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ALBUQUERQUE — For the 2013 state Class 4A tournament, the Los Alamos Hilltopper girls tennis team advanced three doubles teams and a singles competitor to the quarterfinal round.
And while all three Hilltopper girls doubles teams survived into Thursday morning’s play, by the end of the quarterfinal round only the team of Madeline Margevicius/Gillian Hsieh-Ratliff was left standing.
Margevicius/Hsieh-Ratliff would go on to win the Class 4A title. The other two Los Alamos teams, however, earned tough quarterfinal draws.
The Hilltoppers’ team of Susanna Lucido/Colleen Fitzsimmons, which was seeded No. 4 for the tournament, had a tough draw in the quarterfinal round, facing fifth-seeded Maddie Andersson/Jenna Coyle of Mesilla Valley Christian. Mesilla Valley is a small private school in Las Cruces that is Class 2A for most sports but plays up for tennis.
Despite a gritty effort, coming back from a set down, Lucido/Fitzsimmons fell 6-4, 3-6, 6-3.
The two teams played a tight contest for most of the first two sets. Andersson/Coyle picked up a critical early serve to go up 3-0 in the first set but Fitzsimmons held on her serve and the Hilltopper team followed that up with a break of Andersson to move within 3-2. The Mesilla Valley team would take the next two games to pull away.
In the second set, Los Alamos rebounded nicely with strong serves and a better showing at the net to force a third set. In the deciding set, Los Alamos broke Andersson’s serve to go up 3-2 – Lucido crushed a volley at the feet of Coyle to earn the break – but Mesilla Valley returned the favor with Lucido serving, with Coyle putting away two points at the net.
Coyle held and Mesilla Valley broke Fitzsimmons in the next game to all but put the match away.
Lucido, a senior, had eight winners in the final set while Fitzsimmons had a pair of winners and a pair of aces.
In the other quarterfinal, Hannah Cunningham/Laura Whicker, the beneficiaries of an odd default in the first round against Albuquerque Academy’s top doubles squad of Ksenia Bosnia/Stacy Pollack, lost to Roswell’s Jesse Jennings/Alicia Romero 6-2, 6-2.
In the semifinals, however, Margevicius/Hsiesh-Ratliff returned the favor for Los Alamos against Roswell’s team, taking a 6-1, 6-1 decision.
Bosnia/Pollack likely would’ve been a big factor in the girls doubles draw, as Bosnia was the state 4A singles champion in 2011.
Los Alamos’ top singles qualifier, Sidra Hsieh-Ratliff, drew No. 1 seed Melissa Pick of Academy in the quaterfinals. Pick needed only about 20 minutes to top Hsieh-Ratliff 6-0, 6-0.
Pick would cruise to her second straight state title, knocking off Grants’ Paris Corley 6-3, 6-3. Her Class 4A win was the sixth win for the Pick family in seven years — older sister Lauren Pick was a four-time singles champion.
Wednesday, Hsieh-Ratliff topped No. 8 seed Anne Ikard of Mesilla Valley 6-3, 6-3 for her first career win in the state tournament.
Also Wednesday, Hilltopper Nasim Andrews opened up her 4A tournament against No. 6 seed Kaylee Milligan of Silver. Andrews fell in that first round contest, 6-0, 6-1.