Wintergerst, who played softball and tennis in high school, was not sure she would be able to play both sports at Hudson Valley Community College, so she chose to join the lady Vikings softball team. She already had begun fall workouts with the softball team when her mother, Pam, called Hudson Valley's tennis coach Sandy Wimmer to see if Wintergerst could still join the tennis team.
Wimmer may have made the best decision in her three years of coaching tennis at the college when she approached Wintergerst at softball practice about joining the team.
"Kim has a great attitude," said Wimmer. "She plays hard and really enjoys what she's doing out on the court."
Wintergerst stepped right into the No. 1 singles position and is 6-1 heading into this weekend's NJCAA Region III tennis tournament in Cobleskill. The tournament, hosted by SUNY Cobleskill, begins at 9 a.m. on Saturday, October 2 and ends on Sunday, October 3.
Wintergerst also has teamed up with freshman Mary Nguyen (Albany/Colonie High School) to win all seven matches at No. 1 doubles. The pair have combined to help Hudson Valley to a 4-3 record – its highest win total since 1999.
"I joined the team because I wanted to have fun and meet new people," Wintergerst said. "I love all of the girls on this team. They're great."
Wintergest should be one of the favorites in both singles and doubles this weekend, but to win the singles tournament, she likely will have to defeat defending Region III champion Rachal Kollar of Broome Community College. Kollar handed Wintergerst her only loss, 6-3, 6-3, on September 20.
"I wanted to go undefeated this year," Wintergerst said. "I hope I play her (Kollar) again in the tournament. I'm looking forward to a rematch."
Hudson Valley has not had a Region III tennis champion since Maria Gutierrez won back-to-back championships in 1998 and 1999. Since then, Hudson Valley's No. 1 singles position had combined to go 6-21 until this season.
The Region III team champion and individual winners at each flight will advance to the NJCAA Division III championships in Tucson, Arizona on May 7-13, 2005.
Although it was her mother who made the phone call, Wintergerst's success as a tennis player at Hudson Valley can be attributed to her whole family.
"My father (Peter) was a professional tennis teacher, and ever since I was a young girl, my father, brother (Brian) and I have played tennis together," Wintergerst said.
As for softball, Wintergerst, a pitcher and utility player, continues to practice with the Hudson Valley softball team – sometimes practicing with both teams on the same day – and should be an important player in the spring as the Lady Vikings shoot for their 18th consecutive winning season.