WICHITA, Kan.—In the final city league tennis match of the year, Kapaun Mt. Carmel beat Wichita South. This final win allowed the team to once again win the GWAL title. Having strong leaders and a high level of competition on such a young team is what coach Kathy Schulte believes has allowed her team to be successful this season.
“This team's success so far has surprised people,” Kathy Schulte said. “We are young; no seniors. But [junior] Allie [Schulte], [sophomore] Elizabeth [Pringle] and [junior] Allegra [Morton] have been good leaders. I think it also helps that there are so many girls that went out for the team that are all pushing to get up to varsity so it keeps the top girls on their toes.”
“We stayed consistent and played our game,” Morton said. “As a team [we need to work on] keeping calm on the court. We have all the talent needed to succeed; just sometimes we get down mentally which affects our game.”
Now that city league is over, the team is turning their attention toward preparing for the state competition by working on specific aspects of their game during practice.
“We’re definitely trying to incorporate more matches and tie-breaks,” said Schulte. “Fun, competitiveness, just still trying to get in more experience.”
Teammates agreed that after winning state last year, expectations are high.
“Expectations are always high for Kapaun,” Schulte said. “We have a long history of success with our tennis program. However, in regards to winning last year, I don’t think there are added expectations for a repeat. We lost three varsity players who graduated and two of those were key players in our state championship so I feel that most people thought this would be a year to rebuild.”
Although expectations may be high, the team doesn’t feel added pressure. They use the high expectations as motivation to win again.
“[It’s] motivation because everyone knows we lost a lot of people, so we just really want to win this year,” Allie Schulte said.
After winning state last year, and winning GWAL for the eighth consecutive year, Morton feels that not winning a state title would be disappointing.
“Losing is always disappointing,” Morton said. “We want to be the best.”