The Desert Vista duo of Yolena Carlon and Tori Kammerzel has seemingly found the perfect balance.
And that’s not an easy thing to do in so many aspects of life.
A little too much of one thing can counteract good intentions, like eating a salad and drowning it in dressing, flavored with gobs of salt and topped off with a mound of bacon bits.
It just destroys the initial goal.
When it comes to doubles tennis, however, the Thunder tandem has come together to form a pretty good team because they balance each other out so well.
Kammerzel has long strides and efficiency in her game, while Carlon has quick hands and a power game that makes them awfully tough to beat to push them to rank among the state’s top teams.
There’s more to it than that, though, as they prepare for Friday’s Division I state doubles quarterfinals.
Carlon plays with intensity, is vocal and probably gets under the opponent’s skin, while Kammerzel is more even keeled and smiles all the while, beating opponents with a deadly forehand.
“We do play off each other pretty good,” Kammerzel, a senior, said. “We clicked right away (last year) and our styles work well together.”
Carlon’s style would register somewhere around a 10 — think a ghost pepper — on the Scoville Heat Unit scale that measures how hot a pepper is to taste, while Kammerzel is more like an Anaheim pepper, which is about a 2.
Put them in the same dish — or in this case on a tennis court — and it strikes the perfect balance.
“I get really passionate about it,” Carlon, a junior, said. “It has taken a lot to get where I am and I really want to win. I’m hungry and I am not out there to lose.”
It was on full display on Saturday as the tandem easily won its third round match with a 6-2, 6-0 win over Pinnacle’s Catherine Lontz and Sarah Moskowitz.
The match was moving along until one of the Pinnacle players called a ball hit by Desert Vista out when it was clearly in. Then it happened again before a Pinnacle coach corrected it.
It was right about then that Carlon’s intensity hit another level and not coincidentally so did the duo’s level of play.
“It happens a lot,” she said. “Some girls don’t do it on purpose, some do. I want to win with honor so when it happens I move on, but it makes me want to win even more.”
Kammerzel, who is playing through tennis elbow and knee soreness, said her partner is very calculated with the verbal expressions of excitement and fist pumps.
“It can get under their skin, depending on who the opponent is,” Kammerzel said. “She is very good at it and she knows when to use it and when not to.”
Teammate Melissa Kahn, who is the fifth seed in the DI singles tournament and will face fourth-seeded Chloe Weihs of Chaparral when action resumes on Friday, plays more like Kammerzel — confident and stealthy — but also appreciates Carlon’s boisterous approach.
“It works for her,” Kahn said. “She really plays hard and it can frustrate the (opponent). I know it would drive me crazy.”
Only time will tell if they will need it Wednesday when the team state tournament starts at home against No. 10 Corona del Sol or when the individual state tournament restarts on Friday and they face Xavier’s seventh-seeded tandem of Lena Sweiss and Savanah Koss of Xavier at Paseo Tennis Center.
The goal is to make that state finals so expect the yin and yang of the Desert Vista duo to be on full display.
“It would mean everything,” Carlon said. “All of the hard work on and off the court is done so you can compete and win. It’s a mental game and whoever brings the intensity is going to win most of the time.”
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