Badminton: It’s go time for Hinsdale South’s Andrea McNally
Updated: May 9, 2012 8:40PM
Hinsdale South senior Andrea McNally plays badminton only 10 weeks out of the year, but that has been enough to make her a legitimate threat to win the state singles title this weekend at the state finals at Eastern Illinois University in Charleston.
McNally (49-4) is seeded No. 2 behind Stevenson senior Wan Wan Liu. McNally is best known as a basketball player. She was a four-year starter at forward and led Hinsdale South to its first conference title since 2004 this winter. She also played varsity volleyball as a freshman but gave it up to concentrate on basketball.
“Basketball is her thing,” Hinsdale South coach John Charters said. “Badminton she just does because she’s a naturally gifted athlete. “The volleyball coach is just so upset with Andrea because she didn’t play volleyball. She said, ‘I just hate watching her swing because I look at her and go, oh, what she could have been as a volleyball player.’”
What gives the 5-11 McNally an edge in badminton against more experienced players?
“When you play a lot of sports you just get that mentality that you just don’t want to lose,” McNally said. “That helps you push forward even when you’re really tired, so that definitely helps in badminton.”
“Obviously there’s a competitive switch inside of her that she knows how to control that adds to her athleticism, her physical stature, her long arms and legs, and her ability to move around the court,” Charters said. “Her footwork is phenomenal. There have been very few that have as good of footwork as Andrea.”
McNally credits her teammates, including fellow basketball players Brittany DeClouette (who with partner Emma Adcock is seeded first in doubles) and Toni Romiti, for her success.
“I think it’s just hard work, working for every point, keeping your composure and then I have great teammates who push me in practice and help me get better,” McNally said. “As far as the footwork goes, we practice that every day in practice, so just repetition helps and then actually implementing it into the game is what the key is.
McNally reached the quarterfinals a year ago and the Hornets were fourth.
“Last year coming ... we got a taste of it and now we’re ready to go for the whole thing, so I think as a team we’re really looking to place high,” said McNally, who will play basketball at Augustana. “Personally, I’m looking to place. I know there are a lot of really tough singles players. We’ll see how it all lines up.”