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Girls tennis: LA tops Taos in home dual

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By The Staff

More years than not, the Los Alamos Hilltopper girls tennis team is wary of its District 2AAAA counterparts from Taos. Usually with good reason.

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That was again apparent with the two teams’ dual meet Tuesday.

The Hilltoppers came away with a 5-4 victory Tuesday at home, but the Tigers aren’t ready to concede anything to the Hilltoppers as the District 2AAAA tournament inches closer.

Los Alamos actually closed the match out early Tuesday, taking five of the six singles contests and giving it little to worry about in doubles, so it was free to mix-and-match its lineup.

However, Taos was without one of its top six singles players and feels that with a full lineup, it might be able to pull off an upset or two in singles competition. That could make the remainder of a likely match for the district tournament championship considerably more interesting.

Los Alamos won the Nos. 2-5 singles contests Tuesday, taking all of those in straight sets. In fact, all but one of the matches in the dual, the No. 2 doubles contests, were decided in two sets.

Hilltopper Gillian Hsieh-Ratliff topped Olivia Cancro at No. 2 singles Tuesday, 6-2, 6-4. One slot below, Colleen Fitzsimmons simply outlasted Taos’ Tessa Zangara to take a 6-3, 6-1 victory.

Fitzsimmons, a freshman, played a steady game from the baseline and returned virtually everything Zangara had to offer. Zangara committed numerous unforced errors in the second set while Fitzsimmons limited her errors throughout to take the victory.

One of the big matches of the day that the Hilltoppers were keeping their eye on, however, was at No. 1 doubles.

The team of Brenna O’Hara/Sarah Worland lost to Alex and Olivia Cancro in straight sets, 6-3, 6-4. O’Hara/Worland, which may enter the Class AAAA doubles draw this season, was hoping to knock off Cancro/Cancro to get a top seeding for the upcoming district tournament — it’s very likely that the two teams will meet again in the 2AAAA draw, regardless of seed, despite Tuesday’s outcome.

Hilltopper head coach Bruce Cottrell said he will be working with the two players on some different strategies against Cancro/Cancro. The two teams could meet twice more prior to the 2AAAA tournament April 30.

“They’ll miss some volleys, but it’s not the missed volleys that will be the difference,” Cottrell said of any potential adjustments the team will make. “The difference will be making Taos to hit to spots on the court that they’re not as comfortable hitting to.”

Los Alamos 5, Taos 4

Singles

No. 1: Alex Cancro, Taos, def. Brenna O’Hara, Los Alamos, 6-0, 6-4.

No. 2: Gillian Hsieh-Ratliff, Los Alamos, def. Olivia Cancro, 6-2, 6-4.

No. 3: Colleen Fitzsimmons, Los Alamos, def. Tessa Zangara, 6-3, 6-1.

No. 4: Sarah Worland, Los Alamos, def. Izzy Slator, 6-0, 6-1.

No. 5: Susanna Lucido, Los Alamos, def. Brooke Jordy, 6-2, 6-3.

No. 6: Anna Hengarten, Los Alamos, def. Paisley Palmer, 6-2, 6-4.

Doubles

No. 1: Cancro/Cancro def. O’Hara/Worland, 6-3, 6-4.

No. 2: Zangara/Palmer def. Kunjue Kerdpol/Bryn Smith, 6-4, 4-6, 10-4.

No. 3: Jordy/Slaton def. Gwyn Cunningham/Beth Wendelberger, 6-4, 6-0.