Lady Scorps chase down 11th straight district title

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FARMINGTON – The Farmington girls and boys tennis teams cruised to district title wins this week, topping Piedra Vista, Gallup and Miyamura at home without much resistance.

Both the FHS and PV teams were busy this week, first facing off against each other and then battling Miyamura and Gallup as part of Wednesday's district duals.

The FHS squads had their way with Piedra Vista on Tuesday at the Farmington Sports Complex. The Lady Scorpions rolled past the Lady Panthers 9-0, and PV's boys didn't fare much better against FHS, falling 8-1.

"The match ended with a surprising 8-1 score in our favor, but (the matches) were all hotly contested," FHS boys coach Larry Larson said. "This match was most likely for the third and fourth seeds in the state team tournament."

The Scorpions' No. 1 singles player, Ned Merrion, came back to down PV's Zander Halgryn in a thriller, 4-6, 6-3, 7-6. That was the only boys match in singles or doubles to go three sets.

The Lady Scorps didn't get much of a test at the district duals, which were also played in Farmington after being postponed because of rain on April 16. FHS shut Gallup and Miyamura down 9-0, as freshman Karina Farnsworth and sophomore Kaylee Nygren teamed up for the first time in doubles to the tune of a 6-1, 6-1 victory over the Lady Patriots.

The dominant effort brought the FHS girls their 11th consecutive district championship. Coach Pat McGrath said he was so confident in his team going in that he felt comfortable giving his younger girls an extended look.

"We moved some girls around and were able to play some girls that haven't gotten in too many matches," McGrath said. "The whole team is proud of what it accomplished. The girls were able to shut out the entire district."

The Scorps defeated the Gallup boys 9-0 by forfeit because the Bengals could not field a complete team. FHS also ousted Miyamura 9-0, which gave the Scorps a final regular-season record of 26-1 against District 1-5A opponents.

Piedra Vista's boys and girls claimed second in 1-5A with both squads crushing Gallup and Miyamura at the district duals. Neither the PV boys nor the girls lost a single set to either team, with each team winning 9-0.

At No. 1 doubles for the PV boys, Halgryn and Kalani Aligarbes were a major bright spot. They accounted for PV's only win over FHS on Tuesday, and they blew past Miyamura on Wednesday, 6-4, 6-2.

Panthers coach Jenny Baker said last week's rain-out kicked off what would turn into a rough week for her squad, but she's hopeful the team can build some momentum when it hosts Grants today on Senior Recognition Day for both schools.

"We kind of knew FHS was the district championship, and when the duals got postponed, it put everything out of order," she said. "So that threw us off. I'm hoping (today) ends really positively, with positive energy going into individual districts."

The Lady Panthers also host Gallup today. The Farmington teams are off until Friday, when the individual district tournament begins.

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

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