Suffice to say the chemistry between L.D. Bell tennis players Diana Carvajalino and Taylor Jackson works very well — almost to perfection.
Carvajalino, a senior, and Jackson, a junior, are 18-1 this spring, picking up where they left off in a sensational fall team tennis run. They have won first place in four tournaments and reached the finals in another, taking second.
In almost prophetic fashion, Bell coach Stefanie Rivera said of the duo prior to the start of the spring season: “Their success this fall and two years of being partners will help them this spring.”
They also lost just one match in the fall.
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“The chemistry between Taylor and me is very important. When she is upset, I try to bring her back, and when I am upset she does the same,” Carvajalino said.
And they do get very passionate about their game. Rivera said Carvajalino once got so upset after losing a singles match in the fall that she went to the nearby tennis center and hit balls over and over until her hands had blisters.
Of course, when you’re 18-1, there isn’t much to be upset about. But in those few moments when things aren’t going right, they know how to correct each other in an instant.
“They do a great job of balancing each other out throughout a match’s highs and lows,” Rivera said. “Diana and Taylor both have great determination — almost to a fault.”
When things are right, you often just know they are, instantly. Such was the case with Carvajalino and Jackson when they first took the court together.
“The first time we played together we literally introduced ourselves and then played a practice match that we won 6-0,” Jackson said. “It didn’t take hardly any time for us to adjust to each other’s playing styles. We clicked almost immediately.”
And they’ve been clicking ever since.
“It’s very important to trust each other out there and to know how they react to certain situations. We trust each other,” Jackson said. “We lift each other up and always stay positive with each other. We go into every match with the mentality that if we play our game and stay positive the results will speak for themselves.”
Aside from trusting each other on the court, they like just plain like each other, which never hurts in any relationship.
“She is a very nice person and it was very easy to feel comfortable with her,” Carvajalino said. “We trust each other and we know that everything that we do in the match is for the best.”
Carvajalino wants to play in college next season. She said she has a few offers, but is still undecided. Jackson will be paired with a new partner next season, but in the meantime she is going to enjoy the time she and Carvajalino have left on the court.
“It’s been an honor to play with Diana, and I can’t wait to see what the rest of the season has in store for us,” Jackson said.