(Clarinda) -- One of just two female KMAland state individual tennis champions is our latest KMA Sports Hall of Fame inductee.
Clarinda's Kristin Kovar finished off her terrific tennis career as a Cardinal with a state championship in 2003.
"I remember taking one match at a time," Kovar said on Monday's Upon Further Review program. "By the time I got to that championship match, it was kind of unreal to me. It was one of those things I had never really thought I could get."
Kovar, who would go on to a four-time All-Conference career at Central College, spent plenty of years working on her game to get to that point.
"I started playing when I was five," she said. "My sister would always take me to practice with her, and I was always picking up balls for her. I just got to the point where I got tired of picking up balls, and I wanted to hit them."
Kovar qualified for the state tournament twice - as a sophomore and junior - before her state championship run.
"I think the moment that stands out (before the championship)," she said, "was my sophomore year at state. The match that I lost was one that hit home and inspired me. It pushed me to work that much harder in the offseason, so when junior and senior year came around I felt like I was a little more prepared."
Kovar's final high school match - and the one that helped her take the state title - was against a very familiar opponent in fellow Hawkeye Ten rival, Amy Pierson from Red Oak.
"We competed against each other numerous times," Kovar said. "I think that really helped boost my confidence going into the match, knowing what to expect and what I needed to do."
Kovar will be officially inducted into the KMA Sports Hall of Fame at a later date to be determined. To hear the full interview with Kovar click here.
A KMA Sports Hall of Fame announcement will be made on Upon Further Review at 11:50 AM each weekday until August 28th.
2017-18 KMA Sports Hall of Fame Announcement Schedule
Monday, August 14th — Kristin Kovar, Clarinda (Tennis)
Tuesday, August 15th — Female Basketball (Individual)
Wednesday, August 16th — Male & Female Golf (Individual)
Thursday, August 17th — Volleyball (Individual)
Friday, August 18th — Male Basketball (Individual)
Monday, August 21st — Female Cross Country (Individual)
Tuesday, August 22nd — Football (Individual)
Wednesday, August 23rd — Track & Field (Team)
Thursday, August 24th — Male Cross Country (Individual)
Friday, August 25th — Basketball (Team)
Monday, August 28th — Legacy Award