PREP TENNIS: Consistency pays off for WohnoutkaLUVERNE — Ever since senior Kaitlin Wohnoutka was a freshman on the Luverne girls’ tennis team she has wanted just one thing: to make it to the state tournament.
By: Jordan Willi, Worthington Daily Globe
LUVERNE — Ever since senior Kaitlin Wohnoutka was a freshman on the Luverne girls’ tennis team she has wanted just one thing: to make it to the state tournament.
Her wish will final come true when she faces Rochester Lourdes’ Sofia Terzic today in the first round of the Class A Singles tournament at the Read-Sweatt Family Tennis Center in Minneapolis.
“I have worked toward this since I was a freshman,” Wohnoutka said. “It feels great to finally get there after so many years.”
Wohnoutka started on the road to the state tournament when she began playing first singles for the Cardinals her sophomore year.
“She has a lot of experience in singles play,” LHS coach Greg Antoine said. “She works hard all the time and is just the kind of girl you want to have on your team as long as you can.
“She has been a fun player to watch. She’s also been a really good role model for the other girls on the team.”
The style of play Wohnoutka uses during her matches is anything but flashy, but it has served her well over the years.
“I like to wait until a good time to finish off the point,” Wohnoutka said. “I stay toward the back of the court and try to force my opponent to go deep in order to get the ball. At that point, I make them come up to the net and then hit it by them.”
Using that formula, Wohnoutka won 15 singles matches this year, including wins in the section tournament.
“She is very steady and very consistent,” Antoine said. “She is more of a defensive player than offensive. But she is quick and can get to everything her opponents can throw at her.
“When the girl she is facing gets up close to the net, she does a good job of getting the ball past them for the point.”
Despite her strong finish to the year, Wohnoutka struggled in the early going, losing two matches before she was finally able to get herself going.
“I had a rough start to the season and when I lost those first two matches I was really discouraged,” Wohnoutka said. “Those losses really got to me, but I knew I just had to practice harder. Then I started to win more and I knew I could do it.”
When Wohnoutka meets Terzic today, she will have a very short time to get used the No. 3 seeds’ style if she hopes to hold her own.
“I will try to get used to her hitting style in warm ups,” Wohnoutka said. “I will use the first game or two to feel her out and then make any adjustments I need to.”
Even though her defensive style of play has gotten her to this point, Wohnoutka knows she will have to take advantage of any opportunities that come her way if she wants win.
“I will try to force the play when I can and play more aggressive as well for sure,” Wohnoutka said. “I will try to get better angles on the ball and run up to the net when I can to get the point.”
If she can get the win in the first match, Wohnoutka will face the winner of the match between Abby Kantor of Foley and Eva Sullivan of Providence Academy.
However, a loss in the first game would not mean Wohnoutka is out of the tournament. She would still have a chance to be crowned Consolation champion if she can win her second game.
Wohnoutka’s match with Terzic begins at 8 a.m. today at the Read-Sweatt Family Tennis Center. Win or lose, her second game would be at noon.
Daily Globe Reporter Jordan Willi
may be reached at 376-7335.