Athlete of the Week: Lauren Louks, Malibu High School

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Lauren Louks

She is the unquestioned leader of the Malibu girls tennis team. Quiet and unassuming, the senior leader has left an admirable example for future girls to follow:

Work hard, be committed to school and sports, and stay the course.

Lauren Louks, 17, has played varsity singles since her freshman year in 2010, and the timid girl of ninth grade has grown into a fierce competitor as a senior in 2013.

Her success has mirrored that of the program. Louks has been a part of four consecutive league championship teams at Malibu High. For the third straight year, Louks and her teammates have reached the CIF quarterfinals. She currently owns a 38-3 overall record in singles play this season while being a part of a 13-3 Sharks squad.

With the CIF playoffs culminating this week and CIF Individuals beginning Nov. 25, her time on the courts as a high school tennis player is drawing to a close.

“It’s been a lot of fun. We’ve won league all four years,” Louks said. “I’ve grown and improved a lot. I’m sad to see it come to an end.”

In addition to the four team league titles, Louks career at Malibu consists of two semifinal appearances and two runner-ups in the Tri-Valley League singles championships.

After losing to former teammate Britta Mosser last year in the finals, Louks came in with the mindset of being a champion in 2013. She didn’t realize at the time that a talented freshman from Oak Park High School could possibly derail that quest.

In a hotly contested battle, freshman Annette Goulak outlasted Louks in the finals 4-6, 6-3, 6-1. While it wasn’t easy to accept the tough loss, Louks came away with a positive outlook and attitude.

“I was disappointed that it’s my last year and I haven’t won it at all,” said Louks. “But I learned that I’ve got to stay focused the whole time. When the third set began, I should have realized it was tied and it could go either way. I felt like I was behind going into the third set and I wasn’t playing as well as I could have.”

Though discouraged, she came off the court with a smile on her face. Louks was as gracious in defeat as she would have been if she had won.

“Annette played really well,” Louks said. “It was a good match.”

As she concludes the season with her teammates this week, Louks wants to finish strong at the CIF Individuals before the preparation for collegiate tennis begins. Louks will be the only player from Malibu competing at CIF Individuals.

“I’m looking forward to it. My goal is to make it to the main draw,” Louks said. “Unfortunately it will be less fun because last year we had four people from Malibu there. Now it’s like really individuals.”

Off the court, Louks has excelled in the classroom maintaining a 3.88 grade point average while taking a significant number of Advanced Placement classes. She is the editor for the Arts and Entertainment section of The Current, the school’s newspaper.

Her ability to thrive as a student-athlete has enabled Louks to have a bright future at the collegiate level. Universities such as Georgetown, UC San Diego and UC Davis are pursuing her for tennis, though it Louk’s dream and desire, however, to attend Tufts University in Boston to continue her playing career.

“I’m happy because I am hopefully going to be playing college tennis,” Louks said. “I’m excited about it because it’s more serious. You have to work out more, do weightlifting and cross training.”

The transition from small-town Malibu to big city Boston would be an adjustment but a welcomed one by Louks.

“I love the school and the city,” Louks said. “They have a great tennis program and all I have heard about the coach is good things.”

She has applied for early action at Tufts and will be awaiting the decision come December. The opportunity to attend a fine academic institution and play tennis in a college sports town such as Boston would be the ultimate Christmas present.