By Mickey Winfield, PNT Staff Writer
The Portales boys and girls tennis teams head into Friday’s District 4-3A tournament having both beaten Lovington 8-1 Tuesday at the Portales Junior High School tennis courts.
“We’re very happy with this,” Ram coach Wade Fraze said. “From top to bottom, we showed more mental toughness than we had before.”
The Rams started strong, winning all singles matches led by Portales senior Kyle Adams defeat of Lovington’s Isaac Brown 6-7 (6-8), 7-6 (7-2), 6-4. The Partin brothers also dominated their matches — Walker defeated Tim Brown 6-3, 6-1 while Skyler beat Justin Calder 7-6 (7-4), 6-3.
The only match the Rams lost was the No. 3 doubles between Colton Stanton/Ethan Riser and Tim Brown/Cade Lawson. The Lovington boys won that match 2-6, 6-1, 6-1.
Fraze credits his team for being able to play well in the wind.
“We’re in eastern New Mexico so we’re used to playing in the wind,” Fraze said. “You never want to play in the wind, but we do so often that I felt like it hampered Lovington more than it did us. It really didn’t affect us.”
The Lady Rams also dominated their match against the Lady Wildcats, winning all singles matches and two of the doubles competitions before dropping the third doubles match.
Top Lady Ram Ella Erf defeated Lovington’s Sara Maker 6-1, 6-2.
Bethany Self, Cassandra Short, Tessa Bryant, Jayna Nance, and Tara Thron all won their matches in straight sets.
“This was a good win for us. Everyone was playing well and I think it will give us good insight into what we have to do for district, as far as what our competition is like,” girls coach Michelle Wallis said. “We have NMMI and Lovington, so if we keep playing the way we are I think we’ll do fairly well.”
The Rams and Lady Rams host the district tournament all day Friday, with the boys playing at the Portales Junior High School tennis courts, and the girls playing at Eastern New Mexico University’s courts.
“We expect to win,” Wallis said. “But we don’t want to get too confident. We’re just going to go in and keep playing like we’ve been playing and hopefully we’ll win.”