Panthers drop nail biter to Durango

M-CHS tennis team performs well in 4-3 loss

On April 15, the Montezuma-Cortez High School girls’ tennis team dominated Durango High School’s junior varsity team, winning all seven matches.

Exactly one week later, on April 22, the Panthers faced off against the Demons’ varsity team and again played well, winning three matches against their nearby rivals.

Leading the way for the M-CHS were No. 2 doubles players Tori Calliham and Laurel Chappell, who, playing some of their best tennis of the season, defeated Rachel Cooper and Eva Eckstein, 6-1, 7-5.

“They are really starting to play well together,” said Panthers’ head coach Dan Wood of his No. 2 doubles team. “They should be in good position to do well at regionals.”

Also registering a win for the Panthers were No. 1 doubles players Jaci Veach and Skye Cole, who won a squeaker over Audrey Morris and Emma Hagen, 6-3, 4-6, 10-4.

Rounding out the M-CHS victors, No. 3 doubles players Sera King and Paige Bailey came back to defeat Hailee Pritchard and Ellie Gervais, 4-6, 6-3, 10-5.

After Panthers’ No. 1 singles player Tara Abrams lost Kit Hackett, 6-0, 6-0, M-CHS No. 3 singles player Kyla Kingery lost to Meredith Nass, 6-0, 6-0, and Panthers’ No. 4 doubles players Natasha Gordon and Ashley Moore fell to Jenny Snowburger and Ali Carey, 6-2, 6-4, Panthers’ No. 2 singles player Raquel Lucero remained on the court with a chance to secure a team victory.

After dropping the first set to Maggie Hackett, 6-3, Lucero battled back to win the second set 7-6 before narrowly falling in the third set, 10-8.

“It was a really close match,” said Panthers’ head coach Dan Wood. “(Lucero) played really well. She just came up a little short.”

Even with his team’s narrow loss however, Wood could not help but be pleased with his team’s solid performance against their Class 5A rival.

“I’m feeling good about heading into this weekend,” said Wood. We’re on track to be ready for regionals.”

Before the regional competition, however, the Panthers will play three matches in Delta this weekend.

On April 25, M-CHS will face off against Cedaredge and Hotchkiss and on April 26, the Panthers will match up against Glenwood Springs.