By Mickey Winfield: Freedom Newspapers
Portales senior Ella Erf and the Ram doubles tandem of Walker and Skyler Partin advanced to the state tennis semifinals after big wins Friday afternoon in Albuquerque.
Tournament second-seeded Erf advanced with a a 6-0, 6-0 win over Lovington’s seventh-seeded Lauryn Hess in the girls singles 1A-3A quarterfinals.
“Ella did what she had to do and now she’s moving on,” Portales girls tennis coach Michelle Wallis said.
“I played pretty well,” Erf said. “It was a good match to get me ready for (the semifinals).”
Erf faces third-seeded Dara McDevitt from Bosque School in today’s semifinals.
“(Ella’s) going to have to have patience,” Wallis said. “Instead of going for that quick kill, she’s going to just have to volley with her. I think if she keeps it in play all the time that it will come out in her favor.”
“I just need to play confident and play my game and not let her take over and set her pace,” Erf said. “I need to set my own pace and make sure I play consistent and take advantage of her backhand.”
Sandia Prep’s fifth-seeded Chelsea Lehman ended Portales junior Bethany Self’s season, beating the fourth-seeded Lady Ram 2-6, 6-4, 4-6.
In boys doubles, the Partins defeated Lovington’s Charles Cook and Zach Salas in 6-1, 6-0 and advanced to the semifinals when New Mexico Military Institute’s third-seeded doubles pair defaulted. One of the Colt’s doubles players was unable to make the trip, Wallis said.
The Partin brothers will face the second-seeded Las Vegas-Robertson tandem of Ethan Maestas and Emilio Gomez today with a ticket to the state championship match on the line.
In the girls doubles competition, Portales juniors Tessa Bryant and Kassandra Short defeated Ruidoso’s Mirrissa Balderrama and Sammi Bennett 6-0, 6-2 in the first round before losing their quarterfinal match to a Sandia Prep duo 1-6, 2-6.
In boys singles, Portales senior Kyle Adams’ prep career ended with a 3-6, 5-7 loss at the hands of Ruidoso’s Jake Ordorica in a first round match.