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Senior Spotlight: Karina Verdette – Bay Port girls’ tennis


Karina Verdette is a senior at Bay Port High School on the girls’ tennis team.

Verdette, who likes a variety of music, is leaning towards attending UW-Stevens Point and becoming a secondary education music teacher someday.

In her spare time, she likes to shop, sing and travel. Her favorite store is “Forever 21.”

Name: Karina Verdette
Nickname: KV, Hurricane, Katrina
School: Bay Port
Sport: tennis
Parents: Lori and Randy
Twitter: @KVerdette

Your nickname is Hurricane?

“Yes! I guess after Hurricane Katrina.”

Do you have any siblings?

“No, just a dog! I have a pug names ‘Chubs.’”

Have you always just done tennis in high school?

“Yes. When I was younger, I did dance and soccer, but nothing besides tennis in high school.”

How about a high-school sport you wish you would have done or at least tried?

“Probably golf – my dad is really into golf.”

When did you start playing tennis?

“In the eighth grade – I got a little bit of a late start, but my dad got me into it. He played tennis in high school at Green Bay Preble.”

Did your mom play tennis or do other sports?

“She went to a small school and grew up with seven siblings. She grew up on a farm and her dad was really into baseball.”

Do you prefer singles or doubles?

“I prefer doubles because you can work with your partner to step up your game – if you’re playing singles, it’s all on you. I’m hoping to be at No. 1 or 2 doubles this season.”

What would be your most memorable tennis moment?

“When I played No. 2 doubles with Emily Wick against De Pere. We lost the first set 2-6, but then won the next two sets, 6-4 and 7-5. I feel like that’s the best I’ve ever played.”

What about a most embarrassing tennis moment?

“It was here at Bay Port. I served so hard one time that my racket flew out of my hand and the tip of it broke. I ended up using my mom’s racket.”

What does a racket run you?

“I’d say the cheapest is like $100, but I’ve seen them as high as $400! I have a Wilson.”

You mentioned you’ve traveled a lot … talk about that.

“Every summer we take a trip somewhere new, so I’ve probably been to 20 states already. This summer we went to the ‘The Mighty Five’ in Utah – that’s the five national parks in Utah.”

What has been your favorite family vacation?

“Probably South Dakota. I’ve gone there twice, but just the Black Hills and Badlands. I’ve seen Mt. Rushmore and Crazy Horse.”

You really like music from what I hear.

“Yes! I play the flute in band and I’m in two choirs at Bay Port. I was also in the Wisconsin State Honors Music Project last year and will be this year again. I had to audition for it in Appleton.”

What is something about you most people wouldn’t know?

“That I was adopted from Russia when I was under 2 years old. I haven’t been to Russia since, but I hope to go someday. I feel like a lot of people might know that, but it’s not something that just comes up a lot of times.”

Can you speak any Russian?

“I want to learn how to speak it, but I only know a few words right now.”

Fast forward 10 years – what will your life be like?

“Hopefully I have a husband, have started a family and will be teaching music at a high school. Maybe I’ll be coaching tennis, too.”

Who is someone you admire and why?

“My grandma on my mom’s side. She’s always putting other people first … I aspire to be more like her. We see her every Sunday and she makes lunch for us.”

Do you have any bad habits?

“One thing in tennis, I get down on myself. I need to move on to the next shot and forget about what happened.”

How will Karina Verdette be remembered at Bay Port?

“Probably not for tennis as much, but more the music. I’ve been involved in so many things. I’ll just take my senior year and do everything I can.”

Dog or cat?


Tiny house or tree house?

“Tree house.”

Chocolate or vanilla?


Lie on the beach or ski down the slopes?

“The beach.”

Soda or Powerade?



Athlete: (Tennis player) Simona Halep

Phone app: Snapchat

Food: strawberries

Candy: Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups

Favorite sport to watch at Bay Port: football

Notes: Suggestions for the senior spotlight can be submitted to Rich via email ([email protected]) or via Twitter (@richpalzewic). All spotlights can be found online at thepress.media. Check out last week’s spotlight on Bay Port’s Lucas LaMue.

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