State tennis tournament ahead

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After district wins, Redbirds set sights on bigger prizes

By Dave Kavanaugh

The reward for a girls’ season that was every bit as good as expected and a boys’ campaign that surprised a few fans? Several high seeds in the state tennis tournaments for Robertson and head coach Juan Carlos Fulgenzi.


The tourneys begin Wednesday in Albuquerque, and because of how Sunday’s seeding materialized, Robertson has a chance to place multiple finalists in boys’ and girls’ singles and girls’ doubles.

In girls’ singles, Robertson senior Miranda Garcia earned the No. 1 seed and a first-round bye. She will play the winner between No. 8 Mikala Vertovec of Raton and unseeded Stephanie Lerma of Lovington in a quarterfinal beginning at 11 a.m. Thursday at the Jerry Cline Complex (off Louisiana Boulevard near Indian School in Albuquerque).

RHS freshman Juliana Guerin, the runner-up to Garcia in district, is a No. 3 seed and also earned a first-round bye. She’ll face either No. 6 Sally Feldewert of St. Michael’s or Katelynn Slater of Lovington in another 11 a.m. Thursday quarterfinal, also at Cline Complex.

Also receiving first-round byes are No. 2 seed Paloma Gomez of St. Mike’s and No. 4 seed Louisa MacKenzie of Bosque.

Semifinals are 2 p.m. Thursday, with the championship and third-place matches following at 5:30.

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Another Robertson senior with state championship on his resume, Emilio Gomez  will seek to finish his Cardinal career in style this week.

Gomez is the No. 2 seed in the boys’ singles draw and awaits the winner between No. 7 Xach Branch of St. Mike’s and Cameron Crawford of Lovington.

The quarterfinals are 11 a.m. Thursday, followed by semifinals at 2 and finals at 5:30.

Other top-four seeds and first-round bye recipients are No. 1 Rand Briggs of Bosque, No. 3 Jose Gonzalez of New Mexico Military Institute and No. 4 Federico Sanchez of NMMI.

Robertson sophomore David Romero is the No. 8 seed and plays Ryan Wood of Portales in one of four first-round encounters at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday. The winner gets Briggs in the quarterfinals. Romero was runner-up to Gomez in the district tourney.

All matches in the bracket are set for the Cline Complex.

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For the first time in a while, two Lady Cardinal teams are in the mix for the state girls’ doubles title. Victoria Gomez and Victoria Giron, who wrested the district title from RHS teammates Giavanna LaFerriere and Elise Almendarez, received the No. 4 seed. Gomez and Giron play in an 8 a.m. Thursday quarterfinal against either Portales (Shelby Lucero and Kim Spotswood) or Taos (Aquene Reid and Brooke Jordy).

LaFerriere and Almendarez got the No. 6 seed and open with Lovington’s Callie Kerby and Kaitlynn Crow at 3:30 p.m. Wednesday. If they win, they play No. 3 Stacy Pollack and Claire Donahue from Bosque at 8 a.m. the next day.

Aside from Gomez-Giron and Pollack-Donahue, other top-four seeds are No. 1 Abby Younger and Margaret Stebbins (Sandia Prep) and No. 2 Nikki Kerby and Jacinda Hatfield (Lovington).

Semifinals are 12:30 and finals are 4 p.m., all at Cline Complex.

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Nick Newman and Henry Robertson round out the Robertson contingent at state, earning a No. 5 seed in the boys’ doubles bracket. Just missing a first-round bye, the Cardinal duo will play Kacy Vigil and Jesse Hooper of Portales at 5 p.m. Wednesday in hopes of setting up a quarterfinal meeting with No. 4 Jacey Kidd and Jacob Lovelace of Lovington at 8 the next morning.

Other top-four seeds: No. 1 Miles Parnegg and Graham Bryan (Sandia Prep), No. 2 Jorge Garza and Bob Estrella (NMMI) and No. 3 Will Mathews and Casey Ish (St. Mike’s).

Semifinals are 12:30 and finals are 4 p.m., all at Cline Complex.

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Robertson’s Lady Cardinals garnered the No. 1 seed in the girls’ team competition and will tangle with No. 8 Hope Christian to open play on Friday at the Albuquerque Academy campus off Wyoming Boulevard. Singles matches start at 9 a.m., followed by doubles at 10:30.

Semifinals start at 8 a.m. Saturday, with finals at 1 p.m., also at Academy.

On the same half of the draw as Robertson are No. 4 Portales and No. 5 Bosque. On the other half are No. Sandia Prep playing No. 6 Lovington, along with No. 2 St. Mike’s against No. 7 Taos.

• • •

The Cardinal boys, seeded sixth, play No. 3 Bosque beginning at 3 p.m. (doubles) and 4:30 p.m. (singles) on Friday.

On the same half as RHS is a match between No. 2 St. Mike’s and No. 7 Portales. Rounding out the boys’ team bracket is No. 1 NMMI playing No. 8 Taos, as well as No. 4 Lovington taking on No. 5 Sandia Prep.

Semifinals are 9:30 a.m. Saturday, and finals start at 2 p.m. All matches are at Academy.