Brimming with confidence after a victory over Durango High School’s junior varsity, the Montezuma-Cortez High School girls tennis team traveled to the Delta Tournament, April 18-19 and produced solid results.
Leading the way for the Panthers in the ten team tournament was Raquel Lucero, who, playing eight game pro sets in the tournament’s first three rounds, beat Durango, 8-0 and Glenwood Springs, 8-2, before losing to Aspen, 4-8.
Playing for third place on the tournament’s final day, Lucero produced one of her top performances to date, beating Delta, 6-4, 6-3.
“(Lucero) predicted where the ball was going to go, got there quicker and hit great shots,” said Panthers’ head coach Dan Wood. “She is really getting her serves in well.”
Also playing well for the Panthers were No. 1 doubles players Jaci Veach and Skye Cole, who finished fifth in the tournament after losing to tournament champion Montrose, 6-8, beating Delta 8-4, beating Grand Junction’s junior varsity, 8-2 and beating Durango, 6-4, 6-3.
“They have a shot at state,” said Wood of the duo. “No. 1 doubles is typically a really tough position. The secret for them is anticipation and mixing things up.”
Also placing in fifth place for M-CHS were No. 3 doubles players Paige Bailey and Natasha Gordon, who lost to Fruita’s junior varsity, 6-8, beat Delta 8-5, beat Cedaredge, 8-2 and won a rematch with Fruita’s JV, 8-5.
Rounding out the Panthers’ placers was No. 3 singles player Kearra Boggs, who finished sixth after losing to Montrose, 8-0, beating Grand Junction’s junior varsity, 8-5, beating Fruita’s junior varsity 8-6 and losing to Durango 3-6, 2-6.
Other Panthers players participating in the tournament included No. 1 singles player Tara Abrams, who finished 0-2 and No. 4 doubles players Kyla Kingery and Tamara Espinoza, who finished 0-2.
As a team, the Panthers finished fifth overall, leaving Wood pleased with the group’s overall performance.
“Our girls have significantly improved mentally and physically,” said Wood.
Next up for the team will be a difficult road matchup against Durango High School on April 22.