Lynn Stepping Up in Her Senior Season
In her first year playing the sport, Karlee Lynn immediately found herself in the No. 2 doubles spot for East Haven girls’ tennis team as a junior last season. For year two on the tennis court, Karlee has upped her game by becoming a member of the Yellowjackets’ No. 1 doubles team and seeing her passion for the sport take off as a senior.
Karlee played softball while growing up and was also on the East Haven girls’ volleyball team in her freshman year. Still, Karlee hadn’t found a sport that she truly loved. Then, her friend Megan Povilaitis, who was a member of the girls’ tennis team, encouraged Karlee to play. As she was still searching for her favorite sport, Karlee decided to join her friend on the court.
Karlee says that it was a rocky transition into becoming a tennis player. However, Karlee had retained the skills she had learned in the sports she previously played. Karlee was able to use those skills and, once she got the hang of her tennis mechanics, the game became much more enjoyable for her.
“I wasn’t very good at first. But a lot of the mechanics are similar to volleyball, especially serving,” says Karlee. “A lot of things in tennis were similar to other sports I played. Once I got the hang of it, I realized I loved the sport, and it’s awesome to play.”
In her first year on the squad, Karlee played on the Easties’ No. 2 doubles team next to then-sophomore Izabella Olszewski. Karlee was surprised to earn a spot in the varsity lineup, but felt more confident in her abilities as the year went on. Furthermore, Karlee came to enjoy playing doubles and always having a partner that she could trust beside her.
“Having a teammate with you is one of my favorite parts of tennis. Even if you lose, it’s fun to play with somebody, especially somebody you’re already friends with,” Karlee says. “It’s really awesome to work together as a team. When you click with your teammate, you know that if you don’t get it, your friend is going to get it. And if I get it, she’ll be there backing me up.”
Now a senior, Karlee has been elevated to East Haven’s No. 1 doubles team alongside senior Camryn Lendorth. Karlee says that she’s seen a marked improvement on the court in her final season with the Easties. Karlee was looking for confidence and feels that she’s starting to find it as a senior.
“When I play sports, I’m a very competitive and aggressive person. I push myself to want to become better,” says Karlee. “By the end of my senior year, I wanted to have the confidence to win against any team we play. I feel like I’m doing really well with that this year.”
In just one year, Karlee became one half of East Haven’s No. 1 doubles tandem. In order to get there, it all started with the basics. Karlee spent a lot of time just getting the fundamentals down. However, once she did that, Karlee began refining her game and looking for ways to outduel her opponents.
“It took a lot of perseverance and learning the basics. Tennis takes a lot of stamina and muscle memory. When you’re doing forehands and backhands, you have to know exactly where to put the ball,” Karlee says. “Learning the basics is really important. It sets you up for success. Once you have that down, you can hit it harder and faster in places your opponent can’t hit it.”
Anthony Perrotti is in his first year as head coach of East Haven girls’ tennis team after previously serving as the boys’ coach. Perrotti says that Karlee has stepped up this season and even filled in on the singles side when called open. Perrotti appreciates how Karlee’s competitive nature motivates her fellow Yellowjackets.
“Karlee has been an asset to our team’s success thus far. Her self-driven attitude has been contagious to her teammates. She’s a fierce competitor who does not go down without a fight,” says Perrotti. “Karlee is open to any and all suggestions and has been willing to step up and play wherever the team needs her. I look forward to seeing her continue to do great things in the second half.”
After graduation, Karlee will attend Roger Williams University in Bristol, Rhode Island, where she will pursue a degree in animal science. While she isn’t certain, Karlee is considering playing tennis while at Roger Williams.
In tennis, Karlee found a sport that she loved, but for more than just the athletic achievements. Karlee always feels positive and energetic whenever she steps on the court. The sport gave her an opportunity to experience something new. Karlee took her opportunity with the Yellowjackets, and it helped her become both the player and the person that she is today.
“Tennis is a really fun way for me to not only get exercise, but to talk to other people,” Karlee says. “I’ve always had problems making friends and connecting. Having something in common by playing a sport and being on a team with such awesome people really makes it a fun experience. Everyone on the team is fun, lighthearted, and good at tennis. It makes it fun to be a part of a team.”