October 10, 2013
Overhands and forehands and volleys and smashes are just several weapons in their arsenal.
Perhaps more importantly, though, is the chemistry required to move fluidly on the court and the communication necessary to build a budding partnership.
These traits have all served three doubles squads this season for the Fallon tennis teams as they have rolled opponents and aim to qualify for the Division I-A state tournament next week.
Today, though, Tyler Wood and Martin Beyer, Garrett Kalt and Adam Wadsworth and Hannah Lindsay and Josie Bekiares take to the court in the Northern DI-A regional team tournament in Truckee. The individual tournament starts Tuesday in Truckee.
"This year they just clicked," Fallon coach Julie Moore said of her doubles teams. "They found a groove and stuck with it."
All three doubles tandems have been the anchors for the Greenwave. Wood and Beyer, who qualified for state last season, aim to repeat the feat with one caveat — win at state.
The Fallon duo were seeded seventh and dropped by Clark's Chaitanya Ingle and Deric Pang, 6-1, 6-0, in the first round. Ingle and Pang won the state title.
Last season's regional, however, was a little more kind to Wood and Beyer. Coming in as the Sierra League's No. 1 seed, the tandem won its first two matches, but lost in the semifinals to Zach Conradson and Aaron Deeter of Truckee 6-0, 6-0.
Down but not out, the two entered the third-place match against Truckee's Colin Gerrard and Tobias Zieger. A grueling three-set match resulted in 6-2, 5-7, 7-6 (2) win for the Truckee club, but Wood and Beyer had clinched a spot in state.
"We were going through a funk for a while … but know we are clicking and things are going good," Wood said.
This season, however, Wood and Beyer have steamrolled opponents and locked up the Sierra League's No. 1 seed. After a first round bye, the two will take on the winner between teams from North Tahoe or South Tahoe.
The No. 2 seed on Wood and Beyer's side of the bracket are the duo of Colin Gerrard and Teagan Pado of Truckee, who lost to the Fallon pair, 6-4, on Sept. 24.
The overall No. 1 seed of Aaron Deeter and Ethan Gotts of Truckee, meanwhile, escaped with a 7-5 win over Wood and Beyer. A regional title is tangible for Fallon's top dogs.
"We're hoping to play 1-2 with Adam and Garrett," Wood added.
Kalt and Wadsworth, meanwhile, have been just as impressive as the No. 1 duo. Kalt nearly qualified for state in doubles last season, while Wadsworth was eliminated in the singles bracket.
The two paired together this season and have routinely swept or won two of three sets during league matches.
But the postseason format changes, as a team will play a best-of-3 match instead of just one set against an opponent as in the regular season.
"The adjustment will have to be endurance," Kalt said. "The mindset is if you lose (a set), you still have a chance. You just have to stay positive and focused."
Lindsay and Bekiares, meanwhile, round out the doubles trio. The two present a fun-loving attitude on the court as smiles radiate from each during nearly every point.
Their chemistry stems from a childhood growing up together on the basketball court. Communication, though, is a strength for the duo in addition to keeping their emotions in check.
"We're not those people who get mad at each other," Bekiares said. "Having been around each other so much … it's always words of encouragement."
Despite the grins, the two have smashed their way to the No. 4 seed in the regional tournament. It's an uphill climb for the Lindsay and Bekiares, though, as a first-round win secures a date with the No. 1 tandem from Truckee, who beat the Fallon duo, 6-3, on Sept. 24.
An upset win, though, clinches a state berth, but the two want more than just a berth. A spot in the regional final — or title — would ice the cake before the state tournament on Oct. 24-25 in Las Vegas.
"We're not real serious and just want to have fun," Bekiares said.
"That throws people off," Lindsay added. "We don't hold on to stuff."