Revenge is a dish best served on the tennis court.
For Fallon seniors Josie Bekiares and Hannah Lindsay, the doubles tandem exacted their share of payback en route to winning the Northern Division I-A double championship Saturday at the Tahoe Donner Tennis Club in Truckee.
As a result, the Lady Wave duo earned the No. 2 seed in Friday’s state tournament in Las Vegas.
“I just had the feeling we were going to make it,” Bekiares said. “We didn’t necessarily concentrate on the win, just to do our best.”
Joining Bekiares and Lindsay for the individual state tourney will be singles player Becky Conner and the boys doubles team of Tyler Wood and Martin Beyer. Conner and Wood and Beyer qualified for their second consecutive state tournament.
In addition to the individual players, the Lady Wave qualified for the team state tournament after they placed second in the regional two weeks ago. The team tournament begins at 2 p.m. Thursday as Fallon battles The Meadows.
Bekiares and Lindsay’s journey to the title was an uphill battle. They entered the regional as the Sierra League’s No. 4 seed and took on Truckee’s Sofie Maciel and Diana Rosas, the High Desert’s No. 1 seed. After winning the first set 7-5, the Fallon tandem left no doubt with a 6-3 win in the second set to end the match.
“They came in overconfident,” Lindsay said.
But the journey was just beginning. Up next were Natale Allen and Catherine Baghdikian, who were 2-0 against Bekiares and Lindsay during the season. The Fallon duo, though, blazed through the Vikings’ No. 2 doubles team, 6-1, 6-2.
In the final, Bekiares and Lindsay took on South Tahoe’s No. 1 squad of Grace Bronken and Sarah Jobbins, who also had previously beaten the Fallon standouts twice. In a three-set thriller, Bekiares and lIndsay prevailed with a 6-3, 3-6, 6-2 victory to give the Lady Wave their first-ever regional champions.
“I was trying to keep from screaming,” Lindsay said.
“The grin on her face was hysterical,” Bekiares added.
Bekiares and Lindsay earned the No. 2 seed for the state tournament and will take on Talia Graf and Lauren Wright of Faith Lutheran at 6 p.m. Friday.
“I know they were good, but to beat South Tahoe’s doubles teams, who beat them twice, was incredible,” Fallon coach Julie Moore said. “They played awesome. They worked with John (Moore) on strategy. They did everything they practiced with John to the letter. I wish they weren’t seniors.”
As for Conner, she cruised through her first match, 6-0, 6-0. In the quarterfinals, Conner battered Truckee’s Aimee LaGrandeur, 6-1, 6-3, to clinch her berth to state.
In the semifinals, though, Conner ran into South Tahoe buzzsaw Maggie Lee. Lee went on to win, 6-3, 6-0, but Conner rebounded to win the third-place match 6-4, 4-6, 6-1.
Conner is the sixth seed and faces No. 3 Abbigail Klein of The Meadows in Friday’s quarterfinals.
“She has worked harder this year than she ever has,” Julie Moore said of Conner.
Wood and Beyer, meanwhile, needed three sets to get past the South Tahoe tandem of Garon and Piazzo, 6-3, 4-6, 6-2. In the semifinal against Colin Gerrard and Teagan Pado of Truckee, the Fallon duo fell in three sets, 6-3, 1-6, 5-7.
Wood and Beyer then fell to South Tahoe’s Morgan Petragallo and Gabriel Tenocelot, 6-4, 6-2.
The road for a state title, though, gets tougher for seventh-seeded Wood and Beyer as they take on No. 2 Chaitanya Ingle and Deric Pang of Clark. Ingle and Pang beat Wood and Beyer in straight sets at last year’s state tournament en route to winning the doubles title.
“They had a lot higher expectations,” Julie Moore said. “Their attitude was right, but they got beat twice.”
As Thursday’s action draws near, Moore said several lineup changes will be made to counter The Meadows strong lineup.
“We are going to switch up some of our doubles teams and singles,” Julie Moore said. “We are going to try some new things and see if we can get some wins we wouldn’t have otherwise.”