Panthers tennis loses big

Fruita Monument and Grand Junction dominate

Panthers No. 2 singles player Raquel Lucero lines up a backhand while playing against Grand Junction High School on April 5. Enlargephoto

Dan Wood/Courtesy photo

Panthers No. 2 singles player Raquel Lucero lines up a backhand while playing against Grand Junction High School on April 5.

From the perspective of wins and losses, last weekend was a tough one for the Montezuma-Cortez High School tennis team.

According to coach Dan Wood however, the experience will benefit them over the long haul.

Squaring off against Fruita-Monument in a road matchup on April 4, the Panthers struggled to win games, dropping all seven of their matches in straight sets.

In the No. 1 singles match, Panthers’ senior Tara Abrams was soundly defeated by Fruita’s Bronte Hayward, 6-2, 6-1

At No. 2 singles, Rachel Lucero suffered a similar fate, falling to Fruita’s Jacque Soychak, 6-4, 6-1.

Panthers No. 3 singles player Kearra Boggs lost to Shannon Hautzinger, 6-0, 6-0, while at No. 1 doubles, Jaci Veach and Skye Cole were Fruita’s Lyric Fortson and Sera Cesark, 6-3, 6-1.

At No. 2 doubles, Paige Bailey and Tori Calliham lost 6-1, 6-4; at No. 3 doubles, Kyra Kingery and Natasha Gordon lost 6-1, 6-1.

Rounding out the Panthers lineup, the No. 4 doubles team made up of Angel Veach and Tamara Espinoza lost 6-0, 6-1.

Playing against Grand Junction on April 5, the Panthers failed to win a set.

At No. 1 singles, Abrams lost to Carolena Campos, 6-0, 6-0; at No. 2 singles, Lucero fell to Morgan Mantlo, 6-1, 6-1; and at No. 3, Boggs lost to Sarah Erb, 6-0, 6-1.

Jaci Veach and Cole kept it tight, losing to Jordan Early and McKenna Brooks, 7-6, 7-5.

“(Veach and Cole) reached a new level and started working together as a team,” said Wood. “The only difference between a win and a loss was the ability to hit down the middle.”

In the No. 2 doubles match, Bailey and Callham lost, 6-3, 6-1, at No. 3 doubles, Kingery and Gordon lost 6-2, 6-1 and at No. 4 doubles, Angel Veach and Espinoza were defeated, 6-0, 6-1.

“We went into this with the notion that we needed to get better for regionals and we did that,” said Wood.