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FROM STAFF REPORTS
Aurora -- Local high school senior Maddie Gilley, a four-year starter on the girls tennis team, recently signed a national letter of intent to play tennis at NCAA Division I Belmont University, a team in the Ohio Valley conference.
Gilley, who played first singles for the Greenmen and compiled a 95-14 record, was a four-time Chagrin Valley Conference MVP, four-time district qualifier, four-time sectional finalist, 2011 Solon sectional champion and made back-to-back appearances at the state tournament.
She is one of only three girls in AHS history to have made the state playoffs and the first to qualify in Division I.
She has competed twice on the Marian Wood Baird Cup team, a select eight-member squad representing Northeast Ohio at the University of Illinois.
She also received the 2011 Diane McNeal Junior Sportmanship Award from the Northeast Ohio Tennis Association and won or was a finalist in more than 50 USTA junior tournaments.
"I'm very excited about playing tennis for Belmont," she said. "I made a visit there in the spring and one in the fall for a tournament, and each time I met with the team and coach Srouji.
"I just felt confirmed that Belmont was where I wanted to be. I wanted to be able to come in right away as a freshman and be able to make a positive impact.
"There also seems to be a healthy balance between working hard and competing at a high level and concentrating on academics, which was important to me because I have been accepted into the nursing program as well."
Gilley got numerous looks from collegiate programs in Division I, II and III, but chose the ruins over Division I George Mason and nationally ranked Division II Florida Tech.