Savannah Kohler

Varsity Womens Tennis Player

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Savannah Kohler

Abby Hall

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From an outsider’s perspective, Savannah Kohler (12) has had a fulfilling tennis career at Brookfield East; qualifying for state with her doubles partner two years in a row and receiving her four-year varsity letter. 

 

However, this success did not come easy.

Mental toughness is key”

— Savannah Kohler

As a child, Kohler attended weekly recreational tennis classes, among other sports. As she got older, tennis started to become her top priority.  

 

When asked why she cited her mom as her source of inspiration, she said,  “[Her mom] won the state championship her sophomore year with her sister in doubles and [she] felt that was super cool…[she] hopes to do that someday… it’s a goal.” 

As a freshman, Kohler made the varsity reserve team. Her coach wanted her and her doubles partner, Pyper Scullen (12), to have more experience with matches. 

 

However, the pair did get a taste of varsity when they got pulled up occasionally. 

 

“We did get to play probably five or six varsity matches,” she recalled, “(Coach Leid) would pull us up…  when they [played] weaker teams.”

 

Those would be the only varsity matches Kohler would play until her junior year. 

 

During the spring of Kohler’s freshman year, she tore her ACL playing soccer, an injury that requires surgery and nine months to fully recover. She reflected on the setback, saying, “I was working really hard on tennis… then I got injured and… kind of lost all my skill for a while. So that was tough to gain that all back.” 

 

Despite this, Kohler stayed involved with tennis becoming the varsity team manager during her sophomore year. One of her fondest memories was going to the Nielsen Tennis Center to watch her teammates compete at state. 

 

She said, “I was Team Manager the year I was injured but we were there for Team state and cheering on our team… we got third or fourth, but it was a lot of fun just being there.”

 

When describing the venue, she said, “[it was] super nice and [there were] tennis courts all on the ground and everyone who’s watching is up above…s o you’re just surrounded by people watching and that’s just super cool.”

 

Once Kohler was cleared from her injury, she put in extra hours to gain back the skill she lost. She said, “I just spent a lot of time on the court hitting balls taking private lessons.” 

 

She credits her teammates and coaches as her biggest supporters. 

Kohler’s extra hours on the court paid off; when the fall of her junior year rolled around she finally got the opportunity to play for the varsity team. 

 

One year after she cheered her teammates on from the sidelines at the Nielsen Tennis Stadium, Kohler found herself back at the same place but on the courts this time, competing at state.

 

“I qualified for individual state last year for doubles so that was a big accomplishment,” she said. 

 

Kohler and Scullen are competing to qualify for state again this year. The state tournament does not begin until October 17th, however, they are currently competing in sectionals. 

 

When looking back at her high school career, Kohler said, “mental toughness is key,” further clarifying, “you will not win a match if you are not mentally tough. It doesn’t matter who your opponent is because you are going to make mistakes and you can’t beat yourself up.” 

 

When asked to give a piece of advice future Brookfield East tennis players, she smiled and she said, “one more ball, that’s what coach always says.” She added, “Don’t think you can’t get to the ball. You still got it. You should still try for it because you never know what can happen.”

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