Clovis bows out at state tennis tourney

By Eric Butler: CNJ correspondent

ALBUQUERQUE — Patricia Gallegos pretty much had the same kind of day when the state singles competition got under way Wednesday at Albuquerque Academy.

As in 2004, Gallegos won her first match before falling in the quarterfinal round.

The Clovis High senior defeated La Cueva’s Janelle Otero 6-2, 6-2 in the morning and then lost to Mayfield’s Jenny Moscato 6-2, 6-1 in her afternoon match.

“I’m not used to the competition being at this high level. She was a very aggressive power hitter,” Gallegos said. “She’s pretty good. As good as, like, Anna (Surviladze of Sandia, a favorite for the singles title), up in that level.”

Moscato had played in doubles competition the last two years at the state tournament. In fact, the Mayfield senior was on state championship doubles teams in 2003 and 2004.

“That was the best she’s played all year,” Clovis coach Billie Merritt said.

“It was just a good tennis match. A lot of times, you can lose two and one and have played really good tennis.”

Merritt thought that Gallegos, though she lost, was more comfortable with the power game of Moscato than more finesse opponents.

“She (Gallegos) was hitting hard, both forehands and backhands. A lot of times this year, she played people who were playing slower-paced tennis,” Merritt said. “Sometimes she has a tendency to start slicing.

“With this girl, she just had a good, full stroke,” she added. “There were beautiful baseline rallies between the both of them.”

Clovis had another entrant in the tournament — the boys’ doubles team of senior Jason Goolsby and junior Adam Quintero.

Goolsby and Quintero lost to the La Cueva duo of Myles Perkins and Martin Rudolph 6-1, 7-6. Perkins and Rudolph went on to win another match to advance into today’s doubles championship.

As in the case of Gallegos, Merritt was pleased with the effort of her boys tandem.

“They played fantastic too,” she said. “It’s the best they’ve played all year too.”

“Obviously, I wanted them to win. But if you’re going to lose, I’ve told my kids all year long, I will always be happy with you losing — if you’ve played the best that you can play.”