It took just five singles flights for the Portales girls to make their way back to the Class 1A-3A team state tennis tournament.
Portales’ 5-0 win over Ruidoso Saturday morning gave the Lady Rams no worse than second place in District 3-1A/3A tournament, played at the Bill Wahlman Tennis Center. The top two teams in the district earn state berths, with the Class 1A-3A seeding to be determined Sunday in Albuquerque.
Shelby Lucero, Megan Combs, Sabrina Montoya, Makynzi Whited and Kim Spotswood all took victories in singles flights, and matches were ended as soon as one team reached five points.
Lovington won the championship 5-2, with Lucero and Combs claiming the only PHS wins in singles flights.
“We definitely played harder against Lovington than we did in our (regular-season) match,” girls coach Sara Meeks said, “so I was pretty pleased with that.”
Across the city at the Eastern New Mexico University tennis courts, the results weren’t the same for the boys squad. The third-seeded Rams could not get past Lovington.
Branden Carter, Jesse Hooper and Mychael Sturm claimed Portales’ victories — all in singles flights — in the 5-3 loss.
Portales lost out on the chance to automatically qualify for the tournament, but could get an at-large bid from the seeding committee.
“We definitely saw improvement from last year, because we came into district as the fourth team last year,” Portales boys coach Brian Kirchner said. “Now, we’re the third seed, battling and almost getting to the championship (match).
“There was improvement, but at the same time, I would have liked to see us make it (to state outright).”
New Mexico Military Institute defeated Lovington 5-1 for the championship.