Wilkerson is a two-time qualifier for the Class 6A tournament. She finished second in singles at regionals as a freshman, taking sixth in 6A. This season, she won her regional and is 21-4.
How sweet was it to win regionals?
"I was really excited. I had a chip on my shoulder because I was a 3-seed. I wanted to prove myself. I felt good because it felt like all my hard work was paying off."
You're the only one from Northwest to qualify, which means practice is just you and coach Mark Ruggles. How is that?
"It is weird. I wish the other girls had qualified.... He and I talked about how we did on Saturday and what I can do to improve. We hit and played out points and played out different scenarios."
Northwest has the best student section at volleyball matches. Do you wish they would cheer for you?
"I wish at tennis you could be cheering and be loud. I think a lot of the reason I did so well, especially in my semifinal match (at regionals), is because I had a lot of support from friends. Tennis is mostly an individual sport. You're out there by yourself, but it helps to know that people are watching. They're with you."
How have you improved as a tennis player in the past year?
"I think that I'm a lot smarter on the court, and I have a lot more strategy than I did last year. That's just what I've been working on with my club coach in the summer and in the winter."
Is it important to represent Wichita at the Class 6A tournament, which is dominated by Kansas City-area teams?
"It is very important. I don't have anything against the Kansas City players, but I feel that they overpower Wichita. It's nice to be one of the top in Wichita and be able to compete with them."