Saturday afternoon was a storybook ending to a perfect season for Highland’s Aby and Vani Madrigal, both admitting to feeling shock and excitement at what had occurred.
The Highland junior twin sisters defeated Fort Wayne Bishop Dwenger’s Elizabeth Maxson and Audrey Rang 6-1, 6-2 at North Central High School in Indianapolis, giving the Trojans their second consecutive girls tennis doubles state championship.
Last season, Aby Madrigal captured Highland’s first doubles state championship with Liz Quinn, a milestone in Trojan athletics.
“The first time was a dream come true, so I can’t even describe how I feel right now,” Aby said. “I’m super excited that my sister is here.”
Vani Madrigal, Aby’s twin sister, vividly remembers watching her sister compete last season, but to be a part of the competition this season was much sweeter.
“It feels awesome,” she said. “Obviously, because it’s my sister, and we never thought we would do this. It’s awesome for both of us to come and win as twins. It’s just amazing.”
The Madrigals jumped out to a big lead in their championship match and never looked back. The win gives them a perfect 17-0 record on the season.
However, none of this would have been possible if it wasn’t for the growth and improvement the twin sisters experienced as the season went along.
“We’ve done a lot of doubles tournaments together, but I think this season has really made us become one,” Aby said. “We know how to read each other now, we’ve become so much better, communication has improved so much. I feel more confident in doubles now, especially with her.”
Though it was Vani Madrigal’s first time playing in the state finals, she wasn’t nervous once she took the court.
“We stopped being nervous right before we got on the court,” she said. "We’d just rather play our game and just go all out.”
The impact of two consecutive doubles state championships has meant wonders for Highland’s girls tennis program, and the Madrigals still have one year left.
“It’s huge,” said Highland coach Adam Baez, who is retiring at the end of the season. “It’s very difficult to ever win one state championship. To win two in a row is doubly impossible. It’s just amazing. The whole town was behind us and a lot of the community was very positive towards us. Getting it done was very fulfilling.”