ALBUQUERQUE — The first step to a possible Class 1-3A girls state team tennis title was easy as expected for the Portales Lady Rams.
Now the real work begins.
Portales, the tourney’s top seed, lost more than three games in only one match Friday in steamrolling the Lady Warriors 9-0.
The Lady Rams now take on fifth-seeded Santa Fe St. Michael’s, which cruised past Lovington 8-1, at 8 a.m. today at Sierra Vista Tennis Complex.
The other semifinal, at 11 a.m., pits third-seeded Sandia Prep, an 8-1 winner over Santa Fe Prep, against No. 2 Bosque, which shut out Cobre 9-0. The championship match is set for 2:30 p.m.
Portales earned its third consecutive 9-0 whitewashing of Ruidoso this season, winning each of the top four singles matches by 6-0, 6-0 scores. Meantime, at No. 6, Lady Rams sophomore Tara Thron rallied for a 5-7, 6-4, 7-6 (7-1) victory over Ruidoso senior Codi Angermiller.
“I was pretty happy with the way Tara played,” PHS girls coach Michelle Wallis said. “She was playing a player who was better than a No. 6 player.”
The Lady Rams also had no trouble in doubles, with junior Ella Erf and sophomore Bethany Self winning 6-0, 6-0 at No. 1; sophomores Kassandra Short and Tessa Bryant cruising 6-0, 6-1 at No. 2 and junior Jayna Nance and Thron rolling to a 6-0, 6-3 win at No. 3.
Wallis said the Lady Rams are gearing up to meet St. Mike’s, where she graduated from high school.
“We’re really focusing on (Saturday),” Wallis said. “We just have to move on the court because they can really place the ball well. We’ll have to play with lots of energy.”