FHS boys and girls place first at home invite

Piedra Vista girls and boys fall to Farmington in the finals

Jake Newby

FARMINGTON — It was another strong weekend for the Farmington girls and boys tennis teams at the Farmington Invitational, where both teams snagged first place.


By downing Española Valley and Grants 9-0, the FHS boys made it out of their pool on Friday, where they then knocked off Piedra Vista 5-4 in Saturday's nail-biter of a final, according to Scorpions coach Larry Larson.

"This was a very competitive and close match for the second week in a row," Larson said. "During the two team matches, the boys only lost one set. It was a terrific day for the team."

Ned Merrion at No. 1 singles, Andrew Moss at No. 4 singles and Sol Rascon at No. 5 singles all came through with wins for Farmington. Merrion's match against Zander Halgryn was a thriller, going 6-4, 5-7, 7-3.

PV also dominated its pool, crushing Belen and Taos 9-0.

Panthers coach Jenny Baker said despite falling just short, her team built off last week's second-place finish at the Roswell Invitational and implemented some new things. Baker was impressed with Kalani Aligarbes, who is both the No. 1 singles player and one half of PV's No. 2 doubles team with Halgryn.

"(Kalani) played Nate Benson three times previous and lost all those times, so yesterday when he beat him 6-2, 6-2, that says a lot about Kalani's ability to make adjustments," Baker said. "He worked on the things he needed to in order to get that win."

The Farmington girls didn't have to sweat quite as much as FHS boys. The Lady Scorps also met PV in the final, but the hosts won that match-up 7-2. FHS coach Pat McGrath said the matches were a little more competitive than the final scores indicated.

"We had a very competitive match Saturday with three of the matches going three sets," McGrath said. "Elise Ballard had a great weekend playing number one for us and losing only one game out of three matches."

Ballard handily defeated PV's Alyssa Baker 6-1, 6-0 at No. 1 singles.

The doubles teams of Katherine Fisher and Michelle McGrath, as well as Monica Briones and Anita Briody-Pavlik showed heart by battling back from opening set losses to win their doubles matches.

The victorious Lady Panthers were Angelica Sabol at No. 3 singles and Josie Howard at No. 4 singles.

Both Panthers teams will compete in the Rio Rancho Quad on Saturday, while the Farmington squads will play in the Taos Invitational on Friday and Saturday.

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