The Rio Rancho High School girls tennis team returned to the City of Vision with a shiny red trophy Saturday night, finishing second at the state tournament in Albuquerque.
The Rams’ runner-up finish was their best since a second-place finish in the 2007 tournament.
The District 1-5A champion Rams got the 3 seed and met the winner of the Deming-Manzano match Friday in the quarterfinals, an easy 9-0 Rams win.
The Rams then defeated Farmington in the semifinals Saturday, when the top-seeded La Cueva bears knocked out Santa Fe.
Later on Saturday, the Rams were no match for the powerhouse Bears, who won all six matches that were played to clinch the title.
Here’s how Rio Rancho netters played at the state tournament:
- 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.
- RRHS’s Kate Segal and Sam Baltz won the title; story was posted earlier.
- 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
The 10th-seeded RRHS boys met the No. 7 Alamogordo Tigers Friday morning, but came up on the short end of a 7-2 match.