May 30, 2011 is a big day in the young life of Kirsten Ward. Though she’s been playing junior tennis tournaments since she was seven years old, for awhile now, 15 year old Kirsten has been “playing up.”
In 2005 at the age of 10, Ward made the jump to the Girls 12’s division. In 2007, two days before her 12th birthday she played her first 18’s singles match…and won the tournament! Since that “taste” of victory and the feel of hitting a faster, harder and more strategic ball with the older girls, Kirsten has played no more than six tournaments in her age division in any year and only once since May 2010. In 2007 her first Girls 18’s state ranking was #107. She has steadily climbed (#19 in ‘08, #6 in ‘09). Going into last Memorial Day weekend Ward was ranked #4 in the 18s. After winning the finals in the Girls 18’s in the North Carolina State Tarheel qualifier in Winston Salem on Memorial Day, she has climbed to number two almost five full months prior to her 16th birthday.
Kirsten is a native and current resident of Statesville, trains full-time at the Cleveland Country Club and stays in Shelby during the week. Ward began the full-time training program with Scoben Tennis Academy and online home schooling at the age of 11. She is currently a student with Laurel Springs and carries three honors classes. Kirsten also won the prestigious Sportsmanship award for North Carolina in the Girls 12’s in 2008.
Kirsten’s future goals and plans? She wants to play college and has several schools interested in her playing for them. And, of course, she wants to play pro (here she comes Wimbledon!). Outside of tennis Ward aims to attain a medical degree and become a pediatrician. Her love for tennis is exceeded by her love for young children and the desire to serve them. Kirsten is a dedicated Christian and believes that her successes in tennis and in life should all be used to glorify Him.