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Tom Mix, Published October 02 2013

WF tennis duo enters state doubles tourney as East Region's No. 1 seed

West Fargo

West Fargo boys tennis coach Chad Anderson always thought juniors Brady Ballweber and Keyan Farahmand would make a potent doubles team in the postseason.

Anderson’s hunch proved to be right on the money.

Ballweber and Farahmand upset defending state doubles champions Andre Caoili and Jake Kuhlman of Grand Forks Red River last Saturday during the individual doubles championship match at the East Region tournament.

“This is something I had been trying to get them to do the last couple of years,” Anderson said. “They decided a while ago that this is what they wanted to do. They worked really hard in the winter and in the summer just to get ready for all the competition.”

Ballweber and Farahmand enter the state doubles tournament as the East Region’s No. 1 seed and play Minot’s Drew Thomas and Ty Nygaard in the first round, which begins at 1 p.m. on Friday at Courts Plus. West Fargo (15-2) plays Williston in the team dual quarterfinals at 1 p.m. today at Discovery Middle School.

Ballweber and Farahmand have plenty of experience playing doubles with each other, just never in the postseason, until this fall.

The pair grew up in the same neighborhood and have been playing tennis together since grade school.

“We complement each other’s talents,” Ballweber said. “I used to live right next to Keyan and he has been my best friend since third grade. We have a lot of chemistry.”

“We have been best friends for a while,” Farahmand added. “We have that chemistry that just works well together and we make magic happen out on the court.”

Saturday’s 6-3, 6-4 win over Caoili and Kuhlman was an impressive victory for the West Fargo program, as was freshman North Knewtson finishing third in the singles tournament.

“They took it to them,” Anderson said of Ballweber and Farahmand. “It was tight right away at the beginning of the match. I have been here 14 years, and I don’t know if I have seen any better tennis than they played. It was a great match that was good for tennis in North Dakota.”

Ballweber, who was West Fargo’s No. 1 singles player during the season, said he and Farahmand responded well to playing indoors last week and were able to be the aggressors.

“It was a big confidence booster,” Ballweber said. “It gives us a little bit of pressure being the No. 1 seed, but it also let us know that we can beat those guys.”

Farahmand said he hopes the momentum from Saturday’s title match carries over to state.

“We have to keep staying positive,” Farahmand said. “Our volleys were on fire that day. We were putting them away and that’s something we need to keep going. We have to keep the intensity up.”

Knewtson is the East Region’s No. 3 seed in the singles tournament and plays Grayson Bahl of Minot at 1 p.m. on Friday at Elephant Park.

“It was really fun,” Knewtson said of his run in the East Region tournament. “I played some really great players and managed to get a few wins. It was a big accomplishment and I just have to remain positive.”

Anderson said leadership from the senior class has been a big factor in West Fargo’s success this fall as well as an increased schedule of matches against teams from the West Region.

The Packers played 14 regular-season matches – six against teams from the West, including a 9-0 win over Williston.

Readers can reach Forum reporter

Tom Mix at (701) 241-5562