Eagle tennis teams beat Rio Rancho

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Saturday's close tennis matches at Rio Rancho High could prove to be valuable experience.

In duals that featured several close matches, the Belen High teams earned hard-fought victories over their Rams counterparts, with the Eagle boys winning 7-2 and the Lady Eagles triumphing 5-4.

"There were several exciting matches," said BHS coach Regina Elkins. "It was kind of nerve-wracking, but good experience, and the kids did what they should have done, for the most part."

This Saturday, the Belen teams will host the Lobo Invite, which will be held at the University of New Mexico's Linda Estes Tennis Complex. Raton and Hope Christian are set to compete, with the event set to begin at 9 a.m.

At Rio Rancho, it was one of the first-ever duals between the schools. Class 5A Rio Rancho visited 4A Belen for a 4A scrimmage last season.

On the girls side, singles players Marisol Armijo, Elizabeth Martinez and Brittany Gallegos were all winners, as were the doubles teams of Stephanie Sander and Scarlett Griego, along with Elizabeth Martinez and Brittany Gallegos. Martinez came back to win her singles match in three sets.

Sander and Griego's first set against Jordan UnVonSchuld and Lindsay Davidson went to a seven-point tiebreaker. UnVonSchuld and Davidson beat Sander and Griego on the singles side, with Sander losing in three sets, including a 10-8 third set.

The BHS doubles team of Melanie Martinez and Esperanza Herrera rallied before losing, 6-0, 4-6, 10-7.

The Eagle boys got singles wins from Niccolas Lux, Gilbert Devlin, Nicholas Garcia and Phillip Carrillo. Devlin and Carrillo gutted out three-set victories.

Rio Rancho eighth-grader Sean Gabaldon outlasted Belen senior David Garcia in a tough No. 1 singles battle, 5-7, 6-4, 11-9.

Elkins praised the taller, more-experienced Garcia for how well he played against the quick, diminutive Gabaldon.

Eagle junior Matt Becker rallied in his No. 2 singles match against Thomas Sauters before falling, 4-6, 6-3, 10-7.

In boys doubles, the teams of Garcia and Lux, Becker and Devlin, and Garcia and Carrillo all won. Becker and Devlin were the only ones to win with no tiebreakers.

On Saturday, March 10, the Eagle teams are set to host 5A Alamogordo at 10 a.m.


-- Email the author at jbrooks@news-bulletin.com.