Kirkwood Women’s Tennis Association


Welcome to the Kirkwood Women’s Tennis Association Site

NEWS UPDATE: Regular season play begins the week of May 5, 2014

Come play with us!

The Kirkwood Women’s Tennis Association is already looking for women to play with us for the 2014 season. Our league welcomes women of all ages and tennis abilities, ranging from beginners who have never played tennis through women at the 3.5-4.0 USTA ranking. Players must reside in the Kirkwood School District. We play weekday mornings at Kirkwood Park from May through September. The cost is only $60.


We aim to fill our 9 levels with women of comparable skills and so require that women new to the league first screen to find their appropriate level and then tryout for open spots. Screenings will be held October through January; tryouts will be held during February.


If you are interested, please call Lauri at 314-607-8581


We hope to see you on the courts!


KWTA’s motto is “We’ve Come A Long Way, Baby!” and how true it is. For over 40 years, KWTA has been providing, fun, friendship and fitness to the women of Kirkwood and surrounding communities (within the Kirkwood School District boundaries). Started by Sally Bakula tacking up a simple note on the tennis shack in Kirkwood Park asking “Anyone interested in forming a tennis group?”; KWTA’s humble beginnings included just four players in the first year. Now a volunteer board coordinates 108 regular players on nine different skill levels and over 100 subs. This is not your mother’s tennis league.

Even if you’ve never picked up a tennis racquet, you will fall in love with game – like Pam Henze. When Pam started with KWTA in 2012 she didn’t even know how to hold a racquet. She started at the very beginning skill level, C3, and learned how to play, score and move on the court through the free clinics offered by KWTA in the first four weeks of the season. Two years later, Pam is a tennis junkie. She loved her first summer so much, she continued playing tennis during the winter, she took lessons, and she came back to KWTA for a second season and now plays five times a week and is the captain of a US Tennis Association team.

Laura Bruen started playing tennis when her kids were still in preschool. She took some lessons in the evening at Kirkwood Park and was encouraged to join KWTA. Hiring babysitters allowed Laura the time to play every week that first season; creating her love for the game she now calls her sport for a lifetime.

KWTA board president, Armetta Smitely, played nine seasons before going back to her teaching career. 20 years later, retired from teaching, Armetta rejoined KWTA and has loved every minute of tennis since.  “I’ve played with doctors, nurses, teachers, stay at home moms, dentists, lawyers, shop owners and accountants - women in all stages of life, from college students to retirees, participate,” Armetta said.

Becky Englebrecht, like Pam started as a C3 player; and like Laura, when her kids were young. 18 seasons later, the 11 other C3 players Becky started with are now her best friends. “This is as much a social activity as it is exercise,” Becky said.

Adding to the social aspect of the game are the off-court activities sponsored by the league. The annual KWTA bruncheon and awards ceremony is one final gathering of players at season’s end. Assorted door prizes and gifts are raffled off and the top two players from each level receive a prize.

KWTA’s season runs May – September. For $60 every regular player gets five months of play plus a season pass to the Kirkwood courts, newly renovated two years ago. Can’t play all five months? Sign up to be a sub, at no cost, and it’s almost guaranteed a regular player will need you nearly every week.


General Information

Board Members

Season Schedule


Interested in joining or need more information?

Email Lauri Heitz


2012 Level Winners

Back Row

Shana Warner

Pam Henze

Middle Row

Cindi Wendling

Mary Leahy

Kathy McDonough

Laura Bruen

Front Row

Laura Kern

Michelle Shukwit

Maureen Burns

Carrie Wolf

Danna Squires



2012 Ham & Egg Tournament Winners

Left to Right

JoAnn Singer

Chris Branch      

Becky Engelbrecht

Teresa Kelly



2011 Level Winners

Back Row

Terri Staten

Beth Kickham

Renee Kniepmann

Laura Bruen

Tammi Voorhees

Front Row

Kathy McDonough     

Judy Dude

Jaimie Tilly

Peggy Callahan

Teresa Buehler


2011 KWTA Ham & Eggs Winners    

2011 Ham & Egg Tournament Winners

Left to Right

Shona Scott

Laura Bruen

Becky Engelbrecht

Jennifer Balota



2010 Level Winners

Back Row

Becky Skeens

Marianne Baer

Shari Lumley

Betty Seliga

Kristine Abbate

Laura Bruen

Nora Steele

Julie Glaser

Diana Kelsch

Front Row

Teresa Kelly        

Lisa Davis

Carla Sauerwein

Maggy Elbring

Traci Griffin

Shona Scott

Cheryl Hemann



2010 Ham & Egg Tournament Winners

Left to Right

Becky Engelbrecht

JoEllen Rahing

Martha Gallagher

Jennifer Balota