Princeton Perfect for Steffensen
by Blair Henley, 31 January 2014
|Share: || || |
She has been described as a pit bull on the court, but when she sets foot on the Princeton campus this fall, she'll officially be a Tiger. Blue Chip senior Katrine Steffensen is ready to use her trademark fighting spirit to make an immediate impact on the Princeton team.
"I am committed to be the best tennis player and team player that I can be," she said with the poise and precision of a high-level executive. "I am going to bring my work ethic, positive attitude and tournament experience to help the team achieve its goals."
Steffensen is just the type of well-rounded recruit Ivy League schools seek out: She is well traveled and dedicated to her studies, she has a fun, upbeat personality and she just happens to be one of the top junior tennis players in the world. With a career-high ranking of No. 33 on the ITF junior circuit, she has amassed an 82 - 53 career singles record, capturing two ITF singles titles and five doubles titles along the way.
But before she was an international contender, Steffensen was just another four-year-old in a local "munchkin" tennis class.
"My mother intended to have me in the program only twice a week on her days off from work," she said. "But I guess there was something about tennis that made me beg her to return to the courts every single day the rest of that summer. And I don't think it was just the hotdogs at the snack bar," she added.
Steffensen, who has been coached by Kela Simunyola since she was four years old, is one of the country's most sought-after recruits. Initially, she had contact with a whopping 10 schools, but a busy 2013 tournament schedule forced the 17-year-old to whittle her options down to just a few official visits.
Princeton immediately gave Steffensen what she calls an "aha moment." The school checked all of her boxes - great academics, a successful coach with pro tour experience in Laura Granville and a team that made her feel right at home.