Protasio places 10th at state tennis tournament
Baldwin High School senior Kara Protasio finished her final tennis season with a bang.
Protasio placed 10th in the Class 4A singles state tournament. She finished the meet with a 3-3 record and a top-10 finish.
“She most definitely had a great tournament,” coach Justin Hoffman said. “Placing 10th is a big thing, because most people who finish fourth in their region, don’t place at state.”
On the first day of the tournament, Protasio went 2-1 and upset a girl she’d never beaten. She defeated the regional winner from Parsons in her second match of the day.
“She played very, very well on Friday,” Hoffman said. “She put herself in a position to place. She was much more competitive, She was also making better shots. She really played well.”
Protasio’s final match of the first day was lengthy, and her coach said the match might have weighed on her during the second day. She still went 1-2 on the second day to place 10th.
“You could tell she was really tired on Saturday,” Hoffman said. “Her last match on Friday was a two-and-a-half hour affair with the girl who ended up placing third. I’m pretty happy with the progress she made all four years to get to the point where she’s placing at the state tournament.”
Baldwin also sent both doubles teams to the state tournament. The team of juniors Hayley Schwartz and Kara Hoegerl went 1-1. They lost their first match, which eliminated them from the tournament, but they won their second match in a consolation match for those ousted in the opening round.
“Hayley and Kara came out a little flat in their first match,” Hoffman said. “Then they really played well in their second match. That’s a tough thing to do — lose your first match and play well in the second one, knowing your tournament is over, regardless.”
The Bulldogs’ other team of senior Michaela Krysztof and junior Alison Berg lost both matches. They narrowly lost their opening match before falling in the second match.
“Michaela and Ali had a tough first match and lost in the match tiebreaker,” Hoffman said. “They got down, and their nerves started to show. They fought back strong and lost in the tiebreaker, unfortunately.”
The Bulldogs’ coach was very pleased with their fall season. They return three state qualifiers and another player who almost qualified for state next year.
“We had a great season,” Hoffman said. “It’s been nine years since we’ve taken that many girls to state. The good, but sad part, is we only had two seniors who went to state. The other three know what to experience when they come back next year.”