Emilie Meyer of St. Dominic High School reached back and
brought forward a smooth stroke on the tennis ball during a doubles game
against Nerinx Hall.
Two courts down, her sister, Kaylie Meyer, moved swiftly in the backcourt and confidently attacked balls at the net.
sisters are part of a 15-member squad that won the Archdiocesan
Athletic Association Conference title last month, going 30-0, which
coach Mark Borst compared to pitching a perfect game in baseball.
junior, Kaylie’s eyes widened and smile broadened when talking about
the win. “It’s amazing. I’m excited for districts. I want to go to
state,” she said.
playing tennis two years ago. It’s a sport that people play for a
lifetime, and one in which “you can always improve,” she said.
freshman, Kaylie started in the No. 13 slot. She moved up to No. 5 as a
sophomore and this year to No. 4. Her hard work is paying off, she
said. She focuses year-round on tennis after playing soccer, volleyball
and other sports previously.
Emilie, a freshman, also started
playing tennis two years ago. She usually tries something new that she’s
learned every time she plays, she said.
She’s pleased to have
contributed to the team’s success this season. The players form a
community, strengthened by outside team activities organized by Borst,
including miniature golf and sand volleyball.
Playing with her sister helps, too. “It’s always fun to have her by my side,” Emilie said.
at St. Joseph in Cottleville, the Meyer girls see their faith as a part
of their sporting life. “I never give up because I know that God’s
watching over me. I’m always conscious of good sportsmanship and want to
lead by example,” Kaylie said.
Emilie said that team prayers
before matches “help me get into that mindset that no matter what
happens God is always with me. It helps me to always stay positive.”
a reflection perhaps of their coach, an Ascension in Chesterfield
parishioner. “I’m very strong in my faith,” Borst said. “My mom passed
away two years ago, Oct. 8. She was a big role model to me. She guides
me to be the best person, the best coach I can be. She always asked me
how my girls did and how my boys did” at St. John Vianney High School,
where he coached before retiring from that post, he said.
Since her death, he attends daily Mass, where he remembers her and gets strength from his prayers.
Secret to success
attended a team tennis camp during the summer months open to
elementary, middle school and high school students. “She’s played a
little bit before, but she’s really matured as a player this season,”
Kaylie is a team leader, he added. Last season, three
seniors played in the first three spots and this season the No. 6
player, Abbi Worster, a sophomore, moved up to No. 1. Worster, sophomore
Emily Bross and junior Dana Salman joined the Meyer girls to play in
Junior Team Tennis the past year. “They’ve put in a lot of hard work and
dedication,” Borst said. “That’s why they’re so successful. They’re
young in experience and grade-wise, but with their great work ethic
they’re starting to show that St. Dominic will be on the map a while.”
though enrollment has increased, St. Dominic’s tennis team didn’t get
moved up to play larger schools in a higher class for districts. Borst
crafted a difficult schedule for the team anyway, playing larger schools
such as Nerinx Hall, Parkway West and Westminster, and is pleased with
their response. “It’s made them into better players. I tell them they
want to see where they stand by playing the top competition in Missouri.
They’ve played very well. Even when they lose a match, they keep
upbeat,” he said.
He’s impressed with the team. “It’s been a lot
of fun. They’ve been very successful, but it’s because of them,” Borst
said. “I love practice because I can work with them. When it’s match
time, it’s like a show. They go out and try to execute. I’m here to help
them with adjustments. But they’re very smart players. What I like most
is even when they’re down, they fight to the last point. I’m very proud
of them. They’re humble and they really respect each other.”
example he gave was Joshna Susai, one of two seniors on the team, who
moved up to fill the No. 6 slot due to an injury and came back in a
match earlier this season from a 7-1 deficit before losing 8-6.
>> The coach
St. Dominic tennis coach Mark Borst
has a passion for tennis, he said, and enjoys teaching “what a great
game it is, that it’s a lifetime sport and to have fun.”
Rego Park, N.Y., near where the U.S. Open is played in Flushing Meadows,
N.Y., he played four years on the varsity tennis team at Christian
Brothers High School in St. Louis. He played college tennis at Belmont
Abbey in Belmont, North Carolina, and at Saint Louis University, where
he graduated with a finance degree. Borst and his wife, Patti, members
of Ascension Parish in Chesterfield, have three children, Claire, 22, a
sixth-grade math teacher in Birmingham, Ala.; Tyler, 21, a junior at
Missouri State University majoring in marketing; and Katie, 16, who is a
junior varsity volleyball player at Visitation Academy.