Foley’s junior tennis standout Abby Kantor insists she still has a lot to work on.
She is ranked ninth in Minnesota Class A. And with a 17-1 overall record so far this season, it would seem that she doesn’t have too many flaws in her game to improve upon.
However, Kantor maintains that despite her success, she will continue to stay focused on further enhancing her game every time she steps on the court.
“As a player, you can always get better,” she said. “I’m constantly striving to get better.”
Kantor’s involvement in tennis began in her elementary school days.
As a fourth grader, she started playing for fun, but it wasn’t until eighth grade when she really began to commit herself to tennis.
“My older sisters were playing for the varsity team at the time,” she said. “They were the ones that made me want to play more and get better.”
In 2011, her sophomore season, Kantor was able to progress to the state tournament, but her experience there was short-lived. After winning her first match, she lost her second to Sonya Das of St. Paul Academy, who finished second in that tournament and is the top player in the state.
Kantor hopes that this season can end on a more positive note after her early exit a year ago.
“I would really like to place at state. That’s my goal for this year,” she said.
“Winning the state tournament might be a goal for me next year depending on how things go, but for now, I really want to try and earn a place at state.”
Head coach Erik Inglis insists that Kantor has improved from where she was a year ago and believes that she is now tougher mentally.
“You don’t necessarily have to sit down and work on technique as much with a player like her,” he said. “The thing that all players can work on is their mental approach to a match, and that’s what Abby and I have been working on over the past three seasons. She has a more positive approach when it comes to finishing matches and winning the matches that she should win.
“In the last couple seasons, she had a great record, but she lost a few matches along the way that she probably shouldn’t have. This year, she’s not doing that.
“Those are the kinds of things that we’ve worked on together and added to her game, and she’s made great strides. That’s what is going to make her an even better player.”
Kantor is the undisputed number one singles player for Foley, and now that she has received state recognition for her play, she has become even more of a leader for her team.
“She’s great at leading by example,” Inglis said. “She has a phenomenal work ethic. She puts in all kinds of time in the offseason, and she’s constantly on the court.
“She’s also a great benchmark for younger players to aspire to. In that sense, she’s a great leader and a role model for our team and for the tennis program here in general.”
Kantor understands her leadership role on the team and insists that she is there to help her teammates in any way.
“I try to step up as much as I can,” she said. “I want to be a captain next year, but I just need to continue to step up and help the rest of the girls any time they need it.”