Jerry McBride/Durango Herald
Alec Ensign and Chris Walton got the first win of Durango High School’s homecoming week, and it took them less than half an hour.
The rest of the DHS boys tennis players barely had time to finish a set by the time the No. 2 doubles team wrapped up their 6-0, 6-0 win over Cody Canzona and Xavier Eddy at the DHS tennis courts Tuesday evening, but one win led to five more, and the Demons’ tennis players also served up the first team win of homecoming week with a 6-1 victory over Montezuma-Cortez that showed off Durango’s consistency.
“We really worked on consistency this game,” said Walton, son of Corola and Kevin Walton.
“I think we played consistent, just kept hitting back until they messed up,” said Ensign, son of Chuck and Tonya Ensign. “It just went fast.”
No. 3 singles player Wesley Komick didn’t waste much time clinching his first home win of the season, either. His match lasted only a bit longer, and Komick made Montezuma-Cortez’s Ford Wegner beat himself with a potent mix of consistent returns and well-placed long shots when Wegner pulled up to the net.
“It was all consistency that game,” said Komick, son of Diane and Kirk Komick.
“I was hitting a lot of winners.”
Komick won 6-2, 6-1.
“I’m really proud of him,” DHS head tennis coach Reagyn Germer said. “He’s continued to get better.”
“I definitely have a lot more fun when I get to win,” he said, especially given the opportunity to show off for his parents and grandparents, all of whom were in attendance.
Grabbing the second homecoming win didn’t hurt, either.
“Homecoming’s definitely great,” Komick said – a consistent sentiment among the Demons.
Even No. 1 singles player Ryder Searle credited his win with – you guessed it – consistency, though his three-set match was one of the longest of the day. Searle lost his first set 6-4 to Graham Cathey before rallying to win a tight second 7-5 and third 6-4.
The Pagosa Springs student, who plays for DHS because his high school doesn’t have a tennis program, said his consistent shots made all the difference in what he called his “worst match of the year.”
Whereas Cathey relied on a strong, full-body forehand, Searle made use of quick, nifty shots placed all over the court to break Cathey at 3-2 for what would be the decided margin in Set 3.
“I would throw him off by hitting some loopy shots, then hit hard down the line,” said Searle, son of Jack and Tammy Searle.
No. 4 doubles player Jalen Muller got to face off against someone he consistently sees: his brother. Muller and his partner Harrison Quick beat Panthers’ Si Eckhart and Jace Muller 6-3, 6-1, with their points peppered by bits of friendly sibling smack talk.
But the No. 1 doubles pair, Dylan Blair and Patrick Neal, played the most consistent opponents, as Montezuma-Cortez’s Todd Underwood and Jake Valdez forced the longest match of the day – almost two hours as sun turned to clouds and fresh snow started to shimmer on the La Plata mountains.
After winning their first set 6-2, the Durango duo lost the second 6-3 and had to battle out a tight 6-4 win in the final set while both teams, having finished all their other matches, watched long rallies punctuated by punchy parries at the net.
“I thought the 1-doubles were pretty fun to watch,” Germer said.
No. 2 singles player Aaron Cash took the lone loss of the day, falling 6-0, 6-2 to Logan Dean before the No. 3 team added the Demons other win, 6-1, 6-2 over Wyatt Yates and Tyler Daniel.
“It feels really great going to homecoming and having a win,” said Muller, son of Kristi and Jim Muller.