The pristine view from Malachi Coleman’s perch remains unobstructed.
The Albuquerque Academy senior, largely regarded as the state’s best boys tennis player, on Saturday morning won the Albuquerque Metro Championships, beating sophomore teammate Abraham Yohannes in straight sets in the boys singles final at the Academy.
The hard-hitting Coleman is the defending Class 5A state champ, but most people believe he has no equal in any classification. Coleman dispatched No. 2 seed Yohannes 6-1, 6-4 in a little over an hour Saturday, spraying winners off both wings with a minimal number of unforced errors.
“It was a good match. It’s tough playing (a teammate),” said Coleman. “I played well for the first set when Abry was having a tough time finding his rhythm.”
Academy also won the team title, scoring 23 points. Eldorado (16) and La Cueva (14) completed the top three. Defending 6A singles champ Michael Mounho took third individually.
The soft-spoken Hootman brothers from Academy, top-seeded sophomores Hunter and Coleton, captured the doubles title, winning 6-4, 6-2 over second-seeded Kyler Kunzler and Julian Lee of La Cueva.
GIRLS: Sadly, there was no singles final. Eldorado junior Ivana Corley — who told the Journal on Saturday that she has verbally committed to the University of Oklahoma — won in a walkover.
Her scheduled opponent, Albuquerque High’s second-seeded Maddie Chavez, suffered a foot injury during her Friday afternoon semifinal victory and couldn’t answer the bell for the final.
“I just hope Maddie gets better,” said Corley.
With the state tournament less than two weeks away — singles and doubles action begins May 3 — it is more important that Chavez heal up for district and state, AHS coach Becky Lee said, adding with a laugh that Chavez was under instructions not to wear heels to prom, which was Saturday night.
Meanwhile, Corley next month will be after her third straight Class 6A singles championship. She is undefeated in singles since her freshman season.
The top-seeded Corley, 17, chose Oklahoma over Arizona State, New Mexico and Texas Tech. She said the addition of Amy Sargeant as a Sooners assistant coach last August played large in her decision, since Sargeant was previously an assistant at UNM and worked frequently with Corley.
“Just within a month of working with her,” Corley said, “I was just thinking differently on the court. (But) OU had the best balance of everything, even outside of tennis.”
Courtenay Leonard and Arianna Lumanog of Sandia, seeded No. 1, defeated No. 2 seeded Lily Dang and Rachel Homan of Academy, 5-7, 7-5, 6-1 in the doubles championship match.
Albuquerque High edged Eldorado 17½-16, to win first place in the team standings. Sandia (13½) placed third.
All districts next weekend will qualify singles and doubles players for state. State singles and doubles is May 3-4; the team competition is May 5-6.
(2017 APS METRO TENNIS CHAMPIONSHIPS)
–Malachi Coleman (AA) def. Abraham Yohannes (AA), 6-1 6-4 (Championship)
–Michael Mounho (EHS) def. Elias Samaha (EHS), 6-3 6-3 (Third Place)
–Ivana Corley (EHS) def. Maddie Chavez (AHS), Walkover (Inj) (Championship)
–Abigail Nielsen (AHS) def. Allison Romero (EHS), 6-3 6-1 (Third Place)
–Hunter Hootman/Coleton Hootman (AA) def. Kyler Kunzler/Julian Lee (LC),
6-4 6-2 (Championship)
–Brandon Dodds/Zane Lowe (EHS) def. Brandon Briganti/Tyler Paddor (LC),
2-6 6-3 6-3 (Third Place)
–Courtenay Leonard/Arianna Lumanog (SHS) def Lily Dang/Rachel Homan (AA),
5-7 7-5 6-1 (Championship)
–Elizabeth Cummings/Hannah Boisvert (SHS) def. Maria Behrend/Bella Muth (AHS),
6-1 6-3 (Third Place)
1. Albuquerque Academy = 23
2 Eldorado High = 16
3 La Cueva High = 14
1 Albuquerque High = 17.5
2 Eldorado High = 16
3 Sandia High = 13.5
Bill and Gail Long