Jeffersonville tennis senior Katie Bowen has her head in the stars. She’s planning on attending Purdue University to launch a career in the space science industry. Bowen also has her feet planted firmly on the ground at No. 2 doubles for the Red Devils.
The Courier-Journal: Coach (Tony) Walker talked about your versatility and willingness to play doubles. Are you happy there?
Katie Bowen: Over my years at Jeffersonville, I’ve played pretty much every position. The coaches know I’m versatile enough that we can make it work. I think I’m easy to get along with, which is why I ended up playing doubles. It’s easy for me to find a partner.
C-J: Is it difficult to break in a new doubles partner?
Bowen: I’ve played with three or four different people this year, but Shelby (Darr) and I have played well together. The first match is always a little rough because you’re not used to them, but after that it’s always good.
C-J: What do you love about tennis?
Bowen: I just think it’s fun. I don’t know how to narrow down what I like about it. I really enjoy the sport and the people I play with. I started on the middle school team, and I just kept on going.
C-J: What have you learned about yourself from playing tennis?
Bowen: Tennis is a very mental game. … I don’t have a temper, and I’m good at not letting things affect me. Tennis helps me to control my emotional state.
C-J: Tennis is one of the few sports where the players also act as referees. Is it tough to play, make line calls, and trust the honesty of your opponent?
Bowen: I’m not used to anything else. It comes kind of naturally. You get used to watching for the ball to be in or out. For our team, I think we’re all pretty just in our calls. As other teams go, there have been some risky ones. But we try not to let it affect us. If there’s a serious problem, we can get a line judge. That hasn’t happened this season.
C-J: Who has been a major influence in your life?
Bowen: I’ve had a lot of influential people in my life. I would have to go with one of my friends (Rachel Williams) that played at Jeff. She was always very optimistic and a great person to be around. She was never in a bad mood. That’s what I try to be like.
C-J: What pointed you toward majoring in physics at Purdue?
Bowen: I really don’t know. I decided I really liked it. I read a news story about it and thought it was really cool, so I researched it. I really like the astronomy aspect of physics. I love space and learning how things work.
C-J: Purdue has produced several astronauts. Am I talking to a future astronaut?
Bowen: My mother says I can never go to space without her. So I’m not a future astronaut. But I hope I help put somebody else on the moon, or on Mars, or wherever we’re going next.
C-J: Your senior year is almost over. Has it gone by quickly?
Bowen: My goodness, yes. I feel like we just started our senior year two weeks ago. I am excited for graduation, and I will miss a lot of people. But I’m looking forward to moving on to bigger and better things, and making all kinds of new friends.