PHS squads post district team tennis titles

Freedom Newspapers: Mickey Winfield Portales junior Tessa Bryant prepares to serve against Lovington’s Rebecca Frazier. Bryant won 6-3, 6-3 to help the Lady Rams claim their third straight District 4-3A team tennis title.

By Mickey Winfield: Freedom Newspapers

PORTALES — Portales High’s tennis teams claimed District 4-3A team championships on Friday at the Eastern New Mexico University tennis courts.

The Lady Rams won all nine matches against Lovington at the Eastern New Mexico University tennis courts to win their third team district championship in a row, while the boys edged Lovington in the semifinals and New Mexico Military Institute in the finals by identical 5-4 scores.

“We played well as a team from top to bottom,” Lady Rams coach Michelle Wallis said. “I think it’s good momentum for us heading into tomorrow’s individual championships.”

Senior Ella Erf defeated Lovington’s Sara Maker 6-1, 6-3 to lead off for the Lady Rams before Bethany Self beat Julianna Ramos 6-2, 6-2 at No. 2 singles.

Junior Kassandra Short then cruised past Lauren Hess 6-4, 6-1; Tessa Bryant thumped Rebecca Frazier 6-3, 6-3, and Junior Tara Thron won her match 6-2, 6-1.

“I felt pretty good out there,” Bryant said. “It gives us more of a boost having it here in Portales. It makes us proud.”

Senior Jayna Nance turned in the most dominating performance for the Lady Rams, upending Lovington’s Jennifer Wilbanks 6-1, 6-0 at No. 6 singles.

Portales cruised in all three doubles matches as Erf and Self beat Maker and Hess 6-1, 6-1; Short and Bryant defeated Ramos and Frazier 6-2, 6-1, and Nance and Shelby Lucero closed out Wilbanks and Sylvia Ramos 6-2, 6-4.

“Our doubles teams have really improved,” Wallis said. “That was our weak spot, in the past and they have finally come through and started to win consistently.”

The boys had to sweat out both of their duals.

“It could have gone either way all day,” Rams coach Wade Fraze said. “(Lovington) played much better.”

The Partin brothers figured heavily into the Rams victory over NMMI, as senior Skyler Partin defeated Octavio Alviurez 6-1, 6-0 before teaming up with his brother, Walker, to beat Theo Rex-Horoi and Alviurez in the doubles competition 6-3, 3-6, 6-2.

The individual district championship takes place today, with the girls at ENMU and the boys at the Portales Junior High tennis courts.