ALBUQUERQUE — There was little in the recent history of either Los Alamos or Farmington girls tennis to suggest the Hilltoppers stood much of a chance in the Class 4A doubles title match.
But that didn’t deter either Madeline Margevicius or Gillian Hsieh-Ratliff Thursday evening.
Margevicius/Hsieh-Ratliff came out firing in the first set, winning five straight games to set the tone against the powerful Farmington Scorpions’ squad of Molly Merrion/Danielle Nguyen.
Then, when Los Alamos needed it, the Hilltoppers put together a nearly-unstoppable attack at the net, putting away Merrion/Nguyen in a classic title match, 6-2, 5-7, 6-2.
“It’s surreal, it’s liberating,” said Hsieh-Ratliff, a five-year veteran of the program who had never tasted a state title until Thursday. “I feel like my senior year ended on a nice note. I’ve worked since eighth grade. All that’s come together…working so hard, but it’s all been worth it.”
Hsieh-Ratliff crushed an overhead volley right in between Merrion and Nguyen to put the final touches on the upset victory. Margevicius/Hsieh-Ratliff entered the 4A doubles draw as the No. 3 seed, while Merrion/Nguyen was the top seed.