April 11, 2008 - by
Senior Carolin Walter: Proving Every Day That Dynamite Does Come in Small Packages

April 11, 2008

By Alex Douglas

Sports Information Intern


Dynamite has always been known to come in small packages. Three years ago, the Florida State‘s women tennis team was sent some dynamite in a tennis player by the name of Carolin Walter. The 5′ 6″, soft spoken senior from Bingen, Germany, may not seem like a fierce and dominant player, but once she steps onto the court her explosiveness, determination and knowledge of the game prove why she is such an important part of this year’s historic team.


“She is a very consistent performer and extremely reliable when game time comes around,” head coach Jennifer Hyde said. “She has a clear understanding of the game so when she talks everyone listens.”


Walter’s successful career began when she was nine years old. With her parent’s firm support and her ability to quickly pick up the fundamentals of the game, she rapidly became a solid player. After playing throughout high school in tournaments all over the country, Walter had a decision to make of where to continue her future. With the university system in Germany being very demanding of a student and leaving almost no time to pursue a legitimate career in a sport, she was given two options.


“I knew that if I wanted to continue playing tennis then I would have to either go pro or go somewhere else,” Walter said. “My coach suggested trying for a scholarship and playing tennis in the United States at the collegiate level, so I went ahead and did that.”


That critical decision in Walter’s life would eventually lead her to the campus of Florida State. Before her arrival at FSU though, Walter’s first collegiate experience began at Baylor.


After two years of play in Waco, Texas, the German native was the central figure on the BU women’s team. To most, Walter would seem to have it all being the only freshman to play the No. 1 position, earn an invite to the ITA All-American Tournament and being ranked No. 18 in the country. But to her, there was something missing.


“I enjoyed being at Baylor my first two years, but I always felt like something wasn’t exactly right,” Walter confessed. “It was not the best team chemistry and I did not like that the campus was in the middle of nowhere.”


Walter’s search for a tight knit team at a university with great facilities would eventually lead her to the Seminoles.


“I visited FIU first and then I visited FSU,” Walter said, “But once I came to Florida State and met the team and coaches and saw the amazing facilities that we have, I knew this was the place for me. When I arrived, I was excited to get going and start a new career and a new life.”


That fresh new start would unfortunately have to be put on hold as Walter’s career came to an abrupt stop because of an ankle injury.


“I had never experienced an injury before so I did not know really what to do or how to act,” Walter recalled. “It was really easy for me to get frustrated because I wanted everything to be fixed right away, but I knew it had to take time.”


Though the team and coaches were very supportive throughout her injury, it became even more difficult for the new transfer to assimilate with her team since she was not able to practice, train, or even travel during her first season in Tallahassee.


“Right after the surgery the girls came over and let me know that they were there for me,” Walter said. “It was still really hard though to get involved with the team and in getting to know the girls.”


Despite the fact that the healing process was long and strenuous, Walter was able to fight through it and according to her head coach, was able to learn a lot from it and develop more as a player and as a person.


“After her belief was restored in herself, she became an integral part of our success these past two years,” Hyde boasted. “She has greatly developed as a leader by instilling belief in the other girls as well.”


With still the end of her senior season to come, Walter has already helped in creating history by bringing the women’s tennis team ranking to it’s highest position ever at No. 12. She also reached a No. 14 national ranking last year in doubles with her partner Nicola Slater.


As she prepares for graduation and her tennis career wraps up, Walters looks back at her days at FSU and hopes to have made an impact on not only the record books and standings, but with her teammates and coaches as well.


“I am so proud to finish my career as a Seminole!” the senior leader exclaimed. “And I hope that if I have accomplished anything, it’s that I have inspired my teammates to enjoy every moment on the court, have fun, and to always believe in yourself.”



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