When Amanda Cahill convinced her best friend Lexi Weber to join Clyde’s tennis team three years ago, the two began making cracks at how good they were going to be.
Cahill and Webe — both stars on the Flier girls basketball team — just wanted a sport to help pass the time before the hoops season began.
As the weeks went on, the wins kept rolling in, and the jokes began to subside as the duo realized they might actually be able to make some noise in area tennis.
Three seasons later, Cahill and Weber are back in the Division II state championships for the second time, and will finish their careers as two of the most decorated players in Clyde history.
“We made fun of ourselves sophomore year,” Weber said Monday. “We always joked that we were going to make it to state and be awesome, but we were never actually serious about it. I played volleyball my freshman year and that was fun, but I wanted to do something new. We’re obviously close friends so she persuaded me to play. I guess you could say we've had a little bit of success along the way.”
Cahill and Weber are three-time Sandusky Bay Conference champions, three-time district qualifiers, two-time state qualifiers and each have over 100 career wins.
Cahill will play for the Indiana University women's basketball team next fall. Weber is also looking to continue her hoops career at the collegiate level.
“My dad and mom both played tennis in high school and when I was little, I took a few lessons,” Cahill said. “I kind of got out of it for a little while to play volleyball. My freshman year I decided to play tennis again to give it a shot and I liked it. Lexi joined my sophomore year and we've had a lot of fun with it.”
Cahill and Weber earned a state berth their sophomore year, but just missed out on qualifying as juniors with a fourth-place finish at the district last season.
The Flier tandem fell to Lexington's Elise Betscher and Jillian Earnest 6-3, 6-2 in the Division II district semifinal tennis tournament at Bowling Green State University last Saturday, but rebounded in the consolation final to top Ottawa Hills' Kelsey Berry and Megan Healy 6-2, 6-2.
They’ll face Waverly's Sher McLean and Bailey patrick in the opening round of the state tourney at Ohio State University on Friday. If they win, they’ll play again later in the day Friday.
“We know they played singles most of the season and have switched to doubles for the tournament,” Cahill said. “That’s pretty much all we know.”
Not many people get to play in a state tournament. Even fewer make it to the state level in two sports, as Cahill and Weber have done.
“It’s a really big honor in both sports,” Cahill said. “Obviously we’ve put more work into basketball. It was still a really big honor (getting to the state tournament in basketball), but I think it was a little bit expected of us. In tennis, it’s just a fun thing, and I think we are both really happy to say we’ve been. I've had a good time with both sports and really enjoyed them in different ways.”
Weber added that while they've had a lot of success in tennis, their style of play is sometimes unconventional.
“We just work really well together on the court,” Weber said. “We don’t try to drill the ball, which means we don’t really mess up a lot. Once we started facing teams that were harder we kind of realized, ‘Well, we’re athletic.’ It became easier to get it back in our own way.”
Added Cahill: “We just try to get it in (bounds) most of the time. We’re not really concerned with how it looks or how conventional it is for tennis. We just try to have fun with each other and see where it takes us.”
Pressure-wise, Cahill and Weber said they’re not feeling any, which is a welcomed change.
“There's a lot more pressure in basketball just because people do expect a lot from us,” Weber said. “But in tennis, we just goof around and we like to have fun. We know when to be serious, but we don’t feel a lot of pressure to win because we haven't made tennis our life or grown up in the sport. I’m not nervous, actually, at all. I am just ready to have fun.”