MUNSTER | Alondra Macias is proof positive that perseverance is worth it.
She may or may not be a sectional champion, but what’s important is the progress she’s made from her first match to her most recent.
The senior four-year player for Gavit also swam and played soccer and is going to IU Northwest in the fall. Her days as a prep tennis player are numbered, but she continues to bring effort and energy each day.
“It’s about the love of the game,” Macias said Wednesday after dropping Calumet’s Tania Flores 6-0, 6-1 at No. 1 singles in the first round of sectional action Tuesday at the Munster Sectional.
Flores had beaten Macias earlier in the season. The No. 3 singles player a year ago, Macias’ improvement is finally evident as she’s been winning at No. 1 more frequently.
“The hard work has paid off,” Macias said. “I practice hard every day and try to focus. I’m learning from my mistakes and then trying harder.”
Macias and the Gladiators (3-5) beat Calumet 4-1 and tasted a sectional victory for the first time in at least five years while Munster, which has won 36 consecutive sectionals, took care of Griffith in less than an hour in a 5-0 win where the Mustangs dropped a total of two games.
“We know we’re the favorite, but we can’t look past anybody,” Munster coach Bill Heuer said. “Everyone went out, worked hard, did their jobs and played their positions.”
Highland beat Munster in the regional in 2010 and 2011 before joining the Mustangs’ sectional, where they lost in their 2012 postseason matchup.
The Mustangs (15-4) will face Highland, a team they beat 4-1 last week, in today’s semifinals. Gavit plays Hammond, a team that beat the Glads 4-1 on May 6.
“It’ll be huge because it’s our biggest rival,” Munster No. 1 singles player Jessica Rooth said. “Everyone is doing really well. We know now is the time to play our hardest.”
Rooth, No. 3 singles player Kasey Kulesa and No. 1 doubles team Paige Heuer and Nikki Heiniger all won in straight sets against the Panthers (4-11).
“Winning this just gets us one step closer to winning the sectional,” Rooth said. “We went out and said, ‘Get this done.’”
Gavit’s Anna Buenrostro won at No. 3 singles and the doubles tandems of Krystina Patricio and Nicole Wise and Jenny Diaz and Samantha Cole won handily to eliminate the Warriors (0-12).
“As a team if we put our minds to it we can advance,” Macias said.