Halli Trinkle isn’t Providence’s only championship hopeful at this weekend’s IHSAA State Finals, which begin today.
The Pioneers’ No. 1 doubles team of senior Hannah Conder and junior Natalie Boesing will compete for a state title too. Conder and Boesing, who are 19-1 this season, will take on Yorktown’s Samantha Academia and Sasha Academia, who are 16-0, at 2 p.m. in today’s quarterfinals at Park Tudor.
“[This season] is their first time playing together. They’re real good friends, so chemistry on the court was easy,” Providence coach Scott Gurgol said. “Natalie’s got great strokes and can work from either side of the court. They both like to attack. They’re powerful players. I’ve had coaches, many coaches, this season mention that they’re not even sure their boys’ teams would be able to out-power this girls’ team. Aggressiveness and power is what we hang our hat on and through the season we’ve been trying to get better defensively, so that when we do play these teams up at the state level that we’ll be able to extend the point when we need to when we’re not able to finish early.”
Boesing and Conder are undefeated against Indiana competition this season. Their lone loss was to a doubles team from North Oldham that finished as the state runner-up in Kentucky last weekend.
Their goal this weekend is simple.
“[It’s] to win a state championship,” Conder said. “I think we just need to stay focused on the court, because sometimes we just have a lot of fun together, so we just need to stay focused and work hard to win the championship.”
Silver Creek junior Anna Graves will also compete in today’s singles quarterfinals. She won the Bedford North Lawrence Regional title last Saturday with a pair of victories. She beat previously-unbeaten Chloe Terwiske of Northeast Dubois 6-3, 6-2 in the semifinals, then outlasted Greensburg junior Raegan Rigney 6-3, 6-0 in the final.
“I don’t think it’s set in yet that I’m going to state, because it feels like it’s still part of the season, but it’s pretty exciting,” Graves said. “I get to go up and play with a bunch of amazing players. If you look at the stats, I’m technically like the lowest level, but it’s crazy that I get to be up there with all those good players.”
Graves, who is 19-4 this season, will face Cathedral sophomore Ellie Pittman (23-0) in today’s quarterfinals, which are scheduled to start at 2 p.m.
“I know that I’m playing a really, really good girl,” Graves said. “It’s nice knowing that I’m going up there with no I-have-to-win-this [attitude], because the expected outcome is that I lose. It’s nice knowing that there’s no pressure going up there and I can just play my game and not really worry about having to win, so I just get to play and enjoy the time that I’m up there.”