Lakeside senior Kayla Hergott signed a letter of intent to play tennis at Florida Tech on Wednesday.
Hergott, the team’s No. 1 singles player who helped lead the Panthers to a Class AAAAA state championship in 2012, said the program intends to play her as a freshman.
“It’s a pretty intense program, and hopefully I’ll be able to improve as a player while I’m there and peak my skills, because I don’t think I’ve gotten there yet,” she said.
“I hope I can contribute a lot to the team.”
Florida Tech, in Melbourne, Fla., plays in the Sunshine State Conference in Division II. Coached by Bill Macom, the women’s team qualified for the NCAA Division II Championship four consecutive years from 2009-12 and earned its highest ranking in program history at No. 16 in February.
Hergott said she was drawn to Florida Tech for the combination of strong tennis and engineering programs.
“It’s a great engineering program, which I’ve always wanted to do, so I get to do both,” she said.
“Their team is really nice and really (inclusive), and the coach is really good.”
Lakeside beat Starr’s Mill in the 2012 state championship on May 11 in Jonesboro, Ga. Hergott beat Starr’s Mill No. 1 Erin Egoroff in straight sets, and now Egoroff will become her teammate at Florida Tech.
Hergott said that though she is looking forward to her new teammates, she remains focused on repeating a state title run as a Panther.