By Dave Wagner
CMI sports writer
CLOVIS — Playing for just the second time this spring, Portales High’s tennis squads struggled in duals with Clovis on Tuesday.
The Wildcats posted a 6-3 victory over the Rams in boys competition, while the Lady Wildcats handed PHS an 8-1 setback. It was the first action for Portales since a tournament in Roswell March 7-8.
Winners for the PHS boys were junior Austin Lucero at No. 1 singles, junior John-Hayden McGill at No. 4 singles and the tandem of Hayden-McGill and Ethan Self at No. 3 doubles, the latter a 10-8 decision in a supertiebreaker after the teams split the first two sets.
Despite the loss, boys coach Logan Brown was encouraged by his squad’s play.
“They’re playing good,” he said. “I saw some good matches today. I just have to keep reminding myself that we’re a young team and we’re playing a (Class 5A) school.”
Self, an eighth-grader, was actually involved in two supertiebreakers, losing to the Cats’ Pedro Frais 11-9 in the supertiebreaker.
On the girls’ side, Clovis won supertiebreakers from the Lady Rams at No. 2 singles and No. 2 doubles. The lone PHS win came at No. 5 singles, where junior Belle Youngerwolf outlasted the Lady Cats’ Mariah McPherson 7-6 (11-9), 7-5.
“We didn’t do all that bad,” Lady Rams coach Anne-Marie Bucksath said. “We’ve been off for two weeks, but we should’ve had some more wins and we didn’t.
“Clovis was good, though. They have some good kids.”
PHS squads return to action on Thursday with duals against Goddard at Roswell, starting at 3 p.m.