The Scorpions captured the boys and girls district doubles titles at Saturday’s Individual District tournament at the Farmington Sports Complex.
The girls’ final was an all-Lady Scorpion affair with Molly Merrion and Danielle Nguyen emerging victorious over FHS teammates Liza Briody-Pavlik and Riley Coleman 6-3, 7-5.
“I was a little nervous,” Merrion said. “We’ve had really tough matches and really close matches against tough teams.”
Curtis Hunt and Nathaniel Pavlik claimed the boys’ double title with a comprehensive 6-1, 6-1 victory over Belen’s team of Matt Becker and Gilbert Devlin.
“I feel like we’re ready to compete. We just need to iron out a few of our problem, but basically, we’re ready,” Hunt said. “We just both need to play to the best of our abilities at the same time, because if one of us is off our game, then we’re both off our game.”
Sean Barela highlighted the tournament for Piedra Vista, winning the boys’ singles title in a three-set match over Matt With of FHS 4-6, 6-3, 6-1.
“Matt’s always good. All the FHS players are good, so it’s always going to be a tough match,” Barela said. “My keys were just to play game and be comfortable with my shots.”
PV’s Zander Halgryn will join Barela and With at the state individual tournament after taking third place in boys’ singles by beating Miyamura’s Josh Nopah 6-2, 6-2.
Austin Denney and Brandon Adair teamed up to claim the third and final boys doubles spot with a 6-1, 6-4 victory of the Scorpions’ team of Ned Merrion and Conner Rasmussen.
“They have never played together on record,” PV boys head coach Jenny Baker said of Denney and Adair.
“They’ve grown up together and are best pals, but they’ve never played together. We put them together for this particular tournament, and it was a big deal for them.”
The Lady Scorps completed a sweep of all three girls’ doubles places when the team of Caroline Moss and Payton Sandoval came back from a set down to beat Belen’s Elizabeth Martinez and Megan Jaramillo 3-6, 6-3, 6-4.
“It’s pretty impressive,” said FHS girls head coach Pat McGrath of Moss and Sandoval’s comeback. “They’re very competitive and didn’t quit.”
Allie Linville and Sydney Schumacher finished in second and third place for FHS to qualify in the girls’ singles tournament.
Linville advanced through the field with ease before falling to Grants’ Paris Corley 6-0, 6-0 in the final.
“Allie played really well to get to the finals,” McGrath said. “She’s very aggressive and closes matches well.”
Schumacher defeated PV’s Holly Patterson 6-3, 6-1 in the third-place match to take the last state tournament place.
“I knew it was going to be hard, and I didn’t expect to make it this far,” Schumacher said on qualifying for state.
Both FHS and PV will play next week for individual and team state titles next week in Albuquerque.
The individual tournament will begin Wednesday, and the team tournament follows on Friday.
The Lady Scorps will be looking for a fifth-straight state title and are expecting to see some tough competition from Albuquerque Academy and Los Alamos while the boys will attempt to knock off Academy.
“We have the chance,” McGrath said. “We’re playing well. Anything’s possible, but we have to make the finals first.”
The PV boys were eliminated in the first round last year and are hoping to advance past that point this year.
“This year, our team has improved so much that we’ll win that first match, then we’ll see from there,” Barela said.
The Lady Panthers were unable to qualify any individuals for state but will play in the team tournament beginning Friday.
Molly Merrion/Danielle Nguyen def. Liza Briody-Pavlik and Riley Coleman 6-3, 7-5
Caroline Moss/Payton Sandoval def. Elizabeth Martinez/Megan Jaramillo 3-6, 6-3, 6-4
Paris Corley, Grants def. Allie Linville 6-0, 6-0
Sydney Schumacher def. Holly Patterson 6-3, 6-1
Sean Barela def. Matt With 4-6, 6-3, 6-1
Zander Halgryn def. Josh Nopah, Miyamura 6-2, 6-2
Curtis Hunt/Nathaniel Pavlik def. Matt Becker/ Gilbert Devlin, Belen 6-1, 6-1
Austin Denney/Brandon Adair def. Ned Merrion/ Conner Rasmussen 6-1, 6-4
Joshua Perry can be reached at email@example.com;505-564-4648. Follow him on Twitter @jperrysuu.