Girls tennis: Toppers take 2nd place at Carlsbad

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By The Staff

This weekend's Carlsbad Invitational went pretty much the way Los Alamos Hilltopper girls tennis coach Bruce Cottrell thought it would.

Los Alamos finished second in team standings behind the host Carlsbad Cavemen at the tournament. The tournament was scheduled for two days, but Friday's singles competition was called off due to rain.

While the Hilltoppers were hoping to get the singles matches in, mostly for the benefit of their younger players, they did play some exhibition matches late Friday with Carlsbad.

In day two of the tournament, Los Alamos' No. 3 doubles squad of Gillian Hsieh-Ratliff and Madeline Margevicius, both eighth graders, won in its bracket.

Hsieh-Ratliff/Margevicius topped teams from Carlsbad, Andrews, Texas and Clovis to win the No. 3 doubles competition.

Behind Hsieh-Ratliff/Margevicius, the team of Brenna O'Hara/Megan Townsley finished second at No. 1 doubles and Colleen Fitzsimmons/Heather Walters took fourth place at No. 2 doubles.

"I thought that we played OK doubles," Cottrell said. "We lost two to Carlsbad and won one. Carlsbad has had consistently good doubles teams. I thought it was good for us. If we're close to Carlsbad, we're doing well. Carlsbad's not as deep this year, but they've got some good young players and we have some good young players."

O'Hara/Townsley knocked off a team from El Paso (Texas) Americas and Andrews, Texas, to advance to the final at No. 1 doubles before falling in straight sets to Carlsbad's Sophie Rodriguez/Megan Harmeson in straight sets.

At No. 2 doubles, Fitzsimmons/Walters won its opening round contest against El Paso Americas. It dropped its next two contests, one to Carlsbad and one to Lovington, to take fourth.

Since returning, Los Alamos has played a lot of intra-squad singles matches. In those matches, some of his younger players have picked off his older players.

Prior to the Hilltoppers' next contest, which isn't scheduled until March 27-28, Cottrell said he will have to take another look at how his players are performing and could shuffle his lineup.

"We're going to look at possible doubles combinations and we'll have to see how our ladder works out," he said.