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Tennis phenom Karlie Schock prepares for freshman season

Schock hits a serve in the Easter Bowl in Indian Wells, Calif. after playing in the Indian Wells professional tournament.

By Tori Wittenbrock

Sports Reporter

SUAMICO – Karlie Schock, 14, has been preparing for her freshman season of tennis at Bay Port for a long time and is thrilled to finally be taking the court this season alongside her team.

“My biggest goal right now is that I have my sights on State. First conference matches, individual state and hopefully team state if our team makes it this season,” said Schock about where she wants to see this season take her.

Although Schock said she doesn’t know for sure what this season will bring, she knows that she has taken the necessary steps to prepare her to see success.

As many athletes do, Schock said she has a few techniques that she routinely relies on to see success on the court.

“It depends on the day, but I would probably say my serve and return (are my best weapons), because I tend to rely on that a lot to win matches,” Schock said.

At just 14 years old, Schock is nationally ranked and has been consistently working to improve her standing.

“Right now I am aging out of 14s this next month since my birthday is in September, but in the 14u division I’m 29th in the country and for 16u I’m 35th in the country, ” said Schock. “For 18u nationally, I’m 130th.”

Karlie Schock is getting into her freshman tennis season, and is off to a great start. Schock is nationally ranked as 29th in the country for 14u and 35th in the country for 16u. Submitted Photos

Schock’s sectional rankings are even more impressive coming in 4th for the 14s division, 2nd in 16s and 12th for 18s.

However, being successful at such a young age seldom comes without physical or mental struggles.

“Tennis is a hard sport where you go through times when you aren’t playing as well. Over the past few years, there have been a few times where I havent had the results I’ve wanted, and you know it’s all on you, so sometimes that’s tough to work through.”

Because tennis is such an individual sport, Schock said that it can often be really difficult to manage mentally, but she does have some strategies for coping with the difficulty of the pressure.

“High school tennis helps with that because you are part of a team, so you are out there trying to work for them. During singles and tournaments, I tell myself to just stay calm and breathe.”

Nonetheless, Schock said she wouldn’t be where she is right now without a strong support system from her family and coaches.

“My mom grew up playing tennis, so a lot of my support system in tennis is through my mom. My whole family helps. Thay are all athletes and know what I’m going through, but my mom is always really supportive,” said Schock.

“I would say the most impactful coach so far in my tennis journey is Bob Colleran. He has helped me since I was eight years old with my stroke, and he’s the coach I’ve had the longest.”

Schock said that a large part of why she has seen so much success in her sport is because of how long she has been playing.

“My mom’s side of the family played a lot of tennis growing up. She introduced me to it when I was young and then I started playing tournaments, and it just kind of grew from there.”

Outside of her goals for this season, Schock said that she has even bigger plans for her future with the sport that extend far beyond freshman year.

One day —  though it is still a few years off — Schock said that she would love to continue playing tennis in college.

“I’m kind of going through the process right now but keeping my options open. There are sometimes a lot of coaches and recruiters at the matches or tournaments I play at, so I’m pretty used to playing in front of coaches now. But yes, I definitely have an interest in playing in college.”

“She is a very gifted tennis player,” said Bay Port Assistant Tennis Coach Steve Matsuzuski. “She is an all-around great kid and has a lot of potential just as a freshman.”

Matsuzuski said he believes Schock is destined for a great future in tennis.

“It’s in her blood. She comes from a really athletic family and she works hard everyday,” said Matsuzuski.

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