By Mickey Winfield, PNT Staff Writer
Portales’ Ella Erf and Bethany Self combined for an undefeated run through the doubles state tennis tournament last season. Soon, they’ll be headed back to state competing against each other.
Erf beat Self in the District 4-3A singles competition Saturday afternoon at the Eastern New Mexico University tennis courts 6-1, 7-5 to win the district championship. Both players advance to the state tournament.
“I am so proud of both of them,” Lady Ram head coach Michelle Wallis said. “It’s a great moment for us and to have them go into state it says a lot for our program and it says a lot for our school.”
Junior doubles team Tessa Bryant and Kassandra Short are headed to state as well, beating Lovington’s Sarah Maker and Julianna Ramos in straight sets 6-4, 7-5.
“(Tessa and Kassandra) played excellent,” Wallis said. “They are ready for state.”
Wallis feels good about the Lady Rams chances to come home with blue trophies.
“They have something to prove this year and they’re going to prove it. They’re on a mission.”
The Rams are also sending the doubles team of Skyler and Walker Partin as well as senior Kyle Adams to state.
The Partin brothers took second in the boys district tournament late Friday night beating Lovington’s Justin Calder and Shane Elliott 6-2, 6-2 before losing the championship match to NMMI’s undefeated duo of Jeff Guiltus and Octavio Alvidrez 6-2, 3-6, 5-7.
“(Skyler and Walker) played exceptionally well all day long,” Ram head coach Wade Fraze said. “Who knows, maybe we’ll see them (NMMI) again at state. I was very proud of those brothers.”
In the singles competition Saturday, Portales senior Kyle Adams defeated teammate Colton Stanton 6-3, 3-6, 6-2 for district runnerup and a trip to the state tournament.
“They both played well,” Fraze said. “Colton played exceptionally well for it to go three sets. Colton has steadily improved this year and really showed a lot of heart.”
The individual state tournament begins May 11.
The Rams and the Lady Rams both won their team district championship Friday and will be playing at the team state competition Thursday through Saturday.