Sophomore Maddie Schulte of the UMKC women’s tennis team recently received a Summit League Player of the Week award for the second straight year.
She received her most recent award for her 6-4, 3-6, 10-7 singles victory over Wichita State’s Summer Schlotterback on February 16.
“Being named player of the week feels great, especially as an underclassman,” Schulte said “It feels good to get recognized for all of the hard work that I do along with the rest of the team.”
Currently, she has an 8-8 record this season in the Number 6 singles slot.
Schulte said tennis has always been part of her life. Her mother, aunt and uncle are all tennis players, so she was surrounded by the sport from an early age. She began playing in tournaments when she was 10 years old.
Schulte played tennis at Kapaun Mount Carmel High School in Wichita, where her mother was the coach.
“Playing for my mom was a very good experience,” she said. “I loved the fact that she knew my game so well, so it was very easy for her to coach me.”
The 5-foot, 8-inch sophomore chose to play tennis at UMKC because she liked the coaching staff. Also, when she began playing as a freshman, she knew three other players on the team from Wichita.
Schulte, along with senior Suzan Lisenby, is one of two Americans on the team. .
“I have enjoyed learning about all the different cultures of the international players,” she said. “They have taught me a lot, including a little bit of French, Spanish, and Russian. But I do appreciate having another American on the team, especially since we knew each other before coming to UMKC.”
The team has players from France, Mexico, Belarus and Greece.
Schulte’s proudest moment on the court came last season, when she won the first match against Oklahoma State.
“I am always proud of myself and my team when we play well, especially when we have a good victory,” she said.
Schulte said that while many think of tennis crowds as quiet and sedate, there is quite a bit of cheering at UMKC matches..
“College matches are really fun to come and watch,” she said.
Despite the team’s 3-9 record, Schulte expects the rest of the season to go well.
“We have a few conference matches coming up, and I think we can succeed,” she said. “We play together really well as a team.”
The women will play Northern Illinois, Western Illinois, South Dakota State, Fort Wayne and Omaha at Kansas City this week.