Toutoungi hopes to net playing time for St. Michael's rackets
Updated 1:47 am, Wednesday, September 14, 2011
Caroline Toutoungi was a steadying force the past four years for the Weston girls tennis team.
Toutoungi takes these qualities to Saint Michael's College, where she plans to play tennis for the next four years.
"I am so excited to play for Saint Michael's," Toutoungi wrote in an e-mail. "We have already started practicing everyday, and I love my team here. The intensity is at a much higher level and the competition is much stiffer but I can not wait to give it my all."
Doubles was Toutougni's forte all four years at Weston. She rarely lost a match and played a role in the Lady Trojans winning the SWCs and Class S titles all four years.
"I'm so happy to have been a part of the doubles lineup," Toutoungi said. "I think that the key to success as a doubles player is definitely communication. Without communication me and my partners would not be a successful team."
Being a team player made it easy for Toutoungi when choosing singles or doubles.
"I prefer doubles because i enjoy working with another person to win," Toutoungi said. "Also having the support of one of my teammates by my side helps me when I'm not playing well."
In choosing between the baseline and net, Toutoungi's preference is tailored to her strengths.
"I prefer the net because I can get better angle and put the ball away in one shot," Toutoungi said.
Possessing a strong overhead forehand slam contributed to her success at the net.
"The key to strong play at net is getting good angles," Toutoungi said. "When you're on top of the net you can get the best angles to the doubles alleys. Also another strong play at net is to poach. I love poaching because the player at the net does not know what to expect and you can hit it right at them while they're off guard."
Although Toutoungi is more proficient at the net, she's also solid on the baseline.
"The key to strong play at the baseline is getting good angles as well as consistency," Toutoungi said. "You need to be able to hit one more shot than your opponent in order to win. Also getting good angles is key, if you hit the ball at a good angle from side to side you will tire your opponent out or better yet they won't even be able to get to your shot."
Serving is also important in tennis because a poor service game could doom the best players. Toutoungi was a reliable server for the Lady Trojans and hopes to improve this part of her game for Saint Michael's.
"When I serve, I make sure that I hit the ball at the top of the toss so that i can really come down on the ball," Toutoungi said. "I also toss the ball into the court on my serve so that i get the momentum of my body into it, giving my serve more power."
Life on the tennis courts began for her at age 7 when she played at Aspetuck Valley Country Club during the summer.
"I really enjoyed it so I began playing in the winters as well, and i have been playing ever since," Toutoungi recalled.
In addition to tennis, Toutoungi tried skiing as well. Although she enjoyed her time on the slopes, she stopped skiing so she could focus more on tennis.
Academically, Toutoungi excelled. Psychology is her favorite subject.
"The key to balancing academic and athletics [especially at a college level] is definitely time management," Toutoungi said. "If you know you have practice two hours a day and classes four hours a day you really need to use all your free time studying. My professors at Saint Michael's describe college as a full-time job; you need to spend 10 hours a week on each subject. I am taking four classes this semester meaning I have 40 hours of studying per week [just like a full time job]."
Toutoungi is undecided about her major but is leaning towards psychology. She knows in order to succeed for the Lady Purple Knights.
"I plan to raise my game at Saint Michael's by working on my consistency and increasing the power in my strokes," Toutoungi said.