Sisters win state title in Class 1A tennis No. 1 girls doubles

Published 12:01 am Friday, May 14, 2010

NATCHEZ — Davis Beard was familiar with Sacred Heart, and she wanted payback for last time.

The senior, together with her sister, sophomore Madeline Beard, took on a duo from Sacred Heart in the MHSAA Class 1A tennis No. 1 girls doubles match Tuesday. Although Davis Beard lost to these two girls several weeks earlier, she wasn’t about to let that happen again.

“Me and a different partner lost in a tie-breaker against them the first time, so I sort of wanted revenge,” Davis Beard said.

And together, the two girls beat the Sacred Heart girls 6-2, 6-1 to claim the Class 1A state title in No. 1 girls doubles. The state championship marks the fifth one for Davis Beard, and the fourth one for Madeline Beard.

“It’s always nice to win, but it was even more special for me this ear, because I was playing with my sister, and this was her last year. It was also the first time I played together with her in the state championship,” Madeline Beard said.

As for the first time, Davis Beard said a lack of preparation did her and her partner in.

“I just got back from two torn ligaments, so me and my partner didn’t get to practice together as much as I would have liked. I also think I was more energized, just because this was the state championship,” Davis Beard said.

And playing with her sister certainly helped, Davis Beard added.

“We don’t even have to communicate with each other. We know how we play and what we’re comfortable with, so it almost comes natural out there on the court.”

Knowing each other’s game so well doesn’t just happen naturally because they’re sisters, Madeline Beard said. A lot of time and energy practicing together is what allows them to respond so well to one another.

“We both play tournament tennis, so we kind of have the same mind when we play. We’re the same kind of players, and since we’re sisters, we already practice together. We do a lot of practice doubles matches with adults in town, so that really helps us,” Madeline Beard said.

A lot of it also has to do with the fact that they’re doing it each month of the year, Davis Beard said.

“High school tennis is just in the spring, but with tournaments, we’re practicing year-round, so that probably gives us more of an edge,” Davis Beard said.

“We’re both kind of used to the pressure because we’re playing in tournaments monthly, or even weekly sometimes.”

With her sister about to graduate, Madeline Beard said it’s going to be tough not having her around when she goes off to college.

“We’re really close, and she’s like my practice parent. I’ll partner with someone else, and if we practice enough, we’ll be fine, but I’m sure going to miss her,” Madeline Beard said.

“She helps me not just with tennis, but with schoolwork and life lessons. Even though we might not get along sometimes, she’s my best friend ever, and has helped me through life like no one I’ve ever been around.”

Davis Beard had a scholarship offer to play tennis at Northwestern, but turned it down to attend LSU. Even though she won’t play tennis for the Tigers, Davis Beard said she still plans on staying involved with the sport.

“I’ll play intramurals, or for USTA. I don’t plan on quitting,” Davis Beard said.