Montezuma-Cortez High School coach Dan Wood won his first girls tennis match at the helm of the Lady Panthers on Saturday morning with a 4-3 win over Miyamura (Gallup, N.M.) High School at the Harkendorff Tennis Courts.
M-CHS (1-0) won the singles point to take an early lead. Abbi Pickens and Sadee Threlkeld won the No. 1 and No. 3 singles matches, 6-3, 6-2, and 6-1, 6-1, against Patriots Katie Ferguson and Dikayla Begay. Miranda Rodriguez won the No. 2 match for Miyamura (0-1) over Brie Odell, 6-4, 6-3.
Threlkeld, a sophomore, moved to singles from doubles play and has liked the change so far.
I asked him (Wood) if I could play singles because Ive always liked controlling my own game. I tried out and made it, Threlkeld said. She (Begay) put up a pretty good fight. She got a couple in. My serves werent doing so good, but my getting the ball back was pretty good.
Doubles competition was a tight race. Andi Pickens and Jessica Gonzalez won the No. 1 doubles match, 6-2, 6-1, over Denise Brown and Merina Eskeets. But the Patriots Amy Boozer and Kelly Shell responded by winning No. 2 doubles, 6-1, 6-0, against Ysaline Spaey and Jordan Valdez.
Emily Walk and Roni Shaner put the Lady Panthers over the top in No. 3 doubles by earning a 6-2, 6-1 win over Ferguson and Rodriguez. Miyamuras Begay and Hanna Etcitty edged Sarah Baker and Charley Stewart at No. 4 doubles, 6-4, 7-6(T).
To win 4-3 your first match of the year, you learn a little bit on how to play tennis, Wood said. One of the things that were all working on is controlling emotions. Not only on the court, but in life in general. You cant be flat, or you cant win. You have to have enough emotion for peak performance. Too much emotion, youre going to start to fall off. Thats what Im trying to find is that balance, so theyre at peak level.
Miyamura assistant coach Andrew Ng was happy with the way his team competed.
I hate to be cliche, but its a moral victory. We all played very hard, Ng said. Its our first game of the season. I dont think well leave here disappointed because well play again and give it our best effort each time.
The Lady Panthers will hit the road until Friday, April 29, beginning at Delta on Friday at 4 p.m.
Wood is trying to schedule a home match or a scrimmage to get more game time at the Harkendorff Courts.
Were going to have to not get bored with straight drills for a couple weeks if I dont get us another match, Wood said. Im pretty confident that I can find people in the community, if I cant find another high school to come in and give us some challenges.
Reach Bobby Abplanalp at email@example.com.