ALTON - Senior Monica Wendle is the type of student-athlete any coach would love to have on their team. She is not only an exceptional tennis player but a straight-A student and a positive, solid leader for the Marquette Catholic tennis girls.

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Monica qualified for the IHSA Class 1A State Tennis Tournament in the Chicago area later this week on Saturday and Monday at the Triad Sectional. Monica is the Jeff Lauritzen-Country Financial Marquette Catholic Female Athlete of the Month.

"I hope to be a positive influence on everybody I see," Monica said. "I am pretty sure going to Lewis and Clark to play tennis; Kathy (Claywell) helped me get set up there. I think I either want to be an elementary or middle school teacher and possibly have a side business. I really enjoy tennis, it is my family. We all like going out and having fun on the courts. I am in all honors at Marquette Catholic, and I strive for straight As each quarter and have done that each quarter since my start in high school."

Monica thanked her sister Maria for playing tennis with her on a bunch of different nights this past summer and school year.

"I thank my parents for encouraging me and keeping me strong in my faith in God which helps me play tennis to the best of my ability," she said. "I would like to thank Coach Walters for his awesome tennis advice and for continuing coaching (he was going to retire from coaching a couple of years ago but we made a card with individual notes from each of the tennis players… it worked!)."

Monica said when you are a tennis player, you figure out that the sport is all about mindset.

"You have to begin each point like it’s a new one," she said. "What’s helped me win matches is reminding myself that I am so fortunate to have the health and abilities to play, counting my blessings, and thanking God for the opportunities. I love getting to meet girls from other teams and talk with them throughout the match. This helps the match stay lighthearted and fun!"

The Explorers' senior tennis star said her favorite part of the sport is meeting people.

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"I have met great friends who were once my opponents in a match," she said. "I also love the game itself, the running, and the excitement of a close match."

Monica has an interesting hobby of sewing and she tailors clothes to fit her and also makes and sells T-shirt blankets.

"People will bring me the T-shirts and blanket with their ideal layout and I will cut, measure, and sew!" she said. "It is fun doing them because the blanket tells a story of many memories for that person. And it is a great way to recycle clothes not worn anymore!"

Monica is proud to be a member of the National Honor Society at Marquette Catholic.

have achieved straight A’s each semester of high school and am a part of the National Honor Society.

Monica is also a strong swimmer for both Summers Port and the Marquette swim team and my favorite stroke is breaststroke.

"I also love walking my dog, going on long bike rides in the countryside, and spending time with family and friends," she said. "I am also a part of many clubs (Riverbend Growth Association, Ambassador Club, Campus Ministry, Explorers for Life, Students for Soldiers, and Students Against Destructive Decisions)."

The Marquette senior said tennis has helped me grow as an athlete by watching and playing others and listening to Coach’s suggestions in my matches.

"I have learned to not worry about winning or losing but having fun, staying positive, and sharing God’s love to others," she said.

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