Ashley Bongart's foot bothered her.
Though she couldn't tell how major the injury was, the pain wasn't going to keep her from redemption.
Bongart's junior season ended prematurely and with a different type of pain. The emotional letdown of exiting the girls tennis postseason at the district tournament stage only fueled her more.
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"I was definitely very motivated to make it this year," Bongart said.
So Bongart got to work, focusing her senior season solely on tennis.
And even while suffering from an injury that has her resting the foot to this day, the payoff that came last April was worth it.
Bongart etched her name into a class of one when she helped Lakewood Ranch become the first public high school in Manatee County to win a girls tennis state team championship. She also won the Class 3A state individual and overall singles titles.
With a 2012 doubles state championship, Bongart capped her senior season by becoming the only girls prep tennis player in Manatee County history to collect a singles, doubles and team state title in her career.
The feat was accomplished once in Sarasota County, when Sarasota High's Zoe Hatcher won a doubles title in 1947 before grabbing an individual singles championship and team state title in 1949.
Ed Bongart, Ashley's father and the girls tennis coach at Lakewood Ranch, said he originally sought to find out when the last time the trifecta happened, not if it had ever been done before.
"It started to hit me then how much of an accomplishment it was," Ed Bongart said.
In order to win the state team title, Ashley Bongart and her usual doubles partner, Lauren Proctor, sacrificed doubles glory by breaking up their partnership to maximize how many points they could accrue for the team in different doubles divisions.
It was an difficult decision, one that enabled Bongart to end her high school career on top.
"Going out as the player of the year is very special to me and to share it with my father also is really special," said Ashley, who is heading to the University of Tennessee in August to continue her tennis career. "... I just think everything just worked out this year."
But the ride to winning multiple state titles this past spring almost came up short, and it wasn't due to any opponent across the net.
The pain in Bongart's right foot was originally viewed as a routine bump or knock. But it was more serious and caused her to withdraw from the finals of the Sarasota Open women's event the same week she won the state high school titles.
"My adrenaline was going, and you don't really notice it," said Bongart, who suffered a stress fracture to her fourth metatarsal on the top of her foot during the state finals. "I could feel some discomfort, but it wasn't anything I couldn't fight through it. And I kept playing on it, and I think that made it worse."
After wearing a walking boot for roughly a month, Bongart will continue her rehab with the hopes of being healed to play in a couple more tournaments to close out the summer before embarking on college life at Tennessee.
She said she hopes to play professionally if her game rises to that level following college and has thought about pursuing sports broadcasting.
In either case, she won't have to look far in the record books to spot her name.
Lakewood Ranch - Lauren Proctor, sr.; Natalia Vuckovic, soph.; Selena Gomez, sr.; Jessica Kroupa, sr.
Out-of-Door Academy - M'Balia Bangoura, jr.
Saint Stephen's - MaryAnn Rompf, jr.; Danning Feng, sr.; Claudia Usubillaga, sr.; Isadorra Rosso, sr.; Annie Brey, sr.