TALLAHASSEE, Fl. (WTXL) - The taste of defeat stung for Rickards senior Charitha Moparthy.
"My ninth grade year I played and I lost my District match that would have sent me to States," she remembered. "I took that really hard on myself, but everyone was like it's okay! You're a freshman!"
She hasn't tasted defeat at the District level since. Back to back singles District Champs, and last season, she was able to take her doubles partner to State as well.
"She just had a grit about her where she didn't like losing, she was afraid to lose," said head coach Jeff Rauschenberg. "That's good because it makes you want to go that next level."
"Every year when I go to States I'm motivated by the passion and the work the other kids put in," added Moparthy. "I want to be able to have other kids look at our team and say the say thing."
Her main goal? Getting this entire Raider squad to state. As hard as she's working on the court to do just that, she's still working her academics, as Moparthy has a 4.78 GPA.
"I think it's definitely gotten easier for what I can expect, but also my work load keeps increasing year by year," she said of her studies. "The pressures have definitely increased but I'm also mentally prepared for what 9th, 10th, and 11th grade has prepared me for."
"She's there late, she's there early, and does as much as she can," said Rauschenberg. "She's not only laying the ground work for herself, but for the future players, which is great."
As a self described lover of progress - Moparthy's season outlook looks sky high.
"I think that the progress over the years, it's really motivated me to do my best, but also try have me motivate my other teammates," she said. "After I graduate I want to see the girls do the same or better than when I was here. I think that would really fulfill me."
The future, but in the present, that trip to State, looks pretty good too.