Battling a bone-chilling wind and a tough opponent, the Montezuma-Cortez High School girls’ tennis team opened their season in style, winning four of their seven matches against Miyamura High School.
Leading the way for the Panthers was Jaci Veach, who, utilizing a hard serve and consistent forehands, bested Kristin Platero 6-2, 6-4 in the number three singles match.
Also winning for the Panthers was the number three doubles team comprised of Sera King and Paige Bailey, who defeated Mary Canere and Pearl Cornelo 6-1, 6-2.
“(Bailey and King) look like a formidable third doubles team,” said Panthers’ head coach Dan Wood after the match.
Other M-CHS winners included the number four doubles team comprised of Natasha Gordon and Ashley Moore and number two singles player Rachel Lucero.
Gordon and Moore defeated Alyssa Hirni and Audrey Brokeshoulder 6-1, 6-0, while Lucero beat Sanyuta Komarazolu 6-3, 6-1.
Among the Panthers’ players who fell just short of victory was number one singles player Tara Abrams, who dropped an extremely close match to Amy Buser, 2-6, 6-3, 7-6.
Also losing was the number one doubles team comprised of Kearra Boggs and Skye Cole and the number two doubles team made up of Tori Calliham and Courtney Gray.
Even with the Panthers’ tight losses however, Wood was more than pleased with his team’s early season performance.
“Overall, I thought we played well,” said Wood. “In the wind and the cold, it was tough to stand out there for five hours. They adjusted well.”
With their team record now at 1-0, the Panthers’ next match is scheduled for April 4 against Fruita Monument.
Between now and then, the Panthers will continue working on fundamentals while simultaneously solidifying a final lineup.
“We’re going to work on serves, returning serves and strategy,” said Wood.
In between that hard work however, the Panthers will certainly take some time to cherish their season-opening victory.