It was the pros against the local boys, and the local boys looked as though they would force a third set at the Santa Maria Open.
Then top-seeded Brandon Fallon and Adam Webster put some good shots together, Righetti junior-to-be Stefan Hardy just missed on serves for two double faults, and finally Bryce Parmelly netted a shot on a good backhand volley by Fallon. Thus, Fallon and Webster pulled out a 6-1, 7-6 (8-6) win in the semifinal round of the men's doubles tournament at the Santa Maria Country Club.
Fallon and Webster, who fought off four set points in the second set against Parmelly and Hardy, will play second-seeded Paul Warkentin and Andrew Bohane at 3 p.m. today for the title. All SMO matches today are at the SMCC.
Righetti graduate and University of Hawaii women's No. 1 singles player Lauren Fitzgerald will play at 10 a.m. for the women's open singles title. Fitzgerald takes on Sally Becker.
The men's open singles championship is at 1:30 p.m. All of the four top seeds, including the top-seeded Fallon and second-seeded Webster, moved through to the semifinals which start at 9 a.m.
Parmelly graduated from Righetti and is a senior-to-be at the University of Santa Cruz. Santa Cruz made it to the semifinals of the NCAA Division III Tournament last season, and Parmelly was seventh on USC's ladder. Hardy, a top youth player in the area, will be a junior at Righetti next school year.
Parmelly and Hardy's hitting seemed crisp enough in the first set, but Fallon, who is ranked 920th in the world on the men's pro tour and once played for Cal Poly, and Webster, a club pro in Santa Barbara, made nary an error.
Webster made most of the best shots in the opening set, including a between-the-legs forehand that saved a point as he and Fallon broke Parmelly's serve in the fourth game. But Fallon's shots were solid too.
Parmelly and Hardy looked overmatched in the first set. In the second, "They woke up," Fallon said.
"We were able to get some holds, stay in the points longer," Parmelly said. Parmelly's and Hardy's court coverage improved in set two, and they were able to put Fallon and Webster on the defensive more often.
Fallon and Webster couldn't respond on a deep forehand overhead by Hardy, and Hardy and Parmelly were at set point at 6-2 in the tiebreaker. But then Webster and Fallon hit some solid groundstrokes to get to 6-5, Hardy double faulted twice, and then Parmelly couldn't get Fallon's shot back over the net.
"We'd played a good match the match before, so we pretty confident going in," Parmelly said. "We were pretty loose. We weren't really intimidated."
Parmelly played solidly, and played a particularly strong set. Hardy, however, made most of the best shots for the local pair in set two.
"Stefan has very good hands," Fallon said. "He can really do things with shots close to his body. He hits winners from places you wouldn't think he could hit winners from."
"He comes from nowhere," Webster said.
Hardy played for Righetti his freshman season but opted to play in tough age group and open tournaments his sophomore year. He said he plans to do the same his junior year.
When she was asked how her first match went, Fitzgerald chuckled and said. "I advanced. We'll leave it at that. I was a little rusty." Hawaii's season ended in early May.
Righetti graduate Melissa Bailey and partner Lena Wikner moved through to the semifinals of the women's 4.5-5.0 doubles. Bailey played for Cabrillo College in Aptos this year. She and her partner finished third in the state junior college women's doubles tournament.
SACRAMENTO - At Hughes Stadium, favorites Megan Howard and Mark Lewis of Arroyo Grande won the girls and boys shot puts respectively.
Howard threw 49-11 3/4, just off her best of 50-3. Lewis didn't come close to the 68 feet he was hoping for, but his 63-5 1/2 was good enough to win.
Howard and Lewis are both seniors. Both won their first state championships.
Howard finished seventh in the girls discus at 137-7. Missy Faubus of Centennial (Bakersfield) won with a heave of 166-9.
Arroyo Grande's Alek Grietens finished fourth in the boys discus with a personal best 189-6. Daniel Schaerer of The Bishop's School in the San Diego area won with a 206-5. Lewis finished sixth at 183-5.
Stephen Field of Arroyo Grande finished sixth in the boys shot put at 59-7 3/4. Grietens and Field are seniors.
June 6, 2004