CNJ staff photo: Andy DeLisle Gerber Vander Ploeg backhands a volley against Portales’ Sunny Liu at Clovis High on Thursday afternoon.
Portales boys tennis coach Wade Fraze didn’t mind his team’s mini-break in the schedule.
The Rams had been idle for nine days before Thursday’s dual against Clovis, but hardly missed a beat in handing the Wildcats an 8-1 shellacking.
Girls teams were scheduled to play, but that match was canceled because the Lady Rams could not find transportation.
With his team gearing up for the postseason part of the schedule, Portales played well enough that Fraze felt reasonably good about it.
He said the recent work in practice — after a relatively hectic schedule prior to that — has paid dividends.
“We’ve had some good practices lately,” Fraze said. “It’s been a while since we’ve played, but I felt like we needed some practice time.
“I think it’s helped us.”
Clovis’ lone win came at No. 1 singles, where senior Marlon Wright outlasted the Rams’ Kyle Adams 6-4, 6-3.
CHS boys coach Dan Replogle said it was a good win for Wright.
“I thought Marlon played really well,” he said. “He did a good job on serve-return, and kept his groundstrokes deep.”
Overall, though, Replogle had hoped for a better showing.
“I was a little bit disappointed,” he said. “I thought we’d play them closer than that.”
Portales won all of the singles matches in straight sets, but brothers Skyler and Walker Partin needed a first-set tiebreaker against Wright and Andy North before finishing off a 7-6, 6-0 win. At No. 3 doubles, Clovis’ Dustin Hughes and Gerben VanderPloeg took Davey Riser and Sunny Liu to three sets before losing.
“Skyler and Walker and a tough first set,” Fraze said. “In the second set, we moved (Wright and North) around more and made them adjust to us.”
Portales returns to action with a District 4-3A match today at Ruidoso. Clovis is at home again on Saturday in District 4-5A competition against Carlsbad.