Hsieh-Ratliff, doubles advance in 4A tourney

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By Mike Cote

ALBUQUERQUE — Say this about the Los Alamos Hilltopper girls tennis team: it likes to keep things interesting.
On the first day of the Class 4A state championship tournament, the Hilltopper doubles team of Hannah Cunningham/Astrid Hengartner went down to the wire in set one and dropped set two to set up a big third set against a team from Albuquerque Academy.
But the duo prevailed and advanced in the 4A doubles draw, which is scheduled to conclude this evening at the Jerry Cline Tennis Center in Albuquerque.
The Hilltoppers advanced three singles players, along with Cunningham/Hengartner into the championships this season.
At the conclusion of Wednesday’s play, the Hilltopper doubles team and No. 1 player Sidra Hsieh-Ratliff were left standing.
Hsieh-Ratliff, who garnered a No. 4 seed in the singles tournament, outlasted a tough opponent from Del Norte, Shelby Harrison. Harrison was able to dig out many tough shots throughout their two sets, but Hsieh-Ratliff prevailed 6-2, 6-4.
With Harrison making some tough returns on the other side, Hsieh-Ratliff went to the baseline and made Harrison go laterally until she had an opening.
“I felt like I needed to hit the corners,” Hsieh-Ratliff said. “She was able to get everything back, so I felt like I had to play a little better.”

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