Senior standout Kaitlyn Healy of the Plattsburgh State tennis team has been consistently taking the games thrown at her and turning them into big-time victories for the Cardinals.
“Being a senior, it is important to show the girls to appreciate every match,” Healy said. “Whether it’s a win or a loss, there is always something to work on.”
Healy’s contributions in her final season with the Cards are helping the team in many different ways, whether it be capturing wins on the court while being a good teammate off the court as well.
“She is a leader for sure,” senior Kristen Napper said about her teammate. “She is one of the most positive people I have met, she is a great athlete, she’s a great tennis player, but on top of all that stuff she is a great person.”
With Healy and Napper being two of the seniors on the team, they have been able to form a friendship over the years while also mentoring incoming members of the team each year.
“She takes those new girls under her wing,” Napper said. “She’s a really strong support system, a great teammate and a great friend to have.”
The experience that Healy brings to the club to the nonconference games are special in itself, however, Healy’s knowledge when it comes to SUNYAC opponents will be important for when pool play begins.
“Playing in SUNYACs is definitely added pressure,” Healy said. “It’s important to be able to adjust to the style of play when it comes to conference matches.”
Being able to play a collegiate sport and to compete in the SUNYAC conference is something not many people get to do in their life, which is something Healy is definitely appreciative of.
“Being a collegiate athlete has proven to be more important than I ever thought possible,” Healy said. “Not has it helped me socially and academically, tennis has made all aspects of college an awesome experience.”
Healy had always known that she wanted to play collegiately, and in achieving her goals it has helped her improve herself not only as an athlete but as a person as well.
“I’ve been playing since I was five, and I played all throughout middle school and high school,” Healy said. “It’s something I really love and enjoy and has helped me become who I am today, and playing in college is the best decision I’ve ever made.”
Tennis runs in her family, as she declares the Healy’s to be a tennis family and it always being her sport of choice.
“My dad plays tennis,” Healy said. “All my family plays tennis, and my dad played in college for El Mira – so we’re definitely a tennis family.”
With it being her final season playing as a college athlete, Healy will continue to play tennis after she graduates and will look to compete in leagues while also pursuing her career in graphic design.
Healy is one of the many players on the team who has experienced the shift within the PSUC tennis program when head coach Annmarie Curle was hired in 2014.
“She really turned this program around,” Healy said. “She was what we needed in order to accelerate this program. She’s really taken this team to a whole different level.”
Healy realizes that these final upcoming nonconference games before SUNYAC pool play begins is crucial in determining PSUC’s season, leaving it up to her and the rest of the seniors to help propel them through the ramped up competition.
“She definitely keeps us pumped up” doubles teammate sophomore Kelci Henn said about playing with Healy. “If you’re really nervous, she helps you look at it as a ‘glass-half-full’ perspective. She always keeps your spirits up no matter how down you may feel.”
Henn has had the opportunity to play with Healy since entering the program last year as a freshman, and has been able to form a tight relationship between her and the now senior.
“Kate and I got really close when I came in as a freshman last year,” Henn said. “She took me under her wing, showed me the ropes of college tennis and without her I don’t know where I’d be.”
Email Ezra Kachaturian at email@example.com