At the beginning of the school year, Vany Madrigal thought her biggest opponent would be the dreaded senioritis.
She signed a National Letter of Intent to accept a full scholarship to Wright State University to play Division I tennis and major in Biomedical Engineering. Between the call of college and the completion of her senior year at Highland, the fear was that she would lose focus.
But just like every other opponent Madrigal has faced, on and off the court, she won this match hands down.
“I know this is my last time around, and I have been able to keep it in perspective and actually have a lot of fun,” Madrigal said. “I have been able to focus on my tennis and my academics, and I’ve done well in both.”
She is undefeated on the tennis court this season, going 7-0 at No. 1 doubles and 4-0 at No. 1 singles. Combined with last season, Madrigal is 35-1 as an upperclassman, all at the No. 1 positions.
Coach Jordan Heckard is not the least surprised.
“Vany has the most amazing work ethic I have ever seen,” Heckard said. “She comes into practice, gets her work done, then spends time helping with the younger girls on the team. Then she goes back and works on her game. She will stay after practice is officially over and continue her work if she spent a lot of time with the younger ones. That’s how she is.”
The Trojans are a very young tennis team this season, with several girls up from last year’s JV squad. Yet they are 6-2 on the season and 3-0 in the tough Northwest Crossroads Conference.
Madrigal is a big reason for the sustained success.
“I know we are younger, but that doesn’t mean we can’t work hard and play well and set our goals high,” she said. “It’s a mindset. We expect to win every match, no excuses.”
Madrigal has been selected to the All-State first team all three years, the first two for her singles play, last year for her doubles play. She won a state title last year at No. 1 doubles with twin sister Aby.
It was no surprise, therefore, when the Horizon League Raiders came calling.
“I didn’t even know the school existed until they called me,” Madrigal admitted. “But then I went out for a visit. The academic program is incredible, and they have a great athletic complex. Plus it’s Division I, and some of the competition is close to home, like Valparaiso.”
Madrigal also has cousins who live within an hour of Dayton, so loneliness won’t be a major issue.
All of which has helped make this senior season an enjoyable one.
“Actually, I am pretty stress-free and having a lot of fun,” Madrigal said. “I have been able to work on my tennis game and do well in my classes. Now I am gearing up for the postseason and getting ready to make one last run.”
Whether she will run as a singles or doubles player has yet to be decided. But there is little doubt she will end up in Indianapolis in late May or early June, no matter which way she goes.