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Girl gives up high school tennis for USTA

October 11, 2012 - Burt Angeli
Bridget Bellissimo, a junior at Middleton High School in Madison, decided not to play prep tennis this fall. The two-time Big Eight Conference champion elected to play exclusively on the USTA circuit, according to the Wisconsin State Journal.

She hopes playing USTA matches, instead of high school, will attract NCAA Division 1 teams. Creighton has already expressed interest.

But her dream has always been to play NCAA Division 1 tennis, and she felt her stock was not where it needed to be entering her junior year.

Tennis professional Tom Chorney said Bellissimo will find better competition against USTA foes. Madison Edgewood Coach Kelly Lagman prefers high school tennis.

"I just don't think you can ever emphasize enough to these kids how important these years are," Lagman told the Wisconsin State Journal. "To just cherish them, no matter how good of a player you are, how strong you are, whatever your aspirations are. You get plenty of exposure (in high school tennis). There's something very special about being part of a team."

Bellissimo may return to high school tennis next year if she lands a college scholarship before July.



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