Girls tennis: LA wins 1 of 3 duals in Santa Fe

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By The Staff

This weekend, Santa Fe was a home away from home for the Los Alamos Hilltopper girls tennis team.

Los Alamos held its Melt the Snow Invitational this weekend. The tournament was played at Santa Fe and Capital high schools. Los Alamos played three teams in duals this weekend, going 1-2 in those three duals.

It has been a slow start to the season for the Hilltoppers, who have barely been able to practice in Los Alamos due to the court conditions — hence the name of the tournament.

More important than anything for Hilltopper head coach Bruce Cottrell this weekend was to get some swings in.

“At least all of our players got to play a little,” Cottrell said. “We’re still in a position where our courts aren’t clear of snow.”

While Santa Fe, Capital, St. Michael’s and Clovis were all scheduled to appear this weekend, Capital was a late withdrawal from the tournament and Santa Fe’s participation was somewhat spotty.

Friday, Los Alamos lost its tournament opener to St. Michael’s, 6-3. Saturday, Los Alamos split its two contests, knocking off Santa Fe 8-1 and falling to Clovis 9-0.

Cottrell said a good part of his team was able to participate both days and virtually all of his available players played at least one day.

Los Alamos, during the early part of the season, has been playing without its top returning senior, Brenna O’Hara. O’Hara is recovering from shoulder surgery but could be back as early as this weekend when the team travels south for the Carlsbad Invitational.

Other returners for Los Alamos, including Gina Stroud, Beth Wendelberger, Andrea Hentgartner, Colleen Fitzsimmons, Gillian Hsieh-Ratliff, as well as newcomer Kunjae Kerdpol, took part in both days of the tournament.

Other participants this weekend included Nasim Andrews, Gwen Cunningham, Marisa Higdon, Chelsea Thwaits, Bryn Smith and Ella O’Donnell.

Los Alamos finished second at the 2009 Class AAAA tournament, falling in the tournament final to Farmington.