Jun. 16—Blue and white will be a dominant color scheme at Albuquerque Academy on Saturday morning, thanks to St. Michael’s.
The school’s boys and girls tennis teams advanced to the Class 1A-4A semifinals in Albuquerque with quarterfinal wins Tuesday. The boys, the second seed in the team tournament, routed Albuquerque St. Pius X, 8-1, to face a matchup against No. 3 Lovington at 11 a.m. Saturday. Meanwhile, the fifth-seeded girls took advantage of some missing players from No. 4 Santa Fe Prep to down the Blue Griffins by a 7-2 count.
The boys team continued its dominating ways as it lost just its sixth match in team competition this season as it fashioned an 11-0 record. The Horsemen swept the doubles portion, and the lone match it lost was in a tie-breaking third set. Even more impressive is that none of their doubles teams has lost a match and has a cumulative 32-0 mark. Singles player Kameron Dunbar and No. 5 Jaxen Bujould are also undefeated.
“We have a fairly deep team, and that’s what you need in high school tennis to do well,” St. Michael’s head boys coach Drew McDermott said. “I am pretty happy with the records we’ve racked up, especially Jaxen in singles.”
The Lady Horsemen have come on strong over the past month, going 5-1 in that stretch. Head coach Jeremy Garcia said St. Michael’s benefitted from Prep not having enough players, and they had to forfeit two singles and a doubles match. Fortified by those three free points, St. Michael’s went 4-2 over the remaining six matches to advance to the semifinals.
Garcia was especially proud of the performance of the doubles team of eighth grader Presley Dobbs and sophomore Avery Haffner. Garcia said Dobbs was excited for a chance to contribute to the win. Haffner, meanwhile, came off a tough singles loss but pushed past it to secure a straight-sets win.
“She had a tough match, but played really good,” Garcia said of Haffner. “She mentioned she was really nervous, but she played amazing with Pressley. You want to be able to see that and it happened pretty quick.”
Prep head coach Ralph Bolton said he was missing a few key players because of other obligations, but he said that scenario is not unique to his team. He said he was happy the New Mexico Activities Association was able to allow athletes to compete in all of their chosen sports.
“We are still playing tennis two weeks after school finished and that has been challenging,” Bolton said. “We had some girls playing other sports and others had travel plans, like looking at colleges and they made their plans long before the NMAA decided what to do. I know other teams have had issues with this. You just have to play through it.”
Bolton added he was impressed with the performances of Aditi Shah and Emma Anderson, who won their singles matches for the team’s lone points.