Gilbert Classical – 1

The Eagles nearly swept the Spartans in Maricopa County, winning all but a singles pairing.

Senior Maren Hatch won a tie-breaker 10-6 after a split (3-6, 6-4) to defeat senior Leah Kabilan, senior Lindsay McMaster defeated senior Tara Patel (6-1, 6-0), freshman Sophia Haynie defeated senior Hope Kuper (6-1 twice), sophomore Kayla Turley defeated sophomore Stephanie Hein (6-1,6-0), and junior Zoey Damron defeated sophomore Hannah Han (6-0, 6-3).

In doubles, Hatch – McMaster defeated Kabilan – junior Sophia Lauter 8-5, Scarborough  Damron defeated Patel – Zhang 9-7, and Turley – sophomore Audrey Smith defeated Kuper – Hein 8-1. 

For Gilbert Classical, junior Felicia Zhang defeated junior Maddie Scarborough (6-4 twice).

Willcox – 8, Duncan – 1

Raymundo Frasquillo Photo/Gila Herald: Anita Gonzalez follows the ball into her racquet. The Morenci junior teamed up with senior Cambri McCauley as the No. 1 duo of the Safford Invitational.

The Wildkats avoided being shut out in Willcox via a 9-7 win by the senior Kaylee Kempton – sophomore Emily Kempton duo over juniors Mia Mungaro – Valerie Durazo.

Willcox swept the singles pairings as Mungaro defeated Kaylee Kempton 8-6, Durazo defeated Emily Kempton 8-4, senior Kennedy Peterson defeated sophomore Camille Miller 8-3, junior Marissa Paz senior Emily Bocken 8-3, junior Alexa Hernandez freshman Brendy Paz 8-0, and junior Teresa Trujillo defeatedsophomore Jadyn Hobbs 8-0.

In doubles, Peterson – Paz defeated Miller – Paz 8-4 and Hernandez – Trujillo defeated Bocken – Hobbs 8-0.

March 8:

Pusch Ridge – 6Thatcher – 3

The Eagles won three pairings in Pima County, two singles and a doubles.

McMaster and Damron defeated Van Holsbeke (6-2, 7-6) and Imes (6-2, 6-4), respectively, and Turley – Smith defeated Pierpont – Johnson 8-6.

For Pusch Ridge, sophomore Estelle Fetsis, Grammond, Bartruff, and Pierpont defeated Hatch (6-1, 6-0), Scarborough (6-0 twice), Haynie (6-0 twice), and Turley (6-4, 6-2), respectively.

In doubles, Fetsis – Bartruff defeated Hatch – McMaster 8-1 and Van Holsbeke – Grammond defeated Scarborough – Damron 8-0.

March 7:

Duncan – 9Patagonia – 0

Raymundo Frasquillo Photo/Gila Herald: Kali Gluyas tracks the ball onto her racquet for a return. The Safford senior is in the No. 1 slot.

Duncan won the three head-to-head pairings, two singles and a doubles plus received forfeits for the other six slots.

Kaylee Kempton defeated senior Olivia Blystone (6-0 twice), Emily Kempton defeated sophomore Lily Armenta (6-0 twice), and Kempton – Kempton defeated Blystone – Armenta 8-0.

Miller, Bocken, Paz, and freshman Emily Evans along with Miller – Paz and Bocken – Evans received forfeits.

Miami – 5Pima – 4

Pima prevailed in three singles and a doubles over Miami.

The singles wins were by Minor, Ashby, and Pinnow over Stemm (6-0, 6-2), Lopez (7-5, 6-2), and Pacheco (6-4, 7-5), respectively, plus 8-2 by Minor – Ashby over Stemm – Lopez in doubles, 

For Miami, Byington, Lee, and Kaulaity defeated Burk (6-4, 6-2), Gonzalez (6-2, 7-6), and DeCrow (6-1, 6-0), respectively.

In doubles, Boyington – Kaulaity defeated Burk – DeCrow 8-2 and Lee – Pacheco defeated Gonzalez – Pinnow 8-4.

Safford – 7Morenci  – 2

The host Bulldogs won five singles and two doubles while the Wildcats won one of each.

Peterson, Green, Clonts, Brynlie Alder, and Camille Alder defeated Gonzalez (6-4, 6-1), Clark (6-1, 6-2),Villa (6-0 twice), Gobert (6-0 twice), and junior Gracie Morales (6-0, 6-2), respectively.

In doubles, Peterson – Green defeated Clark – Villa 8-4 and Alder – Alder defeated Gobert – Suarez 8-0.

For Morenci, McCauley defeated Gluyas 6-4 and 7-4 and the McCauley – Gonzalez duo defeated Gluyas – Clonts 8-1.

Willcox – 8, Tombstone – 1

The Cowgirls returned from “The town to tough to die” with a near shutout.

Junior Mia Mungaro, junior Valerie Durazo, senior Kennedy Peterson, junior Marissa Paz, junior Alexa Hernandez, and junior Teresa Trujillo defeated senior Skylar Mazzanti 8-3, junior Jamora Haynes 8-6, junior Makenzee Meinhardt 8-2, senior Dystiny Dyson 8-1, sophomore Akasia Cederlof 8-1, and freshman Abigail Satterfield 8-0, respectively.

In doubles, Mungaro – Durazo defeated Haynes – Meinhardt 8-2 and Hernandez  Trujillo defeated Cederlof – Satterfield 8-0.

The host Yellow Jackets notched a “W” in the No. 2 doubles. Mazzanti – Dyson posted an 8-4 win over Peterson – Paz