PENDLETON — The future looks bright for the Pendleton Heights girls’ tennis team, and Emma McCardwell is a big part of what is to come for the Arabians.
McCardwell finished up her sophomore season with a record of 22-2 and was selected as The Herald Bulletin’s Athlete of the Year for girls’ tennis.
“We have a lot of good players in the county,” McCardwell. “I had to overcome (last season) and work harder and my hard work has paid off. It is good to see that the benefits to the work I have put in.”
The talented group of young Arabian singles are led by McCardwell, who played in the No. 2 spot in the lineup last season and worked during the offseason to improve with the hope of playing No. 1 for the green and white.
“Playing at the one spot is always tough, you are always taking on the opponents best player,” Pendleton Heights coach Royce Hammel said. “She practices hard and plays hard, just a good example of going out and play how you practice.”
Hammel called McCardwell as workhorse at tennis and that she did not necessarily earned the top spot, but that she took it with her dedication to tennis.
Pendleton Heights cruised through the opening round of the state tournament and captured its second girls tennis sectional championship. McCardwell won each of her three matches during the three-day event.
“Throughout the season we did what we expected to do,” she said. “We got our sectional, which was great and is what we look forward to the most.”
But, the season ended for the Arabians in their regional final loss to Marion.
McCardwell plans to play as much tennis as possible during the summer despite the fact that the Anderson Sports Center, where she played in the past, closed. She said she will look at places to play in Indianapolis.