Serving up Success

Audrey Koch ’21 is bringing her aptitude for sports to the varsity girls tennis team.


You’ve probably heard the name Audrey Koch. Whether she’s sinking baskets at the state championship or volleying with her sister at varsity tennis practice, Audrey is already making a name for herself in the high school athletics scene.

“I started playing tennis when I was five or seven,” Audrey said. “[My sister and I] got into tennis because my parents put us in every sport. […] They would put us in and if we liked it we got to keep playing, and for tennis, I just liked it so I kept playing.”

Although Audrey plays like a natural on the court, she says the game wasn’t always easy for her.

“I had to work at [tennis] a little more in the beginning, just because I started so young and it was hard to even get used to playing.”

During the rare times she lost motivation, her coaches were the ones that encouraged her to keep going.

“[My coaches] are very helpful in telling me to work harder and always pushing me,” Audrey said.

“I’m still learning who she is right now, all I know is she works really hard,” said Coach Amie Villarini, “she’s an amazing player and fights for every ball.”

Although Audrey was an easy choice for the varsity team, this accomplishment came with big responsibilities.

“Audrey has a good attitude and approach. She realizes she’s a freshman, but she also realizes she is a really big part of the team and has to perform well in order to help the team.” Said Audrey’s sister Emma Koch ’19.

Audrey is no stranger to the pressure of competitive sports. After making the varsity basketball team earlier this year, she joined her team at the state championship game where the Women of Troy emerged victorious.

“[The state basketball championship] was such a cool experience, especially with that team. It was so cool getting to experience everything […] and just win with them. It was so much fun.”

Photo by Kara Wagenknecht from the West Side Story used with permission

And Audrey wasn’t alone in that experience. Her sister was right beside her then at the championship game, and now as her doubles partner.

“My experience working with Audrey on the team has been really good.” Emma said. “We understand each other really well when it comes to tennis.”

But with the Koch’s sibling bond comes a fierce rivalry.

“A con [of playing with Emma] is that we are pretty competitive,” Audrey said, “I would definitely say she’s the better tennis player, but when we have to play it does get a little bit competitive and we’ll argue.”

“There’s definitely a lot of competitiveness between us. Our family has always been really competitive so it stems from that. However, I think it’s good because it causes us to push each other in practice and in life. At the end of the day we can usually look past the competitiveness.” Emma said.

In the end, it’s proved to be this competitive spirit that’s the key to the Koch sisters’ doubles success.

“I know they have that sister competitiveness between siblings. […]” said Villarini. “[But] they play really well together and they get along. Just being sisters, they gel pretty well.”

Although only a few weeks into the season, the varsity girls tennis team has already developed a close-knit friendship.

“Our team chemistry is really good. Our coach is great about team bonding. Even though we are only a week in, we all know each other.” Audrey said.

As a person, Audrey is pretty special. She’s extremely compassionate and caring to everyone she meets. She’s also extremely hard working and doesn’t give up. These all translate to her being a great player and teammate.”

— Emma Koch '19

According to Emma, Audrey has already proved herself to be a valuable team member.

“My favorite part of having Audrey on the team is that I always have someone that I can talk to or turn to if I need anything. As a person, Audrey is pretty special. She’s extremely compassionate and caring to everyone she meets. She’s also extremely hard working and doesn’t give up. These all translate to her being a great player and teammate.”

The team members and coaches alike are hopeful this team chemistry will lead to a spot in the final four.

“We just came up short [of making the finals] last year and ended up getting third place. We’re hoping to do better this time. We’re all experienced now and know what to expect. Everybody’s got their minds set to do better,” Villarini said.

For the rest of the tennis season, Audrey hopes to accomplish what she did in basketball.

“I want to get to state with my team and […] win a championship, especially in doubles with my sister. That would be such a cool experience.”

Check out our video interview to see Audrey and Emma in action:

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