The defending state champ will get a chance today to keep her crown.
Highland’s dynamic duo of Aby and Vani Madrigal (15-0) won their quarterfinal doubles match Friday, defeating Clare Struewing and Kelly Weigel (East Central) 6-2, 6-0.
The win propels the Madrigal twins into the semifinals of the 22nd Annual Doubles State Tournament this morning.
For Aby Madrigal, the win gives her a chance to defend the title she won last year with partner Liz Quinn. The Madrigals (15-0) will face Autumn Fair and Kelly Mattingly (Zionsville) at 9 in the semifinals.
“I am really excited that my sister and I advanced to the semifinals,” Aby Madrigal said. “I know what it felt like to win last year, and I know how much hard work it took to pull it off.
"My sister and I have been working and talking and practicing and dreaming. This means a lot to us.”
Vani Madrigal, who got off to a rough start at the LaPorte regional last weekend, didn’t miss a beat in the quarterfinals.
“I was a lot more relaxed, and that allowed me to focus more,” Vani Madrigal said. “I got off to a much smoother start on all of my shot selections. I stayed aggressive, but I chose my moments a lot better.”
The East Central team came into the match with a record of 27-1, but quickly fell behind 1-0 and 3-1. The Madrigal sisters kept the pressure up throughout the first set, getting more aggressive with their shots as the lead increased.
Aby felt the Trojan tandem had room for improvement.
“We played a good game today, but I know we can play better,” she said. “We’ll need to be at the top of our game (Saturday), because the competition is incredibly tough.”
Vani Madrigal said the mental aspect will not be an issue.
“When we are not on the court, this is all we talk and think about,” she said. “We are so focused for this weekend.”
In the 31st Annual Singles State Tournament, Abbey Hamstra (Kankakee Valley) won the morning first round before falling in the quarterfinals to bow out of the tournament.
Hamstra defeated Claire Alvey (Evansville Mater Dei) 6-1, 6-3. She lost to undefeated freshman Leah Barnes (Ft. Wayne Canterbury) 7-5, 6-3.
It was Hamstra’s first trip to the state finals. The senior finished with a 22-3 record.
“The first match went well for me,” Hamstra said. “I got out to a quick start and played on top the whole match. It was a good game because I got the nerves out of my system but it didn’t take too much energy out of me.”
The second match went a little different.
Hamstra took a 2-0 lead before Barnes roared back to go up 5-2. Then Hamstra went on a run and tied it at 5-5 before losing the last two sets.
“It was back and forth the whole match,” Hamstra said. “I felt that I played well, I just came out on the short end this time. But I am happy with the way I played today.”