Los Banos senior Barcellos mulls tennis future

By David Witte / sports@losbanosenterprise.comJanuary 3, 2013 

There are two sides to Alexis Barcellos.

On one hand, the Los Banos High senior prides herself on sportsmanship and a cool demeanor on the tennis court. On the other hand, she takes no prisoners, as evidenced by a 24-2 record this season (for an 89-12 career record at LBHS), along with the Western Athletic Conference individual championship for the second year in a row.

"Yeah, but sometimes I don't even like that, I don't like just beating on people that I can beat by a lot," Barcellos said. "My mom always told me I have to. But I feel bad."

But in her tennis career at Los Banos High, Barcellos has only ever been one thing at the end of the year -- the Sun-Star Tennis player of the Year, which she is this year for the fourth straight year.

"I feel more of an accomplishment every year, because I always feel like there is somebody better than me that will take the spot," Barcellos said. "It's kind of nice, all four years. It's even better because it's more of a team effort. I know my team is always, you know, good, so I like my team."

Consider the duality of Barcellos: she knows her strength is her defensive play -- never letting a point go uncontested, prolonging rallies and wearing out her opponents. But she knows a more aggressive style of play will take her to the next level and be the key to success in college.

She lists Stanislaus State as her top college pick (but she utters those words while wearing a Cal Poly-San Luis Obispo sweatshirt).

Barcellos has always had a voice in each ear -- one the voice of her mother, LBHS tennis coach Lynn Barcellos, teaching her the fundamentals. Her mother in her youth wielded a racket at Manteca High, Brigham Young University and Modesto JC before a lingering ankle injury removed her from the pro ranks. The other is the voice her father, former LBHS basketball coach and current athletic director Joe Barcellos, who tries to get in her head so her opponents won't be able to.

"I practice with my mom all the time out here," she said. "My dad will come out before I have a big game or tournament, and he'll hit with me at school at break or lunch or something. He's not like my mom, who's more hard-hitting."

In the first round of this year's Sac-Joaquin Section tournament, Barcellos trailed 4-0 in the third set against a ranked opponent, Benicia's Daisy Hayward.

"I was thinking it was a lost cause," Lynn Barcellos said. "Ceres' coach is like, 'No, this is where she gets tough.' They all admire that she doesn't quit. That's so important, because that carries over into everything else."

The young Barcellos came back to win, the same way she did so many times against Ceres' Marifer Ochoa.

Barcellos wants to play tennis in college, but she's a three-sport athlete, playing basketball now and softball in the spring. Keeping busy with other sports has kept the notion that she's played her last high school tennis match from really sinking in.

"It probably will more when I graduate, but it kind of hit me that I'm never going to play here again," she said. "I hope I can still play tennis in college, but that won't be the same."

In four years, Barcellos has played in four league title matches -- she lost to Turlock's Elise Cusenca her freshman year, lost tiebreakers to Ceres' Ochoa her sophomore year, defeated Ochoa in a close one her junior year, and swept Ochoa 7-5, 6-4 this year.

Enterprise reporter David Witte can be reached by phone at 388-6565 or by e-mail at sports@losbanosenterprise.com

Enterprise reporter David Witte can be reached by phone at 388-6565 or by e-mail at sports@losbanosenterprise.com

The Los Banos Enterprise is pleased to provide this opportunity to share information, experiences and observations about what's in the news. Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere in the site or in the newspaper. We encourage lively, open debate on the issues of the day, and ask that you refrain from profanity, hate speech, personal comments and remarks that are off point. Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts.

Commenting FAQs | Terms of Service