Playing doubles serves longtime friends well Natural team: South Carroll seniors Carrie Tamburo and Sara Wachter tried tennis their freshman season and have worked their way up to No. 1 doubles.

April 14, 1996|By Glenn P. Graham | Glenn P. Graham,SUN STAFF

Separating Carrie Tamburo and Sara Wachter, now in their fourth season playing doubles together, is something South Carroll tennis coach Jim Carnes thought about once or twice over the years.

It was a consideration that never got very far.

"It's kind of an on-going joke now. Mr. Carnes comes up to us each year and says he's gonna split us up and we just laugh and say 'Yeah, right,' " Wachter said.

Friends since the third grade, the two seniors were a natural to pair up on the tennis court back in their freshman season. Both are standout soccer players who were looking for a spring sport to play.

"Neither of us had anything to play in the spring, so we thought it would be a relaxing sport," Wachter said. "So we started out new playing exhibition and Mr. Carnes said we can choose who we wanted to be paired with. It was an easy choice."

It wasn't long before the duo were starting at No. 3 doubles for the Cavaliers, and the next two years they were playing at No. 2 and enjoying plenty of success. In their sophomore year, they were 11-5. Last year, they went undefeated during the regular season.

"We don't have a lot of club players, so we look for athletes," Carnes said. "Carrie and Sara are both good athletes who picked up a racket for the first time their freshman year. They've been very successful. Both players know each other's strengths so well. Sara plays the ad court with her backhand and Carrie has a strong forehand. They complement each other very well."

Said Tamburo: "We've been close friends for a long time through school and played soccer together, so playing tennis together came naturally and things have developed pretty well. It didn't take long to find out Sara's backhand was better than mine and that my forehand was better than hers, so it was easy to figure out what court to play on."

The team is facing bigger challenges this season, moving up to No. 1 doubles and going to a two-up formation after playing a split formation in years past. So far they are 2-1.

"It's a step up [playing at No. 1], and we didn't know how difficult it was going to be. Both at the net playing two-up also is a little bit of an adjustment after playing split," said Tamburo. "Coach Carnes has confidence we can step up. Each match we'll just try to play well and improve ourselves."

It's that attitude that impresses Carnes most with his top doubles team.

"The one thing that sticks out with them is their willingness to stay as long as it takes to get something right. Most kids just

want to play; they want to practice," Carnes said. "At No. 1 doubles, they'll see some decent tennis players and I expect them to get better and better as the season goes on."

Both have enjoyed their spring seasons on the tennis court, and over the years there have been plenty of strange occurrences, none more odd than the case of the missing tennis ball.

"In a match last year, Carrie was serving and I thought the ball hit me, but we couldn't find it," Wachter said. "Carrie walked over and it was nowhere to be found until she said 'hold on a second' and found it in my ponytail."

Wachter said it will be tough next year when have to split up. She plans to attend Averett College in Danville, Va., to study elementary education and play soccer and possibly tennis, while Tamburo will head for West Virginia Wesleyan to play soccer.

Until then, they'll win their share of matches with Tamburo trying not to hit her partner with any more serves. But if it happens again, it will just be another thing for them to laugh about.

Pub Date: 4/14/96

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