It’s early in the girls tennis season and New Trier coach Jerry Morse-Karzen is still trying to piece together his lineup.
Sophomore Cammy Frei began the campaign playing singles, but she serves as a figurative chess piece that Morse-Karzen said he feels comfortable moving almost anywhere in his varsity lineup.
Morse-Karzen describes Frei as a “pretty complete” player. She has a background playing singles at the USTA level and she excelled as one half of the Trevians’ No. 1 doubles team last year, playing alongside 2013 New Trier graduate Kirstie Woodbury.
Frei entered high school with the physical tools to be a successful varsity player — Morse-Karzen complimented her power, racquet speed, aggressiveness, volleying and work ethic — but she was able to pick up some of the intricacies of playing doubles by working with Woodbury last season.
“Kirstie had a really big serve and she was good at placing it, so she gave me a chance to poach a little bit more on the return,” Frei said. “Kirstie was also good at being consistent and getting the ball deep, so that made it a little bit more easier for me to poach. She was also really good at the net with her overheads, so I was trying to hit the ball deep.”
Woodbury and Frei reached the seventh round of the consolation bracket at state, finishing with a 4-2 record.
Frei’s skill and the time she spent playing with Woodbury helped make the Winnetka resident a power player packaged into a rather unimposing frame.
“As a freshman, she was kind of little and you’d never expect that (power),” Morse-Karzen said. “If you saw her walking down the street, you’d never think she’d be this aggressive, tough tennis player. But you put her on the court and you’re wowed.”