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SANTA FE – A trio of Los Alamos Hilltopper girls tennis teams will be entered into the Class 4A state individual tournament after a big performance this weekend.
Los Alamos earned a convincing win at the District 2-4A championship tournament this weekend, keeping its impressive streak of district titles intact, while taking all of the top three slots in the 2-4A doubles bracket, where most of its top players elected to enter.
Saturday’s finals were played at Capital High School.
The Hilltoppers’ top doubles teams met for a shot at the district crown, with the No. 1 seed Gillian Hsieh-Ratliff/Madeline Margevicius knocking off the No. 2 seed Colleen Fitzsimmons/Susanna Lucido in straight sets.
Hsieh-Ratliff/Margevicius got a scare in the first set when Fitzsimmons/Lucido won three consecutive games, breaking Hsieh-Ratliff’s serve in the process, to tie the score at 4-4. In the next game, Fitzsimmons/Lucido went up 15-40 before Hsieh-Ratliff/Margevicius battled back, taking four straight points to win.
Losing that game seemed to take the wind out of the sails of Fitzsimmons/Lucido. It would not win another game in the match.
“I think we were surprised to be (tied) at that point,” Lucido said. “We fell apart a little bit. They have a good strategy. They’ve been playing together for a long time. I hope we’ll have a good strategy at state…we need to get that strategy down.”
Nevertheless, both doubles teams will advance to the state doubles championship, which runs Wednesday and Thursday in Albuquerque.
Seedings will be announced this week.
Last year, playing together, Hsieh-Ratliff/Fitzsimmons took third place in the 4A draw.
Picking up third place and a trip to the state tournament was Los Alamos’ third doubles team, Emily Funsten/Gwynn Cunningham. Funsten/Cunningham won 6-0, 6-1 over Santa Fe’s top doubles team to earn a trip to state.
“We had controlled, clean strokes,” Funsten said of the third-place contest. “We stayed focused through all those.”
In team competition, the Hilltoppers strolled to their 13th consecutive 2-4A title.
The Hilltoppers won all six of their singles matches in straight sets to upend the Santa Fe Demons for the crown.
Margevicius, Hsieh-Ratliff and Fitzsimmons dropped just two games between the three of them to help close out the team championship early. Lucido, Nasim Andrews and Andrea Hengartner were also straight-set winners for Los Alamos.
Santa Fe will also advance to the 4A tournament this week.