By Bill Cross
For The Herald Bulletin
PENDLETON, Ind. —
On a cloudy and windy Saturday, the Madison-Grant Argylls rode momentum all the way to a thrilling 3-2 win over the Pendleton Heights Arabians at Pendleton Heights High School. “Going into the year, we always have three big goals: conference, county and sectionals” Madison-Grant coach Tony Pitt said after the match.
The Argylls achieved conference and sectional titles last year, now they can scratch county tournament off the list. It took some young players with limited experience stepping up and a veteran showing some moxie to pull out a big win.
The No. 1 doubles pair of Jenna Crume and Kayla Bair defeated Kayleigh and Audrey Corn 6-4, 6-1 and the No. 2 pair of Meagan Hall and Ciara Vetor defeated Megann Kramer and Haley Augsburger 6-2, 6-3 for two important Lady Argyll victories.
“Our doubles did not play very well last night against Frankton” Pitt said. “We have experience from our singles but three of our four girls in doubles are new to varsity, so this is a big win for them”.
In singles play, Emma McCardwell of Pendleton defeated Leslie Hudson 6-4, 6-0 at No. 2 singles for Pendleton’s first match win.
Pendleton’s No. 1 Carly Wilson and Madison-Grant’s No. 3 Becky Lagle made sure the final two matches would go down to the wire.
Wilson, taking on Madison-Grant’s Kristin Mercker, fought back from a 3-0 deficit in the second set to win 7-5 after dropping the first set 6-4.
Wilson took command in the tiebreaker, winning the final 5 points to take the match.
It all came down to the No. 3 match between Lagle and Lauren Robertson.
Robertson had taken the first set 6-3 and led 3-0 in the second when Lagle made her run.
Lagle took seven of the next 10 games to win the set 7-6 and went on to win the tiebreaker 10-5.
“I could not even think about the possibility of losing” Lagle said. “I had to stay positive, even when I got down (in the match)”.
For Pendleton, Wilson’s comeback personified the nature of the tournament for the Arabians.
“All of our matches seemed to come down to third sets and tiebreakers” coach Royce Hammel said.
“Carly and Emma (McCardwell) are both fighters, they both battle hard. Even if Carly had lost (to Mercker) she’d have given her all just to win it”.
Wilson defeated Alexandria’s Sarah-Kate Brenner in a tiebreaker Saturday morning as Pendleton advanced.
Both teams return to action on Tuesday as Madison-Grant (4-0) travels to Lapel while Pendleton (2-2) hosts New Castle.