Varsity Kansas

Getting to know - Mel Mihelic

Mel Mihelic

Andover tennis

Mihelic finished fourth at the Class 4A tournament as a freshman. Now a sophomore, even with the challenge of moving up to Class 5A, she's poised to show that she belongs. After beating several players in the regional, including Bishop Carroll senior Hillary Hicks, Mihelic has hopes of finishing in the top three at this weekend's state tournament.

Is there a big difference moving from Class 4A to Class 5A?

"It's huge. A lot of people don't think it's big, but it really is. Instead of taking a step up, I'm taking a leap. Class 4A was tough, too, but 5A has so many more quality girls."

You defeated several higher seeds in the regional tournament. Did you think you would have to face such tough competition?

"Honestly, I went into the regional just trying to get to the state tournament. I drew the seventh seed and from there I just clawed my way through. I had a lot of difficult matches, but the one against Hicks was one of the hardest I've had this season."

What do you expect at the Class 5A tournament?

"I expect it to be harder. There are lots of tournaments that I've been in where I knew I'd win at least one match. But you can't feel that way at state. No one is messing around."

How do you prepare for the state tournament?

"I try not to think about it. A lot of the game is played between your ears. So I just try to relax and stay calm. I'll sit and chill the night before and go to bed early."

Will you be disappointed if you don't finish fourth at least?

"Getting fourth (would be) huge. I just hope that I can play my best. If I can do that, I'll be proud."