This is the fourth and final time Loyola senior Caroline Witkowski will compete at the state tennis tournament, and she said she plans to savor every second of it.
“I will put everything I have into every point, every match,” said Witkowski, who plans to play lacrosse in college at University of Michigan. “Knowing this is the last one, it makes me want to play well even more, to go as far as possible.”
For the second postseason in a row, Witkowski has partnered with junior Maggie Hines. In their first full season together, the two are 20-4. They earned a 9-16 seed and open the Class 2A state tournament Thursday at Fremd against Warren’s Kristina Danos and Lilyanne Honnold.
A year ago, Witkowski and Hines teamed up toward the end of the season and finished in the top eight at the state tournament. Witkowski said a full year together has strengthened their bond on the court.
“We know each other’s games so well now and complement each other well,” she said. “I’m good at the net, and she’s good at serves and returns. Our chemistry is amazing. We never fight and always pick each other up. It’s really fun to play with her because we have such a positive vibe out there.”
As a freshman and sophomore, Witkowski played doubles with older sister Abby Witkowski, a 2015 graduate, at the state tournament. Caroline and Abby’s younger sister, sophomore Elizabeth Witkowski, is making her first trip to the state tournament.
Elizabeth is playing doubles with senior Nicole Morales. The two have compiled a 16-4 record, and they face Highland Park’s Devin Davidson and Halle Michael in the first round at Conant on Thursday.
“It’s so exciting to see her qualify for state,” Caroline said of Elizabeth. “Our mom put us in lessons when we were younger, and we stuck with it.”