Cats, Lady Cats beat Portales in tennis

CNJ staff

In recent years, Clovis High’s tennis teams have had trouble with their neighbors to the south, Portales. Not so much on Tuesday.

Clovis won nine of 12 singles matches and breezed to victories over PHS, the boys winning 6-3 while the girls notched an 8-1 triumph at the CHS tennis courts.

CNJ staff photo: Tony Bullocks Clovis senior Meera Shah hits a volley in her girls No. 1 singles match against Portales senior Emily Walker in Tuesday’s tennis dual at the CHS courts. Shah posted a 6-0, 6-2 victory over Walker and the Lady Wildcats earned an 8-1 win in the dual.

CNJ staff photo: Tony Bullocks
Clovis senior Meera Shah hits a volley in her girls No. 1 singles match against Portales senior Emily Walker in Tuesday’s tennis dual at the CHS courts. Shah posted a 6-0, 6-2 victory over Walker and the Lady Wildcats earned an 8-1 win in the dual.

Coach Siobahn Liles was encouraged by the results, notably for the boys who have been struggling so far this season.

“The boys did great today,” Liles said. “They’re definitely making progress. Every win they get is helping build their confidence.

“I think next year will be better for the boys because we’re not losing anybody.”

After winning four of six matches in singles, the Wildcats came close to sweeping in doubles, with junior Deamatios Burton and Marquese Gaither dropping a 10-8 supertiebreaker after splitting sets with the Rams’ John-Hayden McGill and Ethan Self.

Sophomore Pedro Frias won a supertiebreaker from Self at No. 6 singles, while juniors Kousei Richeson, Tristen Pautler and R.J. Alvarado all won in straight sets.

Meantime, Richeson and Pautler at No. 1 doubles and Alvarado and junior Isaiah Weaver at No. 2 also won in straight sets.

The girls ran off five wins in singles, losing only at No. 5 where the Lady Rams’ Bell Youngerwolf edged senior Mariah McPherson, winning in straight sets after taking a first-set tiebreaker 11-9.

CNJ staff photo: Tony Bullocks Clovis junior Kousei Richeson returns serve against Portales junior Austin Lucero during Tuesday’s boys tennis dual at the CHS courts. Lucero posted a 6-3, 6-3 win over Richeson.

CNJ staff photo: Tony Bullocks
Clovis junior Kousei Richeson returns serve against Portales junior Austin Lucero during Tuesday’s boys tennis dual at the CHS courts. Lucero posted a 6-3, 6-3 win over Richeson.

“The girls have done well against most of the competition they’ve come up against,” Liles said. “They’re trying more to accomplish wins as a team than as individuals. They want to go to (Class 5A) state this year as a team.

“I’m really impressed with how both my teams did today.”

Clovis squads are now idle until traveling to Artesia for a tournament April 4-5.