Girls tennis: Abbey Hamstra falls; Madrigals cruise at individual state finals
By Andy Proffet Post-Tribune correspondent June 9, 2012 12:00AM
Updated: July 10, 2012 6:09AM
INDIANAPOLIS — Kankakee Valley senior Abbey Hamstra’s choice of words after her first match on Friday proved prophetic for her second match.
“(Tennis) has a lot to do with momentum,” Hamstra said after a 6-1, 6-3 win over Evansville Mater Dei’s Claire Alvey in the first round of the girls tennis individual state finals.
“You’re always going to go through times when you’re not doing as well. … You’ve just got to stay focused and remember it will come back.”
Unfortunately, the momentum didn’t come back fast enough for Hamstra in her quarterfinal match against Fort Wayne Canterbury’s Leah Barnes.
The freshman won five straight games after a change in strategy, and went on to a 7-5, 6-3 win over Hamstra.
“I started off really strong … (then she) started hitting all her forehands slice,” Hamstra said. “That threw me off for awhile.
“It took five games before I could figure out what to do with it. I couldn’t afford to go that long trying to figure it out. Once I did, I was able to come back and it was a tight match again, it just took too long.”
Hamstra wasn’t concerned about being the only player on Friday who had to play twice, because of the nine qualifiers for the singles state finals.
“You want to obviously make it as short as possible so you don’t wear yourself out,” Hamstra said after her first match. “But you can’t think about it too much while you’re out there or you’ll start making mistakes and rushing it too much.
“You’ve got to try to take your time and just tell yourself, ‘I’ve been training a lot, I can handle two matches,’ and just play your game.”
That was the key to the doubles tournament quarterfinal win by Highland’s Aby and Vanessa Madrigal. The twins made quick work of East Central’s Clare Struewing and Kelly Weigel, 6-2, 6-0.
The victory sets them up for a semifinal matchup this morning with Zionsville’s Autumn Fair and Kelly Mattingly. The championship and consolation matches follow the semifinals.
The twins admit they didn’t know much about their opponents.
“Luckily, we didn’t get extremely nervous in the beginning,” Vanessa said.
“Our mom always tells us to play the ball and not the name,” said Aby, who will attempt to repeat as state doubles champion. Last season, she won the title with then-senior Liz Quinn.