Badminton: Maine South’s Meghan Salgia, Becca Klages now go separate waysWinnetka, 4/04/12
Maine South's Becca Klages returns the serve during her doubles match against New Trier April 4. | Curtis Lehmkuhl~Sun Times Media
There are moments on and away from the badminton court when Maine South’s Meghan Salgia can sense Becca Klages, her doubles partner, getting down on herself.
When that happens, Salgia typically reverts to a similar strategy; one she used after Salgia and Klages lost in the semifinals of the CSL tournament at No. 2 doubles.
“I told her to shake it off because I know that always works,” said Salgia, before shimmying her shoulders. “Do a little shake, you know?”
Salgia’s small shoulder shake made Klages laugh, and it highlights one of the greatest strengths Salgia and Klages share on the court: their history together.
The pair played doubles together throughout their freshman seasons and were put together for the CSL meet last season. They reunited full-time this year, and finished third at the CSL meet, in part because of their ability to say the right things after a two-set loss to Deerfield in the semifinals.
“I think it helps a lot because we’re kind of used to each other’s play,” said Salgia.
“And we’re good friends, so we know what to say to each other,” Klages added. “I don’t want to yell at her because I think it would bring down our game — it doesn’t help.”
Despite their familiarity as a doubles team, Salgia and Klages will split up and fill both of Maine South’s singles positions at sectionals, which begin today (Thursday).
“I think we’re both better at singles, to be honest,” Klages said. “(Maine South coach Eve Muir-Wilson) kind of picked for us. The first doubles team works really well together and we’re both just better singles players.”
Muir-Wilson believes Klages and Salgia carry Maine South’s best chance at qualifying for state.
“They’re very strong singles and doubles players, but I think they’re stronger at singles than they are at doubles, just with their rotation,” said Muir-Wilson. “Sometimes when you’re a singles player you’re not always the best at doubles because it’s just a different mentality. They’re decent at doubles, but I just felt that, for my team, I’d have more of a chance of advancing to state having them play at singles and then my two other teams play at doubles.”
With the CSL tournament serving as their final test as a tandem this season, Salgia and Klages walked away pleased how they bounced back after a tough loss in the semifinals. Now, Salgia is eager to return to sectionals for the second consecutive year and share the experience with Klages. Salgia competed on JV last season before being called up for sectionals.
“(We) have to keep a positive attitude on the court,” Salgia said.