St. Charles North senior girls tennis player Kaity Wolfe is the program’s lone four-year varsity player this fall. Wolfe, who entered play Friday with a 14-9 record, mostly at No. 1 or No. 2 singles, is in the late stages of her North Stars career, but hopes to play college tennis. In this week’s Weekend Chit-chat with Chronicle sports editor Jay Schwab, Wolfe discussed being team captain, how she started in the sport and what parts of a match make her nervous. The following is an edited transcript:
With being the only four-year varsity player on the team, how much leadership responsibility comes along with that?
A good amount. I’m actually captain of the varsity team this year, so that’s a little different for me. I definitely have to set good examples for the other girls on the team, especially the younger ones, like the freshmen. I try to just be a good role model and help with the technical aspects of tennis but also the aspects of just being confident in how you play and just good sportsmanship, stuff like that.
What kinds of questions do some of the younger girls come to you with?
One of them actually asked me the other day how I get so much power on half of my shots. She’s a really cute, little freshman. I just told her that it honestly just comes with experience and playing a lot. Just little questions like that.
What started you out in tennis when you were younger?
My dad (Steven) inspired me to play, actually. He worked with me. I started when I was about 8 years old. He got me into practicing, and then I just kind of fell in love with it.
You said it’s “impossible” to win at No. 1 singles. How big of a gulf is it between the 1 and 2 and 3 girls you’ve played?
Well, I’ve played 2 singles – last time I played that [regularly] was my freshman year. So playing 2 for me is kind of second nature. … I usually have competition that’s similar to me at that spot. But then when I go to 1, it’s pretty nerve-racking because I play girls that are super talented. They’re just really good. I’ve won a few times at 1, so that’s really exciting to know you’re winning at a level such as that. And then I played third singles against East High School and I won, and that was different for me because I’ve never played third any of my years.
What parts of a tennis match do you find most pressure-packed?
I always get under the most pressure when it’s deuce, their advantage, and you have to serve it, second serve. That’s always super nerve-racking because that can just give the game away or end the set.
What do you want to get out of these last few weeks?
I just want to have fun with it because it is my last time but I also want to get a lot of good playing in because I personally want to play in college. So I think just having that competitive experience for the rest of the few weeks, for sectionals and conference, will be good for me.