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ALBUQUERQUE — With Brenna O’Hara stomping off the court in disgust following she and her partner Sarah Worland’s loss in the Class AAAA semifinal, it would’ve been hard to imagine a few hours later the team would bounce back for a big end to their season.
O’Hara and Worland, a pair of seniors on the Los Alamos Hilltopper girls tennis team, did just that, however, knocking off Ksenia Bosina/Alice Linder of Albuquerque Academy to grab third place at the AAAA doubles championship tournament Thursday afternoon at the Jerry Cline Tennis Complex.
O’Hara and Worland held on in the second set, holding serve to take a 6-5 advantage and then breaking the Chargers’ next serve to pull off the straight-set victory, 6-3, 7-5.
“I know this sounds really bad, but to take this from Academy makes it 20 times better,” said O’Hara, a veteran of the program and one of the most colorful characters the Hilltoppers have produced in recent memory.
O’Hara/Worland made the best of its late season in 2010. After a rocky start to the season and some big losses coming at the hands of District 2AAAA foes Alex and Olivia Cancro, O’Hara/Worland knocked off the Cancros at their place last weekend to claim the district title, then had to go through two Farmington Scorpions teams to get to the state semifinal.
In the semifinal, the team faced yet another Scorpions’ squad, the powerful duo of sisters Hannah and Tori Merrion.Merrion/Merrion, the top seed entering the draw, would actually be upset in the final round of the doubles draw by Goddard’s Hallie Harton/Gaby Joyce, 6-4, 6-2.
But following their loss to Merrion/Merrion, the Hilltopper seniors got a chance to cool off at the team’s hotel and refocus for the third-place contest with Academy.
“There’s one big difference between third place and fourth place,” Los Alamos head coach Bruce Cottrell said. “If you get third place, you get a medal. If you get fourth place, you get nothing…These girls love tennis and to have the chance to play one more match, they’re fine.”
O’Hara and Worland are not only teammates, but they’re best buddies as well, something that helped them bounce back from the semifinal loss to grab the victory in their final prep match of their careers.
“To come out of your senior year with a medal for third place, you couldn’t ask for a better ending,” Worland said.