Beyond Bounds: Burroughs Has St. Kate’s Tennis On Verge Of History

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Senior captain Michaela Burroughs has the St. Kate's women's tennis team en route to its first MIAC title in program history. (credit: St. Catherine Sports Information)

Senior captain Michaela Burroughs has the St. Kate’s women’s tennis team en route to its first MIAC title in program history. (credit: St. Catherine Sports Information)

Take a glance at the MIAC women’s tennis standings and there’s an unfamiliar name atop it.

St. Kate’s? A team that has never won the league title? … How?

Senior captain and No. 2 singles player Michaela Burroughs has quite a bit to do with it, as her career arc mimics that of the ascension of the Wildcat program.

Since MIAC women’s tennis’ inception in 1982, league royalty has been Gustavus (26 titles), Carleton (four) and St. Thomas (one). That’s it — no one else.

Michaela Burroughs

Michaela Burroughs

But after going 3-7 MIAC, 7-11 overall in 2010 her freshman year, Burroughs’ squad has improved every year since — culminating with this season’s breakout mark of 11-1 overall, and a perfect 6-0 league tally.

That has St. Kate’s on the home stretch for an unprecedented conference crown.

“Since the beginning there’s been this energy with the whole team that we could really do it (win the conference),” Burroughs said. “It’s just such a cool experience to be part of this team. We beat the top two teams in Carleton and Gustavus. I believe we have not beaten Gustavus in the history of St. Kate’s.”

Coach Ben Hageseth has been instrumental in the turnaround, taking the helm five years ago. The program has consistently developed ever since, and he earned MIAC Coach of the Year honors in 2012.

Polls had St. Kate’s finishing fifth this season, but toss in two talented transfers — Victoria Bravo and Kylie Ketcho — and the Wildcats have a much bigger bite.

But for Burroughs, who hails from Ohama, Neb., she’s also been busy prepping for her career after St. Catherine.


The English major/philosophy minor has a 3.6 GPA
I like the critical thinking aspect. I like looking at arguments, breaking them down and figuring out how to respond. I knew I wanted to do English. Then I took a couple philosophy classes and it clicked with me.

Her LinkedIn profile’s nearing capacity for an undergrad
(From interning for Minnesota State Sen. Latz and Gov. Mark Dayton, to being an Undergraduate Fellow for Sen. Franken)
I really want to go into environmental policy. I want to work for a couple years and then go to law school. I’d love to go to (Washington) D.C. and work out there.

Burroughs has already interned with Gov. Mark Dayton, and is currently working for Al Franken. (credit: St. Catherine Sports Information)

Burroughs has already interned with Gov. Mark Dayton, and is currently working for Sen. Al Franken. (credit: St. Catherine Sports Information)

Working for Franken 15 hours a week is an ‘awesome experience’
It’s a lot of constituent work. I hear from a lot of people throughout Minnesota, and I get to know what he’s doing as a Senator. It’s incredible the amount of work that he does.

She doesn’t read classless contemporary content
I haven’t read “Twilight” or “50 Shades.” My favorites are “One Hundred Years of Solitude,” and “Invisible Man.”

Billy Jean King is her top role model
She was a strong woman both on and off the court. She’s still involved with certain players and that’s a cool thing to do.

Like any Nebraskan, she’ll always be a Cornhusker
If you’re from Nebraska you have to be a Big Red fan. If I were anything else, I think all of Nebraska would disown me as a person.

Victoria Bravo’s cheering has branded the 2013 season
She speaks Spanish and she likes to cheer a lot — so we’ve adopted saying “Vamos Wildcats.”

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