Her determination helps her stay positive

Freshman Kate Burkey and her experience playing on the varsity tennis team

Amanda Sarrol

As she steps foot on the tennis court, she’s immediately struck with a nervous feeling. She shakes it off as she hits the tennis ball for warm-ups. Once she practices, all her nerves just fade away. 

For Kate Burkey, playing tennis has made such a big impact on her life. After playing tennis for about 5 years, she can always rely on it to help her. 

“When I’m playing tennis, all of my worries from school just slip away. I can always count on both the sport, and my teammates to cheer me up when I’m having a bad day,” Burkey said. 

Playing tennis on the varsity team has been such an amazing experience for her. Not only did she get to play the sport she loves, but she also was able to form amazing friendships. Burkey and her partner, Emily Chong, have supported each other throughout the season. 

“Even though I have many things that I like about playing with her, my favorite has to be that we always support one another.  We never complain about losing a point or missing a ball, instead she only uses positive feedback like ‘good try’ or ‘you got it’,” Chong said. 

Burkey has done very well this season. She and Chong had few losses. They were undefeated during the regular season, but lost 1 match at conference and sectionals. However, being a freshman on the varsity tennis team does come with pressure. 

“There is definitely a huge amount of pressure when I play. Not only making varsity as a freshman, but also being at a high spot on the roster,” Burkey said. 

Even though she faces some pressure, she always knows how to keep improving.

“She wasn’t afraid of playing varsity. She wanted to play high up in the ladder and have tough matches. Some younger players are scared of the pressure from big matches, but she wanted to prove that she belonged. Kate and her partner Emily Chong finished the year 18-3 which is great for anyone, but especially a freshman,” varsity coach, Barry Wells said. 

Burkey has various characteristics that make her a great tennis player. Even though she has had some losses this season, she uses her determination to her advantage. 

“After we finish a match, we always hint at what we could do differently to hopefully do better next time. Kate is very good at correcting and improving; therefore, she has goals of doing even better in the future,” Chong said.