Written by Maeve Koscielski

I grew up in a household where sports were played constantly. My siblings and I began to play sports as soon as we were able to run around. We all participated in The Catholic Youth Organization sports for our grade school, Immaculate Heart of Mary. My parents both played division I college tennis; my mom played at Miami of Ohio and my dad played at University of Texas and later on played professionally.

I began to start taking tennis the most serious by the time I was in 5th grade. I began to practice tennis most days of the week and travelled to tennis tournaments with my sisters and parents. I remember waking up before school to work out and practice with my sisters and Dad. I was lucky enough to have parents that understood the sport and what it took to become a college athlete. My parents made a ton of sacrifices for my siblings and I to play tennis and I am forever grateful for that. They would give up weekends at home to take us to tournaments, spend money on lessons and travel, and my dad would take time during his busy work schedule to work with us on court.

My sisters, Grace, Claire and I all went to and played for Cathedral high school. By freshman year of high school, I decided Notre Dame was my dream school. I knew I would need to improve a lot to play for them in such a tough conference. My sophomore year I made a tough decision to do a semester of online school so I could train harder. I missed the social aspect of school like seeing my friends everyday but I knew this would benefit my tennis greatly and put me in a better position to play at Notre Dame. I chose to go back to Cathedral the Spring of my sophomore year and play high school tennis with my sisters.

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After losing to Carmel in the state championship the previous year, our team was eager to win state. Grace, Claire, and I played singles. We beat our toughest matchup that year, north central and went on to win state. The last year that the Cathedral girls tennis team won state was in 1986, when my mom and aunt were on the team. It was cool to that my sisters and I winning state brought back memories of my mom and her high school days. I also went on to the win the IHSAA individual singles title, but that was not as near as exciting as winning state with the team. That was the highlight of my entire high school tennis years.

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The rest of high school I continued to work hard and earned an offer from Notre Dame which I immediately accepted. I remember getting off the phone with the coach after I committed and going straight to my dad to tell him the big news. My sisters were the ones I wanted to celebrate with. As fun as competing and playing tennis is, my favorite thing about it is that it brought my family closer. I am lucky to get to come home from college and have a hitting and workout partner that lives in the same house as me. My dad continues to help me out with my game after watching my college matches and my mom will always be the biggest cheerleader. Tennis has taught me many lessons and shaped me into the person I am today, but more importantly it has brought my family close and given me the opportunity to build lifelong friendships with teammates.

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