LOS BANOS — 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, she takes no prisoners, as evidenced by a 24-2 record this season, 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's somebody better than me that will take the spot," said Barcellos, who sports an 89-12 career record. "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, Tigers tennis coach Lynn Barcellos, who 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 belongs to her father, former Los Banos 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.
Charlotte Sofranek, Merced
Lindsay Robson, Golden Valley
Glendalyn Smith, Buhach Colony
Kari Johnson, Merced
Christina Soares, Los Banos