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Girls tennis: Michigan City takes home Highland doubles crown by a single point

Highland's VanessMadrigal reacts by pointing after missed shot 1D doubles championship match against Michigan City during Highlgirls tennis doubles invite

Highland's Vanessa Madrigal reacts by pointing after a missed shot in the 1D doubles championship match against Michigan City during the Highland girls tennis doubles invite held at Highland High School on Saturday April 27, 2013. | Charles Mitchell~For Sun-Times Media

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Updated: May 30, 2013 2:56PM



HIGHLAND — For as intense as Saturday’s finals in the annual Highland doubles tournament shaped up to be, little did the Michigan City team of Karina Palmer and Lenka Zavodska know what was resting on their match.

But after enduring through a 6-3, 6-0 victory over the Highland tandem of Eleni Sacketos and Holly Santaguida in the No. 2 doubles title match, they became aware of the importance. Their win helped the Wolves narrowly edge out the hosts in a 15-14 victory. Third-place Valparaiso tied with the Trojans’ score, but was rated lower due to Highland’s stronger finish in the No. 1 doubles category.

“I think it showed our girls they can win big matches; win at crunch time,” MC coach Don Varda said about the doubles success.

Throughout much of the day the closeness of the event left a lot of mystery as to which of the top three teams would prevai. To go along with the Wolves’ victory, they also had two runner-up spots in the finals. And both the Vikings and the Trojans each gained one win and one runner-up spot.

“A lot of drama … so that was good,” Highland coach Jordan Heckard said. “I knew we would have our work cut out to win this thing.”

The reigning doubles state champions, Aby and Vanessa Madrigal, kept things interesting by bringing home the No. 1 victory with a 6-1, 6-0 romp over the Wolves’ team of Carol Stuetz and Megan Methner.

“It’s pretty fun when it gets intense,” Aby Madrigal said. “That’s what we tried to do after (dropping a game in the first set) was be consistent — don’t try anything too crazy.”

Varda is happy about his team’s recent improvements. Earlier in the spring his two teams weren’t in sync.

“We’ve really been working hard on doubles lately,” he said. “It was a huge win for us.”



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