postman.sendRequest like postman.setNextRequest()

My question:
I’m doing request which require some login beforehand. I was using postman.setNextRequest(“name of authentication request”) to do this and it works like a charm when you do requests with the PM interface. But when you try to run it as a collection it runs only one test, this is because setNextRequest() overwrites the playlist created by the collection runner.
So I would like to do it with sendRequest() but that does not work with the request name reference it requires you to write out the request.

Is there a way to do the same as setNextRequest() but then without messing up my test playlist?