LOVINGTON — Portales High’s tennis teams qualified two singles entries and two doubles teams on Friday for Class 1A-3A state individual competition next week in Albuquerque, while the Lady Rams earned a team berth on Saturday after reaching the finals of the District 3 tournament.
Junior Austin Lucero will represent the PHS boys after finishing third in District 3 singles competition on Friday. He beat Lovington’s Cameron Insulan 6-2, 6-4, lost to Juan Felix of New Mexico Military 6-3, 6-0 and downed Christian Crawford of Lovington 6-2, 6-3 in the third-place match.
The girls, meantime, qualified senior Jessie Priviett second in singles. She won over Angel Garon of Ruidoso 6-0 and Samantha Ikard of NMMI 6-0, 6-3 before losing to NMMI’s Megan Lynch 6-1, 6-0 in the finals.
The doubles teams of Samantha Lopez/Belle Youngerwolf and McKenzie Bucksath/Hannah Evans were second and third on Friday.
Lopez and Youngerwolf won over a Ruidoso team 6-1, 6-2 and beat Lovington’s Chandri Bhakta/Stacey Garcia 7-5, 4-6, 6-4 before losing in the finals to NMMI’s Susie Pesonan/Chloe Ikard 4-6, 7-5, 4-6. Bucksath and Evans defeated Lovington’s Justine Gutierrez/Michelle Arias 6-2, 6-2; lost to Pesonan/Chloe Ikard 7-5, 7-6 (7-5), and beat Bhakta/Garcia 6-3, 6-2.
On Saturday, the Lady Rams shut out Ruidoso 5-0 in a semifinal — the dual ends once a team reaches five wins — before losing in the finals to NMMI 5-4.
Privett, Lopez, Youngerwolf, Bucksath and Zamorye Cox all won in singles against the Lady Warriors. PHS split singles matches with NMMI, but lost two out of three in doubles to the Lady Colts.
State individual competition is set for Wednesday and Thursday at the Jerry Cline Tennis Complex, with team competition on Friday and Saturday at Albuquerque Academy.