Lady Cats’ Curry bidding for state

Clovis High senior Andrea Curry, shown during District 4-5A competition last spring at CHS, has posted a 14-4 record in singles competition so far this spring and is 9-4 teaming at No. 1 doubles with Patricia Gallegos. Photo by Eric Kluth

By Dave Wagner

Andrea Curry came painfully close to qualifying for the Class 5A girls state tennis tournament last spring, losing in the third-place match to Clovis High teammate and doubles partner Patricia Gallegos for the state berth from District 4-5A.

This year, she’d like to meet Gallegos again in the final round — this time, in the championship match.

“It makes me work harder,” Curry said of her three-set loss to Gallegos. “Hopefully this year we can both go and we won’t have to play for that (final) spot.”

Both players are unbeaten in 4-5A singles play — Gallegos at No. 1, Curry at No. 2 — heading into Saturday’s final district dual against Manzano at CHS.

Curry, a senior, has fashioned a 14-4 overall singles record this spring and has combined with Gallegos for a 9-4 mark at No. 1 doubles. A four-year varsity performer, Curry plans to continue playing next year at Division III McMurry University in Abilene, Texas.

She said she came in contact with the school through former CHS tennis player Holly Baker, a member of the squad who will graduate from McMurry next month.

“I went down there and hit with them over spring break,” she said. “I’m pretty excited about it.”

If that trip was any indication, chances are she’ll be able to hold her own.

“I played their No. 5 player and beat her 6-1,” Curry said, “and she’s doing pretty good right now, actually. They have about four freshmen coming in, and the coach told me I should be in the top three.”

CHS tennis coach Billie Merritt said Curry has a decent chance of getting to state this spring.

“I feel pretty confident she can make it to the semifinals in the district tournament (May 7-8 at Hobbs),” Merritt said. “If she plays well, we could see both her and Patricia playing in the finals.

“Last year they went three long sets, and one was a tiebreaker. They played about 2 1/2 hours.”

Curry said she’s refocused herself this spring.

“I’ve tried to work harder in practice and concentrate on my weaknesses,” she said.

Curry is starting to handle the mental part of the game better, according to Merritt.

“With most kids, a lot of times you can tell whether they won or lost, but Andrea looks the same whether she’s winning 6-0 or losing 6-0,” Merritt said. “The biggest difference I see in Andrea is she’s more mentally tough. She’s just become a real aggressive player, and she’s getting to where she can control a match.”