Clovis trips up PHS girls

By Dave Wagner, Freedom Newspapers

CLOVIS — Billie Merritt knew her Clovis High girls tennis squad didn’t face the full Portales “A” team on Wednesday at CHS, but she said the Lady Wildcats can build off their showing.

Clovis finished its 2007 dual schedule with a 7-5 record after defeating the Lady Rams 6-3 in the final tuneup for both teams before district tournament play this weekend.

Portales coach Michelle Wallis, whose team was coming off a District 4/3-1A dual win over Lovington on Tuesday and also hosts its district tournament this weekend, held out three of her top six players, including No. 1 player Ella Erf. Still, Merritt said her squad, which held out regulars Sarah Brady in doubles and Kalee Haragan in singles and doubles, performed well overall.

“I was really pretty impressed with how we did,” Merritt said. “They had a couple of kids out, but we did too.

“My kids played well today. They were playing smart.”

Haragan is nursing a pulled arm muscle, Merritt said, while Brady played only doubles on Wednesday.

Portales’ lone wins in singles came at No. 1, where junior Bethany Self moved up a notch to beat Clovis freshman Heather Trujillo in three sets, and at No. 3, where the Lady Cats’ Tiffany Romero split sets and then had a 6-3 lead in the super-tiebreaker when she stopped because of an elbow problem.

Trujillo got a good test against the 6-foot-1 Self, Merritt said.

“She had a chance at beating here, but it was tough because Bethany is a good player,” she said.

Clovis also captured all seven exhibition matches on Wednesday — five in singles and two in doubles.

Wallis declined comment after the match.