PHS netters roll past Artesia

By Dave Wagner: PNT sports writer

Neither boys coach Wade Fraze nor girls coach Michelle Wallis was totally happy with the performances of their teams. The results were satisfying, though.

Portales’ boys handed Artesia a 9-0 loss in matches played at Zia Tennis Complex while the girls, playing mainly at the PHS courts, cruised to a 6-3 victory.

Fraze said his squad played somewhat up-and-down most of the day.

“They’ve got a lot of young kids,” he said of the Bulldogs, who hosted Portales in a tournament over the weekend. “I actually felt we played better in some of the matches we lost last weekend than I did about some of the matches we won today.”

The Rams lost only one set in 10 matches, including an exhibition in singles. Skyler Partin and Davey Riser were taken to a third-set tiebreaker at No. 3 doubles, but pulled out a 7-3 win in the tiebreak.

Fraze said junior Kyle Adams at No. 3 singles and freshman Walker Partin at No. 4 had a solid day. They also teamed up for a win at No. 2 doubles.

“Walker’s real consistent; if he gets beat, he just gets beat,” Fraze said. “And Kyle Adams really battled. Those two were the most consistent players we had out there today.”

Portales’ girls rode their top four to victory in both singles and doubles, while the Lady Bulldogs took wins at Nos. 5 and 6 singles and No. 3 doubles.

Junior Ella Erf lost just one game at No. 1 singles, while sophomores Bethany Self at No. 2 and Kassandra Short at No. 3 lost only three games apiece.

“I didn’t play as well as I wanted to,” said Self, who got a late start to the season because of Portales’ run to the Class 3A state title in basketball but is unbeaten in both singles and doubles. “Sometimes I try to just kill the ball; I need to be more consistent.

“I just want to get better every time I play.”

Wallis said both are doing well, notably in doubles.

“I’d say they’re one of the strongest doubles teams in 3A,” she said. “They just completely dominated in doubles.”

She added, though, that sophomores Kassandra Short and Tessa Bryant have stepped into strong roles after moving up from last year’s junior varsity.

“They’ve really risen to the occasion,” Wallis said. “They’ve never played (against) varsity competition before, but they’ve both done extremely well.”

The duals were the final home outings of the season for the PHS squads. Portales travels to Roswell High for dual matches on Thursday.