Student-athlete is not just a title to Coon Rapids senior Emily Bauer. She takes pride in both aspects.
Bauer, in her fourth year of varsity tennis and second year as one of the Cardinals’ captains, was an All-Northwest Suburban Conference selection the past two seasons. She is equally accomplished in the classroom. The next B she gets in high school would be her first.
Bauer, who has played No. 1 singles almost exclusively for three seasons, is leading what the Cardinals hope is a breakout season.
Bauer spoke with Star Tribune reporter David La Vaque about her blossoming Cardinals’ team and bringing her classroom smarts and work ethic to the court.
Q: Your coach, Scott Storrick, considers this team his deepest in terms of talent and ability. That said, how do you view your chances this season?
A: Yeah, compared to last year when we were younger and growing, this year we’re tighter, we have the experience we need and a strong bond. Last year was a little bit of a struggle. Our coach has high expectations of us to win this year because of our experience. We definitely should be able to win quite a few more matches than last year.
Q: When you are on your game, what are your strengths?
A: I’m usually more of a ground stroker. I stay back at the base line a lot. But I’m trying to mix it up a little bit, coming to the net and being a more versatile player. Instead of doing the same thing every single point, I’m trying to surprise my opponent.
Q: I’m told school is very important to you.
A: If you ask my parents, they’ll say I take school way too seriously. I spend a lot of time on my homework and re-do things until they are perfect.
Q: When is the last time you had a B?
A: I never had a B. I’ve had one A-minus, in calculus, and that broke my heart [laughs]. I was totally crushed because I could never be at a 4.0 [grade point average].
Q: Coach Storrick said you bring a similar determination to the court.
A: Yeah, I think that the hard work and dedication I have in school also applies to tennis. I work on my game out of season. I did some drills at Daytona Country Club [in Dayton, Minn.] last winter and at a dome in Spring Lake Park. I also manage our boys’ tennis team in the spring and get to hit with them.
Q: There has been times this season when you and the other captains, Lauren Beckman and Heidi Hannula, run practice. What sort of benefit is that experience?
A: I like it because I’m happy to help out the team. I think it’s a good opportunity and a good learning experience to step in and take charge when needed to help things run smoothly.
Q: What are your college plans?
A: I definitely want to play college tennis, and I’ve been talking to some coaches. Right now my favorites are probably Bethel, St. Ben’s and Eau Claire.
David La Vaque