PORTALES — Clovis boys tennis coach Tom Ebel wanted his No. 4 doubles team to get some experience, so he sat his No. 1 team and moved everyone else up.
Charlie Sharp and Seth Zarate came through for the Wildcats at the No. 1 spot, beating Portales’ Ryan Wood and Kacy Vigil 7-5, 7-5 in the final match of the night to give Clovis a 5-4 dual win over the Rams.
In girls competition, the Lady Wildcats posted a 9-0 victory over PHS.
Ebel said he was less concerned with the result of the dual than about seeing improvement.
“We wanted our No. 4 team to get some experience for the (District 4-5A) tournament,” Ebel said. “Overall, I thought we came out and played pretty well. We did what we came out here to do.”
Clovis took the top four singles matches, but the Rams won at No. 5 and 6 singles and evened the match with wins by Nate Walker and Raymike Montoya at No. 2 doubles and Brandon Carter and Jesse Hooper at No. 3.
“It wasn’t our best tennis,” Rams coach Brian Kirchner said. “I told the guys we wanted to play with more toughness today. We just kind of got behind in singles.”
The Clovis girls won all nine matches in straight sets. The closest match was at No. 2 singles, where Audie Rodela beat the Lady Rams’ Makynsi Whited 6-4, 6-4.
“The kids played pretty good today,” CHS girls coach Billie Merritt said. “We did a little rearranging in doubles, and they played pretty well.”
Merritt said Clovis’ district dual at Carlsbad on Thursday will be a challenging one.
“They’re the four-time (Class 5A) state champions, and they’re very good again this year,” she said. “It’ll be good competition for us.”
Lady Rams coach Sara Meeks said she knew Clovis would give her squad a tough test.
“We’ve been working on being more aggressive and not playing soft,” she said. “As long as we do that, whatever the score is, I’m OK with that.”
Portales returns to action today at Roswell Goddard, then visits District 4-3A rival Lovington on Thursday.