Boys tennis: LA seeded second in AAAA tourney

-A A +A
By Mike Cote

Those need a prediction about Class AAAA boys tennis this season would probably need only ask Giri Raichur.

The day before the Class AAAA seeding meeting, Raichur all but filled in the boys team draw correctly from 1-6.

That might not be particularly good news for the fans of the Piedra Vista Panthers.

Raichur’s Hilltopper boys tennis team will play today’s winner between Piedra Vista and Silver in Friday’s first round of the AAAA boys state championship.

At the April 25 Farmington Invitational, Los Alamos beat Piedra Vista’s Panthers handily — 8-1 was the final — and at the Española Valley Invitational in early April, Los Alamos got a chance to see some of Silver’s players.

Neither Piedra Vista nor Silver made much of an impression on him.

“From what I could see, (Silver) is not such a strong team, either,” he said, comparing the two squads. “But if I had to pick a winner, it would probably be Silver.”

The Hilltoppers (11-2) clinched the No. 2 seed in the state team tournament, which will run through Saturday at the Jerry Cline Tennis Center in Albuquerque.

Friday’s first round winner will play the winner of third-seeded Farmington and sixth-seeded Taos in Saturday’s semifinal.

On the other side of the bracket, the powerful Albuquerque Academy Chargers were awarded the tournament’s top seed.

However, it’s notable that the Chargers have not reported many of their scores to the New Mexico Activities Association this season, something other teams in other sports have been punished for with poor seedings in state title events.

“It appears uncannily like last season,” Raichur said of the AAAA draw. “We could play Farmington again in the semis.”

Raichur and his squad are well aware of that potential match-up with the Scorpions in the semifinals. The two teams met twice this season with the Hilltoppers taking both duals by a combined 17-1, but Raichur points out that more than one of those matches could’ve gone against the Hilltoppers, making things a little hairier than he’d like.

A possible complication in that semifinal round is that the doubles squads are scheduled to play first.

Los Alamos is going into the tournament missing one doubles player, Daniel Trugman, who suffered an ankle injury in the Farmington Invitational, and had half of its No. 1 doubles squad, Avery Colby, suffer an off-court ankle injury earlier this week.

Colby was being checked by Hilltopper trainer Mick Matuszak Thursday morning to check the ankle.

Raichur said he would sit Colby Friday and wait to see how the ankle was doing Saturday, unless Colby was completely cleared by Matuszak.

Colby is one of six Hilltoppers who helped the team to a runner-up finish at state in 2007. Academy thumped Los Alamos in the state final, 9-0.

Also returning from the 2007 squad are Patrick Raichur, the reigning 2AAAA champion, Ben Havemann, Matt Whicker, Sean Erickson and Michael Lyon.