INDIANAPOLIS — Cassie York remembers a time when she did not excel at tennis. But how could she forget? It was just four years ago.
Fast forward four seasons and York, who decided to first play tennis competitively as a freshman, helped Mt. Vernon complete one of the most accomplished seasons in school history, winning its third-straight sectional tennis title.
However, after playing her final high school match Sunday in the North- South All-Star Cup at Marian University, York will exchange her racket for books as she heads for Cornell University in New York, where she will study biology and international relations.
“I decided to quit basketball (after sophomore year) to focus on tennis, because I knew I wanted to play No. 1 singles the next season,” York said, who began to take private lessons. “I started to take tennis seriously.”
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Mt. Vernon finished its season 17-2 overall, with York tallying a personal 18-5 record at No. 1 singles. The Marauders were 14-1 during the regular season and cruised to the sectional championship before losing 3-2 to Lawrence North in regional play.
They were also ranked No. 3 in District 4 (No. 28 overall) and won 30 consecutive doubles and singles matches entering the postseason tournament. No. 7-ranked Delta (District 4 No. 1) claimed the Hoosier Heritage Conference crown, with the Marauders finishing in second.
The sectional title was the team’s sixth in eight seasons.
“I was very happy with how the season ended,” York said. “Winning the sectional and moving on to the regional was always the goal. I was very proud of my team’s fight, and this year was definitely my favorite and most memorable.”
As a member of the North All-Star squad with 11 other girls (24 in all), York won her first singles match and dropped her second before losing a tiebreaker in doubles play.
She played Carrie Copeland of Plainfield in the first round and won but lost to Cecilia Hall of Gibson Southern in the second round. In the third round of play, York teamed with HHC foe Emily Decker of Delta but lost to Emma Yarbrough (Jasper) and Grace Langford (Avon). Mt. Vernon head coach Gabe Muterspaugh was emcee for the event.
“Being a part of the North-South All-Stars was just icing on the cake to a wonderful season,” York said. “I was just glad to be able to play a little more tennis.”
And in reality, she can’t hang up her racket forever. York said she will pursue club tennis at Cornell — and she’ll probably be pretty successful, too.