Two members of the Culver Girls Academy tennis team are hoping the second time is the charm when they travel to Indianapolis for the IHSAA individual doubles tournament.
Cousins Regina Padilla ’15 and Amanda Padilla ’16, both of Leon, Mexico, will play Seymour’s Karen Dringenburg and Emma Wood in one of the quarterfinal matches at 2 p.m., Friday (June 12) at Park Tudor School, 7200 College Ave., Indianapolis. If they win, the girls would play in the semifinals at 10 a.m., Saturday, followed by the championship at 2 p.m. Tickets are $5 for each day.
In 2014, they played at No. 1 doubles when CGA advanced to the team quarterfinals in Indianapolis after winning the semi-state.
This year’s trip to Indianapolis is a double-edged sword. Amanda said knowing what to expect makes it easier to play but she also knows that if you lose, you go home. Playing in the team format a year ago, “you have the hope that if you lose, you can still move on thanks to your teammates.”
Regina added it is more difficult to get excited and stay motivated when you don’t have your teammates with you. While other competitors still have their hometown fans to root them on, the Padillas’ teammates and friends are now scattered, not only across the country, but around the world.
“The first time we played by ourselves, we got off to a rough start,” Regina said. “That was the first time I really noticed how hard it was to compete without the team around you. It really is more difficult.”
“We just have to support each other more,” Amanda added.
While the girls played in a few tournaments together in Mexico, they never concentrated on doubles play until they started playing together at Culver last year. That is when they began to focus on the strategy of the game. Their work certainly has paid off. The duo has a 12-2 season record and are 7-0 in the state tournament. They captured the regional title with wins over Michigan City and Concord.
And, even though school has been over for nearly two weeks, both girls want to extend the season as long as possible. “We just want this so badly. We don’t want this to end,” Amanda said.
For new graduate Regina, she is soaking up every possible moment. “I’m really enjoying my final two weeks at Culver.”