Lauryn Taubman is an active young lady.
She has played ice hockey the last four years -- the first three on Wilde Lake's club team and last season on an all-girls squad.
She has played flute and piccolo since fourth grade and is on Wilde Lake's marching band and wind ensemble.
She is taking an English course at Howard Community College to prepare herself for Syracuse University and goes twice a week to the Cable 15 television station in Ellicott City as part of a mentorship program.
Oh, yes, she also hasn't lost a tennis match this season and is expected to be seeded No. 1 in singles when the Howard County tournament begins Thursday.
"It would be very nice to win, and a great way to end my high school career," Taubman said.
Taubman has been Wilde Lake's No. 1 girls player for four years. She finished third in the county tournament as a freshman and two years ago lost to Karen Prangley -- now playing at UMBC -- in the county championship.
Centennial's Katie Dougherty dominated the singles competition last year, going undefeated en route to a state title. Taubman and Mary Valverde decided to play doubles in the postseason, and won county and region doubles titles and finished third in the state.
"We knew we had a better shot of playing at states if we were together," Taubman said. "It meant so much to finish third in the states. It was a huge accomplishment for Mary and me."
Now, Taubman faces another test. Instead of looking up at the higher seeds, Taubman will look down on everyone else. Suddenly, she is the one everyone will be trying to beat.
"It's an honor to be seeded No. 1, but it comes with the added pressure," said Taubman. "Hopefully, I'll live up to that."
A different type of pressure faces Taubman in the next few months. She must decide whether she wants to try out for the Syracuse tennis team or play on its marching and pep bands.
"It's not going to be an easy decision," said Taubman, who doesn't want to overextend herself in her first year.
Taubman was accepted early to Syracuse and will major in communications. Syracuse has one of the finest communications department in the country.
Her goal? "I'd like to produce and direct something on film or television," she said.
By taking an English course at HCC, she is able to play tennis on the school's club team. She was scheduled to participate this weekend in the junior-college championships at Chesapeake College.
Taubman likes to stay calm on the court. No shouting. No throwing the racket. It doesn't mean, however, that she doesn't have a competitive nature.
"I have it; it just doesn't really show," Taubman said.
Still, Wilde Lake coach Ron Shelton said Taubman needs to be more aggressive.
"She needs to be able to close points off when necessary," Shelton said. "Once she becomes a little more aggressive, I think she'll win a little easier."
Taubman realizes there are times she should take more chances in matches.
"I'm trying to be more aggressive," Taubman said. "I think I am, but I'd like to become even more aggressive."
Taubman enjoys the game and realizes how important it is to her.
"Tennis has had such a big impact on my life," she said. "I met my best friend [Meghan King] playing tennis."
Taubman, whose sister, Jackie, is a freshman on the team and whose mother, Patricia, is the assistant coach, is looking forward to the county championships.
"I'd really like to win," she said. "I just want to do the best I can and have fun."
And if she should happen to lose, it won't dampen her high school experience.
"I'll still leave here very happy knowing what I've accomplished," she said.
Pub Date: 5/03/98