What They're Saying About Laurie
"She's just really nice, approachable. She tells us how good we are. Sometimes we don't realize how good we are and it helps to hear that. I don't think we did realize it. She helped us out with our mindset."
Liz Miller, East Lyme senior
What You Need to Know About Laurie
She admired her brother who was an all-star baseball player, which made Laurie Privett, once she found tennis as her niche, an aspiring professional tennis player when she was growing up. Well, that didn't quite work out. But Privett, the former Laurie Zrenda, had a pretty special season this year as coach of the East Lyme High School girls' tennis team. The Vikings, with three freshmen among the four players in their singles lineup, were 18-1 overall, 15-0 in the regular season and won the Eastern Connecticut Conference Large Division at 8-0. Seeded first in the Class M state tournament, the Vikings reached the finals for the second time in program history before falling to Hand of Madison 7-0. "I was pretty comfortable with integrating them," Privett said of the freshmen. "I've never had any catty issues or anything like that. They know how it works; the best ones play. ... They have a lot of skills, they're so well developed. I deal with more of the psychological, the confidence, blocking out negativity."
Privett is a 1982 graduate of East Lyme - "that's really cool," she said of coaching at her alma mater, "it makes me feel young" - where she won two ECC doubles title and a singles title. She is now a pharmacist at Rite-Aid in Uncasville, married to Barry Privett. She has four children, Rachael, David, Jenny and Liz, with David and his doubles partner Gowtham Yenduri earning All-ECC doubles honors for East Lyme this season. Privett, in the seventh season of her current stint with the Vikings, is still active in several leagues in the area and said she's a better player for having coached. She has been named The Day's 2012 Girls' Tennis Coach of the Year. "Consistency," Privett said of her team's strength this season. "Amazing consistency. As soon as we started and got a good look at them, I knew we were going to be going pretty far."
- Vickie Fulkerson