Senior Spotlight: Carolyn Merkatoris – De Pere girls’ tennis
BY RICH PALZEWIC
Although extremely humble and soft-spoken, Carolyn Merkatoris (MURK-A-TOR-ISS) swings a big racket for the De Pere girls’ tennis team at No. 1 singles.
In her spare time, the left-handed Merkatoris loves to downhill ski, do yoga, hang out with friends, hike and travel.
She plans to attend Carroll University and study nursing, but UW-Eau Claire and Edgewood College are also possibilities. She is planning on trying tennis in college her freshman year.
Merkatoris is a four-year varsity player.
Name: Carolyn Merkatoris
Nickname: Carol, Coral
School: De Pere
Parents: Jim and Maureen Merkatoris
Do you have any siblings?
“I have an older brother named Joseph who is a sophomore in college at UW-Stout and a younger brother named John who is a freshman at De Pere with me.”
Have you always just done tennis in high school?
“I played soccer, basketball and ran cross country when I was younger but just tennis at De Pere.”
How about a high-school sport you wish you would have done?
“Swimming would have been cool, but it’s during the same season as tennis.”
When did you start playing tennis?
“I started playing in the second grade. My mom played tennis, but I tried every sport to see what I liked. I remember her saying to me, ‘Just hit one ball well to see what it feels like.’ I did that and liked it ever since.”
Do you come from a sports family?
“My mom comes from a huge sports family and of course played tennis herself. She is one of seven kids and they all played sports. My dad did competitive sailing and wrestled in high school. My older brother is a big skier and mountain biker, and my little brother plays hockey and lacrosse.”
Have you ever played doubles?
“I played No. 1 doubles last season.”
Do you prefer singles or doubles?
“I think doubles is more fun, but I like singles because you can set everything up yourself.”
What would be your most memorable tennis moment?
“My freshman year making varsity and just being welcomed to the team.”
How about a most embarrassing moment?
“Whiffing on a ball or missing an overhead into the net on match point.”
Who is your favorite tennis player?
“I like Roger Federer. He seems like such a genuine guy who is nice, humble, hard working and loves his family.”
What has been your favorite family vacation?
“Last year my whole family and I went on a Mediterranean cruise to Barcelona, Spain, and also to Italy and France. Every spring break we try to go out west and ski.”
What’s your favorite state?
“Utah because of the skiing – Park City is a really cool town.”
What is something about you most people wouldn’t know?
“Besides the fact that I’m left-handed, I really like to volunteer. I’m in a lot of service groups at the high school.”
Fast forward 10 years – what will your life be like?
“Hopefully living someplace warm and working as a nurse. I love being on the beach.”
Who is someone you admire and why?
“My mom because she is always pushing me to be better. It’s not like she puts pressure on me, but she’s always there for me to listen to and get advice from. She’s very hard working.”
Do you have any bad habits?
“I crack my back a lot.”
How will Carolyn Merkatoris be remembered at De Pere?
“Someone that was nice to everybody, can talk to anyone, that helped out in the school and made people feel welcome.”
Dogs or cats?
Tiny house or treehouse?
Booth or table?
Early bird or night owl?
Sunset or sunrise?
Phone app: Snapchat
Food: Ice cream
Candy: Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups
Favorite sport to watch at De Pere: Basketball
Notes: Suggestions for the De Pere senior spotlight can be submitted to Rich via email (email@example.com) or Twitter (@richpalzewic). All spotlights can be found online at thepress.media. Check out the last De Pere spotlight on Natalie Cerrato.