Schaefer returns to UW-W, top tennis spot

Growing up in Madison, junior Kalla Schaefer always wanted to go to college in her hometown. There was only one thing that stopped her from doing that: tennis.

Junior Kalla Schaefer returns to the Warhawks as their ace after missing the 2010 fall season. She transferred to MATC, but returned to UW-Whitewater this spring. Photo by Tim Gumz

In her first two seasons as a Warhawk, Schaefer did great things. She qualified as an All-American in singles in 2009 and has been the ’Hawks’ No. 1 singles player her whole career.

She is currently second in the UW-Whitewater record book with 57 total wins at the No. 1 singles spot, while holding the top spot for the  most wins at the No. 1 doubles spot with 54.

However, at the end of her sophomore year, Schaefer decided to leave tennis and take a different route.

“I actually transferred to Madison Area Technical College, but I wanted to transfer to UW-Madison and then I applied too late so I didn’t get in,” Schaefer said. “I liked Madison a lot originally, so I had a hard time deciding.”

After experiencing the fall semester away from UW-Whitewater, Schaefer decided transferring was the wrong decision because she missed everything about UW-Whitewater.

“I really liked UW-Whitewater and I missed it, so I ended up coming back here,” Schaefer said. “I missed the team, I missed playing here, and I missed the coaches.”

While Schaefer attended MATC, she kept in touch with head coach Frank Barnes.

Then one day, Barnes said he called the Schaefer family to see how Kalla was doing. And that’s when she told him the good news.
Schaefer said he welcomed her back with open arms.

“We had kept in touch still; we were still talking,” Schaefer said. “He said he would be happy to have me back, so it was really nice that he was good about it.”

Barnes was happy to welcome her back, and he didn’t hesitate on giving her No. 1 spot back.

“It’s pretty much a no-brainer,” Barnes said. “She’s got that game that can beat some of the best players around.”

Although she missed the whole fall semester, Schaefer kept playing tennis knowing she would potentially come back to play.

“I didn’t really take much of a break off of tennis,” Schaefer said.  “It’s different than what we are practicing here, but I practiced about the same amount.”

Holding that No. 1 spot, Schaefer is currently 6-3 in both singles and doubles on the season and is happy with the way she has started the spring season.

“It’s going pretty good, the spring season is a little different than the fall, it’s a lot of tournaments which is a lot of fun,” Schaefer said. “We have a big tournament this weekend in Madison to play a lot of the top regional teams, so that will tell us a lot more about how we’re going to be doing this season.”

Schaefer will head back to her hometown this Friday and Saturday to participate in the Midwest Invitational.

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