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Ellington Tennis Standout Receives Scholarship to Play in College

Hannah Riley, who is going to Assumption College, is the first person from Ellington to play at that level.

Hannah Riley signs her papers. Photo Credit: Erin Quinlan
Hannah Riley signs her papers. Photo Credit: Erin Quinlan
Hannah Riley is the first scholarship athlete to come out of the Ellington-Somers tennis program, and on Thursday, she signed the official papers. 

“It’s exciting to be the first person from Ellington to play college tennis,” she said.

Riley, a senior at Ellington High School, will be attending Division II Assumption in the fall. 

She burst onto the high school tennis scene as a freshman, going 17-2 in the league. Her coach, Rich Willis, said that she “snuck up on everybody” that year. 

As a sophomore, there was no sneaking up on anybody, and Riley still went 15-2 - losing only to Avon.

Willis said that her junior year, Riley came back a little taller and a little stronger and that she had worked hard in the off season.

“I definitely saw a little difference to her physical approach to the game,” he said.

Whatever she did, it paid off. She went 19-0 on the season. This year, Riley is 6-0 and so is her team.

If you add up those numbers, her career record is 57-4 - plus a few more wins in the conference and state tournaments.

While these numbers are very impressive, Willis says that Riley goes way beyond the numbers.

“Anybody who knows Hannah knows that she’s a very talented girl, a very high performing student, and that she’s just one of the nicest young ladies anybody would ever want to meet in their life,” he said. “I’m confident that Assumption knows very well what it’s getting and it’s a very lucky school.”

He also said that she hasn’t just been a part of Ellington-Somers’ improvement - and there’s been a very large improvement - she’s set the standard for it. She has been through a lot of firsts on this team.

“I love being part of a team that has completely turned around,” Riley said.

Riley is now joining a team that also hasn’t had a winning record in the past, but is looking to improve. She’s looking forward to being part of another team like that and said that the coach is new and is trying to build up both the men’s and women’s programs.

“He’s really enthusiastic and young and I’m just really excited to be his player,” she said. “[Building up a team] is something I want to be a part of again. I’m really excited.”

Riley, who will be studying accounting, said that Assumption originally wasn’t her top school, but was sold on it when she saw it. She liked the environment, the nice, smaller sized campus, the team, and the coach.

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