FHS teams top Centennial, impress in El Paso

Jake Newby

FARMINGTON — The boys and girls Farmington tennis teams rolled over Centennial last week and fared well in an El Paso, Texas invitational during the weekend.

Farmington's Emily Nguyen poses with her first-place singles flight medal after her match in the Chapin Invitational in El, Paso, Texas.

The Lady Scorps were in Las Cruces on Thursday, where they thrashed Centennial 8-1. FHS coach Pat McGrath said the win could help the team further down the road.

"This was the only time we would see Centennial," he said. "So winning will help come seeding time for state."

On Friday and Saturday, FHS participated in the competitive 16-team Chapin Invitational in El Paso, Texas. The Lady Scorps were on top of their game, taking second in the tourney.

Freshman Emily Nguyen stood out in El Paso by winning the singles flight. She beat El Paso's No. 1 singles competitor in three sets — 3-6, 6-3, 6-2. That set up a two-hour final between Nguyen and Centennial's Carrie Albertson, which Nguyen won 3-6, 6-3, 6-0. McGrath said he thought Nguyen wore her opponent down.

"By the third game, Carrie was getting tired and Emily kept the pressure on her, causing her to start making mistakes," McGrath said. "For Emily to win it all, that's an incredible accomplishment with the talent that was out there."

Also in singles for Farmington were Elisa Ballard and Hailie Nygren, who both won three out of five matches.

McGrath said the tournament was an excellent learning experience for his girls.

"We are going to make some changes with our doubles teams that have a lot to do with fundamentals," he said. "We are giving too many points away from lack of focus, which is not uncommon this time of year. Return of serve and second serves with some spin have to be developed by May."

The Scorpion boys team also made the trips to Las Cruces and El Paso. Farmington swept Centennial 9-0, as Nate Benson, Elijah Larson, Andrew Moss, Christian Jones, Peyton Rasmussen and Khaleel Hollingsworth all won their singles matches handily.

The doubles teams of Benson and Larson, Moss and Rasmussen, and Jones and Hollingsworth were also victorious.

Benson and Hollingsworth kept it rolling in the Chapin Invitational, each winning their respective singles matches 3-2.

In mixed doubles in El Paso, Larson teamed up with Riley Coleman, and they took fourth place by going 2-2. That was the highest placing for the Scorpion boys who competed in mixed doubles. Jones and Michelle McGrath went 2-3.

Scorps coach Larry Larson said he valued the experience in El Paso.

"It was a very good tournament for us because we got to see players from Southeast New Mexico and southwest Texas," he said.

The boys and girls will play in the Roswell Invitational on Friday and Saturday.

The Piedra Vista tennis teams were scheduled to host St. Michael's on Saturday but the visiting team canceled. Instead, the PV teams stayed active by competing in an inner-squad mixed doubles tournament. PV will also travel to compete in the Roswell Invitational this weekend.

Jake Newby covers sports for The Daily Times. He can be reached at 505-564-4577.