It will be tough for Lakeside High School junior Kayla Hergott to top what she accomplished in 2012, but she’s on the way to doing it.
“Our team got to the quarterfinals at state last year and she went undefeated for the entire year,” wrote Lakeside tennis coach Miranda Whitmire in an email. “That is a tremendous feat, especially being that she plays No. 1 singles.”
Individually, Hergott won’t go undefeated – she’s 11-1 – but what’s pushing her this season is on a broader scale.
“I was more focused on hopefully leading the team to the final four at state or win region because we’ve never been able to do that, either,” said Hergott. “That’s what I’m most excited about for the next few weeks.”
Hergott and the Lakeside girls team are 11-1 overall and have clinched first place and a No. 1 seed in the Region 2-AAAAA tournament, set for Monday, April 14.
She began playing tennis at age 10 after trying many different sports.
“I guess I liked the individual aspect of it at first,” she said. “And then you work on it on your own, and you don’t need a team to play with it.”
Over the years, even while competing on weekends individually, her mindset has changed somewhat.
“Now I love high school tennis,” said Hergott. “My favorite part is about being on a team. It’s good training by yourself, but being on a team is so much more fun. It’s like you’re winning for your team. You have your teammates who support you and you all support each other so you get the win for the team.”
Tennis and academics are the two main things in Hergott’s life. After practicing with Lakeside, she practices with the Petersburg Racquet Club and then it’s home to study.
“I usually don’t even get home from school until 7 or 8 every night,” Hergott said. “I usually go to bed at 12 or 1 every night and wake up really early,”
Academically, Hergott is preparing for college by taking higher-level classes.
“I’m in like three (Advanced Placement classes) right now, and then next year three or four more APs. I’m definitely into the math and science aspect.”
She would like to play tennis at the next level as well, but as a junior has to wait a few months before she is allowed to talk to college coaches.
“I want to play college tennis, but you can’t talk to coaches until July 1, so we’re just trying to look at different schools now,” Hergott said. “I’m looking at smaller DI schools to play at or maybe some DII. I’m not really sure. I want a good, academic-based school.”
Being undefeated in the region since last year, and being the No. 1 player on the top team, Hergott could consider herself one of the top girls in the county, but she doesn’t look at it that way.
“I guess I don’t think about it that much because tennis is all about the team,” she said. “As a team finally being on top of region is so much better than losing to Greenbrier every time.”