By The Staff of The News
The Staff of The News 

Rams tennis tops Goddard


April 24, 2019

Kevin Wilson

Jacob Roberts returns a shot in his No. 3 singles match Monday at the Bill Wahlman Tennis Center. Robert defeated Connor Owens of Goddard in straight sets.

PORTALES - By the average person's estimate, Monday wasn't the most pleasant of afternoons, with a chilly breeze and a little bit of rain on a cloudy day.

But the Portales boys tennis team had a great day, because they get to keep playing tennis after topping Goddard 7-2 in the opening round of the District 4-4A tournament.

The Rams will visit Lovington Thursday for the district title. The Wildcats topped Artesia 5-1 in their duals Monday.

"It's hard to beat somebody three times, but they didn't give it a thought," Portales coach Ann-Marie Bucksath said. They want to win, keep advancing."

That Ram boys won five of six singles flights, finished by Tyler Underhill taking his match by default over Ray Downs in No. 6 singles. Both coaches agreed to pull the players from the court when rainfall hit, and awarded the match to Underhill because he was ahead 6-1, 1-0 and the match result had no bearing on the dual winner.

Three Portales players went 2-0 on the day, with Pancho Lopez fighting off Nico Elwell in three sets in No. 1 singles and teaming up with Zeke Aguirre to beat Elwell and Justus Janway 6-1, 6-1 in No. 1 doubles.

"They played really hard," Bucksath said. "Pancho had a tough match in No. 1, and we had a tough doubles match. Actually, all three of them were tough. Brett Horton played really well today as well."

Horton and Drake Long also went undefeated, with a tough match in No. 2 doubles and more comfortable wins in singles. Horton topped Phillip Roberts 6-1, 6-2 in No. 4 singles and Long swept Grant Janway 6-1, 6-1 in No. 5 singles. In the doubles match, Long and Horton fought back after losing the first set for a 2-6, 6-1, 6-3 win over Downs and Roberts.

Girls advance — The Portales girls hosted NMMI Tuesday afternoon, and made quick work of the match with a 6-0 victory.

Four of Portales' singles players won in straight sets, as Kinsey Bilberry, Taryn Wood, Danielle Ruiz and Vanessa Lucero all dropped four games or less. Laura Blaeser in No. 2 singles and Mikaela Garza in No. 5 singles won in three sets.

No doubles matches were played, as team victory was already assured. Portales will be at home Friday in a 3 p.m. match against either Lovington or Artesia.


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