Samantha Baltz, left, and Kate Segal shake hands after winning a point Thursday morning in their quarterfinals victory. (Herron photo)

Rio Rancho High School’s No. 1 seeded tennis duo of Rams Kate Segal, a senior, and junior Samantha Baltz, won their first match Wednesday and then three matches Thursday – all in straight sets – en route to winning the first high school state tennis championship in Rio Rancho history.

Their finals match, when they knocked off third-seeded Farmington’s Sawyer-Deswood (6-3, 6-1), ended just before 5 p.m. Thursday:

The Segal-Baltz tandem also are the 1-5A and Metro doubles champs, which is cool enough, but now they’ve etched their names into Rio Rancho High School history.

They barely broke a sweat on the breezy days, 6-1, 6-0 over a Deming tandem; 6-3, 6-1 over Eldorado’s duo in the quarterfinals; 6-2, 6-0 over a Santa Fe pair in the semifinals; and that two-set finale over the Scorpions.

In RRHS’s 25-year history, only Ashley Bass played for a state championship. Back in 2005, Bass – then a sophomore – won the first set before dropping the next two to Jenny Moscato of Mayfield. Bass was back at state the next two seasons, but as the 4 seed in her junior season, lost in the quarterfinals; in her 2007 senior season, she was knocked out in the semifinals.

Other than Segal-Baltz, only one Rams singles player and a Storm doubles team got as far as the quarterfinals.

Here are the results of the singles and doubles tournaments.


RRHS’s Keegan Gooch, a senior, beat Nick Morales of Los Lunas (6-1, 6-0) in the Round of 16, then lost in straight sets (6-0, 6-0) in the quarterfinals to No. 2 seed Tanin Ramnath of La Cueva.

Rams sophomore Thomas Icken was a straight-sets (6-2, 6-2) victim of La Cueva’s Thaaj Bhardwaj in the Round of 16.

Cleveland sophomore Collin Nicholson was whipped in straight sets (6-0, 6-0) by Deming’s Sebastien Lescombes, also in the Round of 16.


Rams senior Ashlee Searle defeated Mikayla Montaño (6-0, 6-0) before falling in the Round of 16 (6-3, 6-3) to No. 3 seed Ellise Jay of Mayfield.

Cleveland senior Maya Jio was ousted in the Round of 16 by Hobbs’ Isabel Armendariz (7-6, 7-6).


Cleveland’s Elliot Brann, a senior, and freshman Tyler Nunn lost in the first round to a Roswell tandem (7-6, 6-1).

Rio Rancho sophomore Ryan Meier and junior Brodrick Lasley needed three sets (6-1, 5-7, 7-6) before being knocked out of the first round by a Manzano duo.


Cleveland’s Ireland Myerscough, a sophomore, and Kaiya AuBuchon, a junior, lost in straight sets (6-1, 7-5) to a Manzano duo in the first round.

CHS juniors Peyton Casey and Rachel Shaw won their Round of 16 match (6-2, 6-4) over an Alamogordo tandem, then fell in straight sets (6-2, 6-0) in the quarterfinals to the No. 4 Santa Fe duo.

Rams seniors Kennedy Baugh and Presley Saxon lost to La Cueva (6-3, 6-3) in their Round of 16 match.

BOYS TEAM COMPETITION starts Friday morning:

The 10th-seeded RRHS boys meet No. 7 Alamogordo, with doubles at 8 and singles at 9:30. The winning team advances into the quarterfinals, where it’ll meet No. 2 Piedra Vista, also Friday, with doubles at 2 and singles at 3:30.

The team semis start with doubles at 11 a.m. and singles at 12:30 p.m. Saturday, and the championship match follows, with doubles at 3:30 and singles at 5 p.m.


The District 1-5A champion rams got the 3 seed and meet the winner of the Deming-Manzano match Friday in the quarterfinals, with doubles at 5 and singles at 6:30 p.m.

The team semis start with doubles at 11 a.m. and singles at 12:30 p.m. Saturday, and the championship match follows, with doubles at 3:30 and singles at 5 p.m.