The District 5 4-A Individuals Tennis Tournament were held at Belen High School on Friday, giving local players a final shot for the state tournament.
Belen girls came in at first place, while Valencia placed fourth and Los Lunas placed sixth.
Belen senior Roma Cordova brought home the district individuals title after beating Miyamura junior Keen Pitogo in two sets (6-2, 6-3).
An Eagles showdown took place during the doubles finals. Belen freshmen Riley Cordova and Isabella Jaramillo beat seniors Madison Good and Sidney Shawver in three sets (6-1, 7-6, 7-1).
On the boys’ side, Belen placed second. Valencia and Los Lunas came in at fourth and fifth place, respectively. Belen junior William Chavez won the individuals’ crown, beating Grants’ Damon Morales in three sets (6-2, 5-7, 7-5).
Belen head coach Barbara Grega was pleased with her teams’ performances.
“They played with heart,” said Grega. “All of their hard work throughout the year has paid off.”
Up next for the tennis squads is the state tournament, which began on Wednesday afternoon, after the News-Bulletin deadline. Chavez will be joined by Hunter Williamson of Los Lunas and Xavier Castillo of Valencia at state. Roma Cordova earned a No. 4 seed and will play in the girls’ bracket.
Grega has high hopes for Chavez and Cordova as they compete in individuals.
“I think they will have great results at state,” said Grega. “They both have a lot of passion for the game of tennis. They play hard and go into every match with a positive attitude, and they play each match to the fullest.”
Valencia head coach Matt Castillo said Xavier Castillo will face tough competition at the tournament, but he remains confident.
“It’s going to be a tough matchup,” said Castillo. “Xavier is going to bring his best game and anything can happen.”
Los Lunas head coach Mike Velasquez looks forward to Williamson’s performance at state. In the program’s third year at Los Lunas, Velasquez said tennis is still a work in progress. However, Williamson, a senior, has been a key part of that progress.
“He has been the main strength of our team since the beginning,” said Velasquez, “and he’ll surely be missed after he graduates.”
For doubles, Belen will send Zachary Savilla and Taylor Wright for the boys. They will be joined by Ryan Rindels and Issac Lopez of Valencia.
Belen girls will send two doubles teams as Good, Shawver, Cordova and Jaramillo make their way to state. Valencia will also send a doubles team as Preslee Eylicio and Yazmine Romero head to the tourney.