Illiana Christian senior Kent Pitsenberger’s future vocation somewhat scares him, but he’s fearless on the tennis court.
Pitsenberger is back as the Vikings’ No. 1 singles player, a role he assumed as a junior, and he leads a talented squad for first-year coach Nick Blink.
“He just a real consistent player,” Blink said. “He can play against anyone, going really hard or one that’s looking to push the ball. He doesn’t make many mistakes.”
Pitsenberger finished 12-8 last season, and he likes the make-up of this year’s squad.
“In my four years at Illiana this is the best team I’ve been a part of,” he said. “I think the coach will agree, this is the best team Illiana’s had.”
Pitsenberger would know, having played one of the top singles positions since assuming the No. 2 spot as a sophomore. He also is confident about his own game.
“I’m not so much a power hitter, I’m more about control,” he said. “It’s technique more than anything. Thankfully, I’m pretty quick. There’s noting I can’t get to unless it’s a well-played ball.”
Blink said Pitsenberger plays exceptional anywhere on the court, whether it’s at the net or controlling the baseline.
“He’s just really good at out-battling people,” he said.
Pitsenberger began playing competitive tennis as a seventh-grade student in middle school when his family lived in Holland, Mich. He’s been at Illiana since the second semester of his freshman year when his family moved to Indiana.
Upon graduation, Pitsenberger, of Dyer, is going to study the ministry. Right now, he’s looking at Moody Bible Institute in Chicago and Bethel College in Mishawaka.
“I want to be a minister,” he said, adding that he will concentrate on pastoral ministry. His parents are Mike and Gina Pitsenberger.
“My dad has been a pastor for a long time,” he said. “I’ve grown up with him as a pastor. That has been very helpful.
“Really, I feel God called me into the ministry, and that’s what I’m going to do. Even though right now, it seems frightening.”
Pitsenberger would also like to make his senior tennis season memorable.
“I do hope to qualify for state for the first time since this is my last year on the team,” he said. “For the team I hope to see us improve and each player improves as the season goes on.