NMMI romps into quarters

Posted on 05 May 2012 by Lawrence Foster of the Roswell Daily Record


NMMI’s Jose Gonzalez swats an overhead backhand during the Colts’ win over Hope Christian in the quarterfinals of the NMAA Class 1A/3A State Team Championships, Friday. (Lawrence Foster Photo)

It is hard to convey just how deep and talented the NMMI boys tennis team is.

The Colts, riding a 36-match winning streak, are so deep that the state champion doubles team of Josh Shure and Gavin Lynch line up at second doubles.

Still not convinced?

In No. 1 NMMI’s opening-round match against Hope Christian on Friday at Albuquerque Academy in the NMAA Class 1A/3A State Team Championships, the Colts’ Federico Sanchez, the state singles champion, sat out after a grueling day of individual play on Thursday and NMMI still prevailed, 8-1.


Sanchez didn’t play because NMMI coach Jim Kelly was trying to rest him after his performance on Thursday.

“After that individual thing, these guys are in the hurt locker, so to speak, so I am trying to give them as much time as I can.”

Even without Sanchez, the defending-champion Colts didn’t leave room for any drama as the first five matches that finished went in NMMI’s favor. Those five singles wins came from Lynch (second; 6-0, 6-1), Jorge Garza (third; 6-1, 6-2), Jerry Estrella (fourth; 6-0, 6-0), Tom Rios (fifth; 6-0, 6-0) and Luis Zaragoza (sixth; 6-0, 6-0).

At first singles, Jose Gonzalez battled a back injury, but was still impressive against Ben Spangler.

Gonzalez broke Spangler’s serve to start the match and, in his first service game, he displayed his all-around game.

Spangler went up 40-15 on Gonzalez’s serve, but Gonzalez cut it to 40-30 with a backhand drop shot. He forced deuce with his patented second serve that violently swung toward the alley.

Gonzalez got the advantage with a traditional power serve and won the game with a forehand winner down the line.

Spangler got to within 2-1 after holding serve and it was evident during the third game that Gonzalez wasn’t 100 percent.

A fully-healthy Gonzalez never stops running, but, on two points in the third game, he jogged to try to return a shot.

Gonzalez rebounded to take four of the next five games and the first set, 6-2.

With the score tied at five in the second set, Kelly made a decision to pull the plug on Gonzalez because he didn’t want to risk further injury to his back.

“He was going through the paces. You know these guys, they don’t like to see a ball bounce twice and he was just looking at some balls. I wanted to pull him after the first set, but, as it progressed, he got worse. As it went on, I told him that it was my decision, you’re out.”

Gonzalez wasn’t scheduled to play in doubles, so that moved Estrella and Garza up to No. 1 doubles and they didn’t miss a beat in their 6-4, 6-1 win. Other doubles winners for NMMI were Shure and Lynch (second; 6-0, 6-0) and Luis Moncada and Mauricio Moncada (third; 6-0, 6-0).

In NMMI’s first match on Saturday, it will face No. 4 Sandia Prep at 9:30 a.m. at Albuquerque Academy.


Posted in Colt Tennis

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