Anybody who perceives tennis players as narrowly focused ought to meet Wiktoria Plawska.
She runs long distances and/or hikes them. She skis. She climbs mountains. She writes. She snorkels. She draws with an artistic flair. She's in the Sierra Club. She's frequently in Europe, where she was born and where her Polish parents grew up.
Her web page, WiktoriAdventures, will show you. She calls herself "a passionate adventure-athlete who promotes exploring the outdoors and living life to the fullest." Just last week, she was in Spain.
But when the York County resident chooses to play tennis, she's pretty daggone good at it – good enough to be the Daily Press girls Player of the Year for her senior season in the fall of 2013 for Hampton Roads Academy.
In her only year at No. 1 for HRA, she led the Navigators to their second consecutive Virginia Independent Schools Division II championship and earned VIS Player of the Year in D-II.
The VIS doesn't sponsor individual championships, but she placed second to Cape Henry Collegiate's Brooke Pilkington in the Tidewater Conference of Independent Schools tournament's top flight, losing 7-5, 6-4 in the final after beating Norfolk Academy standout Danika Kahatapitiya in a semifinal.
At No. 1 doubles, Plawska and sophomore Joyce Fields were runners-up to Cape Henry as the Navigators took third in the TCIS team standings.
Plawska says she enjoys the team atmosphere, something she began to appreciate as a York player when she surprised many followers by capturing the 2012 Group AA singles crown in her only public high school season. Then she transferred to HRA and immediately fit in on a powerful team that included her predecessor as the Player of the Year, current University of Denver No. 1 Maureen Slattery. So, for the last three years, Plawska has had something to celebrate.
"It was pretty amazing. I've had three state championships, so that's pretty nice," Plawska said after HRA beat Norfolk Collegiate 5-1 in the 2013 final.
Speaking of adventure, how about her choice for continuing her education? It's Lewis & Clark College in Portland, Ore., a forested campus that has about 2,000 students and suits her environmental focus. Tennis-wise, she's part of a freshman class ranked 16th in Division III by a Tennis Recruiting Network panel and is eighth among Virginia girls in the class of 2014.
Wherever she goes, rest assured she'll consider it an adventure.
SINGLES FIRST TEAM
Teresa Alvarez | York | senior. Blessed with a one-handed backhand reminiscent of Argentine legend Gabriela Sabatini, she led the Falcons to their finest season — unbeaten until their first state title match. In singles, she won Colonial Rivers Conference 25 and took second place in the 3A East Region to reach the state semis. Now she'll play for the University of the Sciences, a Division II school in Philadelphia.
Joyce Fields | Hampton Roads Academy | sophomore. She was a reliable victor at No. 2 for the state D-II champs, especially against Division II opposition. She has strong groundstrokes and good touch at the net.
Grace Prillaman | Hampton Roads Academy | junior. Placing second in the TCIS No. 3 flight with solid baseline play, she was a key element of the Navigators' D-II dominance.
Gaby Tersigni | York | junior. Often dominant on line 2, she took second place to Alvarez in the conference singles tournament and registered key dual wins, including those against Lafayette and state semifinal opponent Spotswood.
Anna Walter | Jamestown | sophomore. The consistent anchor of a perennial power that endured a rebuilding season, she won the Conference 19 and Group 4A South Region singles crowns before falling in a state semi.
DOUBLES FIRST TEAM
Wiktoria Plawska and Joyce Fields | Hampton Roads Academy. They placed second in the TCIS No. 1 flight, then sparked HRA to another state team crown.
Anna Walter and Mairin Shea (sophomore) | Jamestown. They peaked late in the season, avenging a regular-season loss to Grafton to win the Conference 19 tournament, then winning the 4A South regional over the eventual state champs from Glen Allen. The Eagles fell in a state semi.
Teresa Alvarez and Gaby Tersigni | York. Dominant almost all season in duals and invidual tournaments, they won the Colonial Rivers and 3A East crowns before falling in a state semifinal.