The Fallon girls tennis team, along with Tyler Wood and Martin Beyer, ran into buzzsaws last week at the Division I-A state tournament in Las Vegas.
The Lady Wave lost 16-2 to eventual state champ The Meadows in Thursday’s team tournament. Fallon’s lone two wins came off the rackets of the No. 1 doubles pairing of Josie Bekiares and Hannah Lindsay.
“It was an eye-opening experience,” Fallon girls coach Julie Moore said. “The Meadows girls are tough, hit hard and place the ball wherever they want. They just have more of a competitive edge than our girls did. They went for the kill early.”
Bekiares and Lindsay, the No. 2 seed in the individual tournament on Friday, were bounced by Talia Graf and Lauren Wright of Faith Lutheran, 6-2, 6-0, in the quarterfinals.
Bekiares and Lindsay became the first Fallon players to win a match at state in years.
“They (Graf and Wright) have been playing forever and have the knowledge that comes with experience,” Moore said.
Becky Conner, the sixth seed, was dropped by Abbigail Klein of The Meadows, 6-0, 6-0, in the quarterfinals. Klein won the singles championship, 6-2, 6-1, over Madison Foley of Faith Lutheran.
“That girl just got everything back hard and fast,” Moore said. “They had a couple of decent rallies, but it just didn’t seem she (Conner) was there.”
Tyler Wood and Martin Beyer, the No. 8 seed, fell in the quarterfinals, 6-1, 6-0, to Chaitanya Ingle and Deric Pang of Clark for the second consecutive year. Ingle and Pang beat Colin Gerrard and Teagan Pado of Truckee, 6-4, 6-1, for the title.
“They (Wood and Beyer) performed a lot better than they did last year against these two,” Fallon boys coach John Moore said. “They Clark team was very, very good. For Martin and Tyler, it was a lot closer than score said it was. They went to a lot of deuces. They had some long rallies, but the other team didn’t have any holes in their game.”
Despite the blowouts, the Moores said their players took away positives from the tournament. First, the athletes grew hungry to repeat the recent string of success since the new regional and state format was unveiled last year.
Second, the Moores said the humbling experience showed how skilled the players are from the south, and with that the work that is needed to win.
Lastly, every player was ready to jump back on the court for practice on Monday, but Nevada Interscholastic Activities Association rules prohibit team practice after the season.
“Everyone of them were ready to hit today (Tuesday),” Julie Moore said. “I think they took away the desire to work hard. They all walked away with a newfound respect for tennis.”