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Tennis teams, individuals among top seeds in 5A

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It seemed throughout the spring season the Los Alamos Hilltopper tennis teams were on the very short list of squads with a very good chance of earning a state title in 2017.
And the New Mexico Activities Association tennis seeding committee seemed to agree.
Los Alamos earned either the No. 1 or No. 2 seeds in girls singles, girls doubles and boys doubles, which started Wednesday in Albuquerque. Along with that, the Hilltopper girls earned the top seed in team competition, while the boys are the No. 2 seed in that draw.
The singles and doubles tournaments were scheduled for Wednesday and Thursday in Albuquerque, with the team competition starting today.
Los Alamos’ athletes will play their matches at the Jerry Cline Tennis Center.
Albuquerque Academy, one of the dominant programs in the state in both boys and girls tennis, extending as far back as there’s been tennis at the prep level in New Mexico, picked up the No. 1 seed on the boys side.
The Chargers, who went through the regular season a spotless 11-0 and won three different tournament titles, are undoubtedly the team to beat in boys tennis, while the Charger girls are the three seed behind top-seeded Los Alamos and second-seeded Farmington.
Not to be outdone, however, is Los Alamos, which earned a 1 seed on the girls side and a 2 seed on the boys side.
Los Alamos swept all three of the allotted District 2 slots in the girls 5A doubles draw, including each of the top two seeds. The Hilltoppers’ top doubles team of Katya Skurikhin/Lauryn Anaya is the No. 1 seed in the draw, followed by the No. 2 team of Maia Menefee/Serena Birnbaum.
Should both of Hilltopper teams survive, they wouldn’t face each other until the state championship match – which would have been played at 4 p.m. Thursday. To get to the finals, however, Menefee and Birnbaum could end up meeting teammates Ann Sherrill/Alina Bulthuis, the third Los Alamos team in the draw, in the second round of the tournament Thursday morning.
Also in girls competition this week, the Hilltoppers’ top single, Sidra Hsieh-Ratliff, earned a No. 2 seed and started tournament play  Wednesday against Brianna Blaylock of Goddard.
Hsieh-Ratliff, who has been among Los Alamos’ top singles players since her eighth-grade year, won’t potentially face a ranked opponent until the semifinals.
The No. 1 seed in 5A girls singles for 2017 is Farmington’s Emily Nguyen.
Also earning her way into the 5A girls singles draw is Los Alamos’ Kayla Parker, who is going in unranked. Parker faced No. 3 seed Elise Ballard of Farmington in the opening round Wednesday.
In boys doubles, Los Alamos also earned a No. 2 seeding. Andrew Tang and George Margevicius will team up for Los Alamos, and faced an unranked team from Artesia Wednesday.
The powerful team from Albuquerque Academy, Coleton and Hunter Hootman, not surprisingly, earned the No. 1 seed in boys doubles.
The only draw Los Alamos didn’t get a top-two seed was in boys singles competition. Academy took both of those honors, with Malachi Coleman, a dominant player in state tennis, earning the No. 1 seed and Abraham Yohannes, possibly the only one in the state that can give Coleman a run for his money this season, picking up the 2 seed.
Los Alamos’ lone entry into the 5A boys singles tournament is Thomas Chadwick. Chadwick is going in unranked and faced unranked Sol Rascon of Farmington Wednesday.
In team competition, the top seeded Hilltopper girls will face either eighth-seeded Goddard or ninth-seeded Lovington in the second round of that draw today at the Jerry Cline Center, while the Hilltopper boys will meet either St. Pius, the No. 7 seed, or 10th-seeded Roswell late this afternoon.
The 5A team tournament finals are scheduled for 4 p.m. Saturday.