No. 2 Los Alamos defeated the top-seeded Lady Scorps 5-4 in the final at Jerry Cline Complex in Albuquerque on Saturday.
“I’m impressed with our group. They played like veterans,” said FHS girls head coach Pat McGrath.
FHS fell behind to the Hilltoppers after losing four of the six singles matches.
No. 2 singles Molly Merrion (6-2, 6-1) and No 6. singles Riley Coleman (6-1, 6-0) won in straight sets for the Lady Scorps.
The Lady Scorps were unable to scrape out wins in tight singles matches, however, losing three of the four in three sets.
FHS fought back in doubles play, winning at No. 1 and No. 3 doubles to tie the match at four wins apiece.
The state title came down to the No. 2 doubles match in which the Lady Scorps came up short, losing in straight sets 7-5, 6-4.
“We’ll be in the finals again next year,” McGrath said. “They’re pretty shattered right now. It hurts, but they’ll be back.”
McGrath said the team accomplished his goal heading into the season.
“They did a great job. My goal was to get the finals,” he said. “Now, that goal changed once we got there, because I’m not happy with second, but they did what I hoped. They can still get better.”
The loss was the Lady Scorps’ first in New Mexico since falling to Los Alamos in the 2008 state final.
FHS defeated No. 4 Mesilla Valley 5-0 in the semifinals and No. 8 Roswell 8-1 in the quarterfinals to get to the final.
The No. 2 FHS boys also lost in the final, losing to Albuquerque Academy 5-0.
“I’m proud of them. The boys competed very well,” said Scorpion boys’ head coach Larry Larson. “We just ran into Academy. They have three of top four individuals in singles and the doubles team that was in the final against us.
Malcolm McGrath and Will Hall took the first set in the No. 3 doubles match in a tiebreaker, but the rest of the FHS matches were dropped in straight sets.
The Scorpions advanced to the title match after defeating No. 6 Santa Fe 5-0 in the semifinals and No. 7 Mesilla Valley 8-1 in the quarterfinals.
“We didn’t have too much trouble with either one of them,” Larson said. “We only lost the No. 1 singles match to Mesilla Valley against the kid who finished third in the singles individual tournament.”
Academy defeated No. 4 Piedra Vista 5-0 in the semifinals to set up the title match up with Farmington.
The Scorpions will lose one senior, Curtis Hunt, next year, and Larson believes the team will be strong heading into next season.
“We’ll go in with three seniors, and we’ll be right there next year," he said.
Joshua Perry can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org; 505-564-4648. Follow him on Twitter @jperrysuu.