Girls Tennis: Lake Forest’s Lipp picks Northwestern
Maddie Lipp, who will be a senior at Lake Forest High School, has been selected to play in the USTA Girls' 18 National Team. | Joel Lerner~Sun-Times Media
Updated: April 27, 2012 4:12PM
Thirty-love, Maddie Lipp.
The Lake Forest High School junior won a couple of “points” when she recently verbally committed to hit the books and tennis shots at Northwestern University.
“I was looking for the best combination of academics and tennis,” said Lipp, No. 7 in singles (Girls 18-and-under) in the USTA rankings. “I will get that at Northwestern. The coach (Claire Pollard) is extremely caring, and she has an amazing track record.”
Pollard’s Wildcats are ranked 12th in the NCAA. The 14th-year coach guided NU teams to 11 straight Big Ten championships (1999-2009) and 13 consecutive Big Ten Tournament titles (1999-2011). Her career record at the school before the start of this season was 310-67 (.822), and at least one NU woman tennis player achieved All-America status in each of the last nine seasons.
The lone Illinois native on the 2012 team is sophomore and former Hinsdale Central standout Nida Hamilton.
Michigan, Duke and Virginia, among others, also recruited Lipp. Lipp’s sister Nicole is a junior soccer player at Duke.
“I want to be a part of an NCAA championship team, and I feel going to NU gives me that chance,” Lipp said. “I’m really looking forward to representing the college. I believe the coaches will help develop my game. Maybe I’ll get to play (professionally) after college. It would be nice to try it for a few years.
“If that doesn’t work out, I’ll have a degree from Northwestern.”
Lipp, ranked as high as No. 4 in the USTA Girls 18s singles ranking, chose not to compete for Lake Forest High School’s tennis team last fall in order to train and compete in USTA tournaments – after playing No. 1 singles for the Scouts’ IHSA state championship team in 2010. She won seven of nine matches at State that year as a sophomore, reaching the semifinals of the back draw.
Lipp hasn’t decided whether she’ll play for the Scouts in the fall.
But she was certainly thankful for how helpful LFHS tennis coach Denise Murphy was throughout the search for a college.
“Denise was so supportive during the process and gave me good advice,” said Lipp, who praised her fifth-year private coach, Alex Kasarov, for lifting her game and fitness.
“I worked extremely hard on and off the court this past year,” said the 5-foot-8 Lipp.