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Which is the dominant team in District 2AAAA girls tennis?
That’s a question that wasn’t answered Tuesday.
Both the visiting Taos Tigers and the homestanding Los Alamos Hilltoppers evenly split four matches Tuesday night in a dual between the two squads. The third match, the No. 2 doubles contest, was called by darkness Tuesday after the teams of Brenna O’Hara/Sarah Worland and Alex Cancro/Olivia Cancro evenly split their two sets.
What has become apparent so far this season, however, is that the Hilltoppers and the Tigers are the two dominant district franchises and will almost certainly be seeded No. 1 and No. 2 at the 2AAAA tournament.
In what order they’re seeded could well be determined at the pre-District 2AAAA tournament this weekend.
Los Alamos, which is coming off a rough outing at last weekend’s Albuquerque Academy Invitational, was hoping for a better finish against the Tigers than the 4-4 showing it got Tuesday.
“The scores speak for themselves,” Los Alamos head coach Bruce Cottrell said. “I don’t think they realized how tough Taos is, but they do now.”
Los Alamos might have come up on the short end of Tuesday’s match if not for No. 3 doubles team Gillian Hsieh-Ratliff/Madeline Margevicius.
The duo, both of them eighth-graders, have come up big in some critical matches this season and Tuesday was no exception.
Hsieh-Ratliff/Margevicius held on to win a decisive three-set contest against Taos’ Jessica Zangara/Isabel Slaton. Hsieh-Ratliff/Margevicius took the first set 6-2, but Zangara/Slaton grabbed the second set win 3-6, but Hsieh-Ratliff/Margevicius picked up the win and kept Los Alamos’ shot at winning in line by picking up the third set victory 6-2.
The two have come up big for Los Alamos starting at the Carlsbad Invitational in mid-May when they won the No. 3 doubles flight, then won a big doubles contest at Taos March 28 to help propel Los Alamos to a victory there.
Erica Dimond, Taos’ No. 1 singles player, posted a straight-set win over the Hilltoppers’ No. 1 Grace Kim. Dimond has emerged this season as one of the top players in the district this season and could be in line for a district singles championship should she elect to play for that spot when the district tournament rolls around.
Dimond and Kim both featured a solid power game during their match Tuesday and both tried to counter each other by approaching the net, but Dimond’s ability to hit some big down-line passing shots and consistently get balls into the corners was the difference.
At No. 2 doubles, O’Hara jumped out to a big 3-0 lead in the second set and never looked back, taking a 6-4, 6-1 decision against Jessica Christian.
Christian also tried moving around the court in the second set, but O’Hara kept her pinned much of the time with some hard shots toward the baseline.
Los Alamos has a match scheduled today against Española Valley. Cottrell said that while Española Valley’s girls have shown some improvement this season over the recent past, the Hilltoppers should be able to grab a win in that dual and secure at least a No. 2 spot at the pre-district contest.
Here are Tuesday’s results:
Los Alamos 4, Taos 4 (match called)
No. 1: Erica Dimond, Taos, def. Grace Kim, 6-1, 6-3.
No. 2: Brenna O’Hara, Los Alamos, def. Jessica Christian, 6-4, 6-1.
No. 3: Alex Cancro, Taos, def. Colleen Fitzsimmons, 3-6, 6-3, 6-4.
No. 4: Olivia Cancro, Taos, def. Madeline Margevicius, 6-3, 3-6, 6-4.
No. 5: Megan Townsley, Los Alamos, def. Jessica Zangara, 6-3, 6-2.
No. 6: Gillian Hsieh-Ratliff, Los Alamos, def. Isabel Slaton, 6-1, 6-0.
No. 1: Dimond/Christian def. Townsley/Kim, 6-1, 6-3.
No. 2: Cancro/Cancro vs. O’Hara/Sarah Worland, 3-6, 7-5, play suspended.
No. 3: Hsieh-Ratliff/Margevicius def. Zangara/Slaton, 6-2, 3-6, 6-2.