ALBUQUERQUE — Portales High sophomore Morgan Erf has a tall order in today’s Class 1A-3A state tennis girls singles semifinals, but coach Bill Wahlman thinks she’s ready for it.
After a first-round bye, Erf breezed past Bosque’s Tori Linton 6-0, 6-0 in the Wednesday’s quarterfinal round at the Albuquerque Tennis Complex. In today’s 8 a.m. matchup at Albuquerque Academy, she takes on Sandia Prep senior Mariana Spilca — the four-time defending state champion.
“Morgan wants to play her,” Wahlman said. “She realizes (Spilca’s) a good player, but she’s not intimidated by her.”
The other semifinal matches Christine Brown of Ruidoso against Bosque’s Molly McDevitt. Third-place and championship matches are set for 1:30 p.m.
PHS freshman Bethany Self won her first-round match over Santa Fe Prep junior Paige Young 6-3, 6-2 before going out in a 6-0, 6-0 loss to Spilca.
In girls doubles, Portales senior Rachelle Self and sophomore Kaycee Quick won a quarterfinal match from West Las Vegas juniors Carmela Montoya and Rachel Encinias 6-3, 6-3, but lost 6-4, 6-1 in the semifinals to seniors Jessica Butler and Erika Sommer of St. Michael’s.
Butler and Sommer play Kristin Guerin and Raven Romero of Las Vegas Robertson for the championship while Self and Quick take on freshman Allie Coleman and Casey Manzaneres of Bosque for third place in matches set for 9:45 a.m.
On the boys’ side, PHS seniors Chance Plummer and Chris Kirchner lost a third-set tiebreaker in doubles semifinals and will play junior Conor Pogue and freshman Nicholas Salazar for third place at 9:45a.m.
Plummer and Kirchner won their first-round match over junior Ben Bowen and senior Chris Tafoya of West Las Vegas 6-1, 6-3 before losing to seniors Luke Amer and Andrew Winter of St. Michael’s 6-4, 3-6, 7-6 (7-3). Amer and Winter face Robertson’s Roman Fulgenzi and Emilio Garcia in the finals.
“I was disappointed that we lost,” Wahlman said. “I felt like we were going to win it. Just a few shots here and there made the difference.”
In singles, Rams junior Chris Acker lost a first-round match to Santa Fe Prep junior Sam Mott 6-1, 6-1.