Thatcher tennis girls perched atop state rankings

Photo By Raymundo Frasquillo: Thatcher’s tennis girls are currently ranked No. 1 in Division III, have won 80 of 81 pairings in seeding duels, and emerged as winners of their own tournament March 24. The team, coached by Leah Meehl, includes, from left, Ashlyn Bierman, Ashlyn McMaster, Aubrie Wright, Lacie Whitmer, Corinne Bryce, Savannah Brown, Savanna Turley, and Lexee Scarborough.

By Raymundo Frasquillo

THATCHER – Eight Thatcher student-athletes collectively begin April ranked atop the state’s 53 Division III girls’ tennis teams.

Ashlyn Bierman, Savannah Brown, Corinne Bryce, Ashlyn McMaster, Lexee Scarborough, Savanna Turley, Lacie Whitmer, and Aubrie Wright make up the school’s varsity team, coached by Leah Meehl.

The unbeaten Eagles have won nine duels, dropping one of 81 pairings and finishing as winners of their own two-day, eight-team tourney March 24.

Thatcher went 5-0 in its own meet, posting 3-1 wins against both Safford during the semifinals and Benson during the championship on the second day. Benson slipped past New Mexico Silver in a tie-breaker for a 3-2 win during the other semifinal.

In the lower four placers, Morenci won a tie-breaker 10-4 to slip past Douglas 3-2, while Miami blanked Pima 4-0. Morenci bested Miami 4-0 to finish fifth and Miami met Douglas for seventh place.

The top two teams in each pool were cross paired with each other as were the third and fourth place teams on the second day, assuring each team five matches during the meet.

In pool play on the first day, the Eagles went 3-0, Silver 2-1, Pima 1-2, and Morenci 0-3 in Pool A, while Benson went 3-0, Safford 2-1, Douglas 1-2, and Miami 0-3 in Pool B.

Thatcher topped both Pima and Morenci 4-0 plus Silver 3-1; Silver bested both Douglas and Pima, and Pima downed Morenci 7-5 in a tie-breaker for a 3-2 win.

Benson edged both Miami and Safford in tie-breakers for 3-2 wins plus Douglas 3-1; Safford downed Douglas and Miami, and Douglas slipped past Pima in a tie-breaker for a 3-2 win.

Thatcher has six duels plus a tourney left on its regular season schedule, beginning at Benson on Tuesday, April 3.