PEORIA, Ill. — Maria Coulter admits she kind of stumbled into a tennis career at Notre Dame.
She really wanted to play volleyball.
“But I knew that if I played volleyball, I wouldn’t be able to keep up with piano (lessons), voice and I played the clarinet,” Coulter said. “I wanted to be able to be a musician and an athlete.”
Music has been a huge part of her life since the sixth grade when she took voice lessons. Coulter’s introduction to tennis came with less fanfare.
“I watched YouTube videos and tried to figure it out so I could swing correctly before I was playing real matches,” Coulter admitted with a smile.
She didn’t start playing tennis until the summer before her freshman year of high school. She chose tennis over volleyball and eventually became a two-time state tournament qualifier.
Coulter is headed to Augustana College where she will study vocal performance and play tennis. It’s the combination she’s wanted since she was invited to sing at all-school masses at Notre Dame.
“I knew signing wasn’t about me anymore, it was about the audience. It is a gift that I share from God,” Coulter said. “I don’t feel like I have peaked yet. I want to see what peaking in tennis is like. And I don’t think I have peaked with my voice either.”
Right now it appears she’s pretty good with her racket and her vocal cords.