Elli Dodge

Elli Dodge might not see the tennis court this year due to the coronavirus pandemic, but the Wahpeton senior will continue her playing career at University of Northwestern in St. Paul.

DN: How did University of Northwestern come on your radar? Was that the school you always had in mind?

ED: It’s always been one of my top three. Both of my parents went there so we kind of grew up being on campus. I’ve had friends who have gone there so I’ve gotten to stay overnight there. I’m going to major in nursing and they have the best nursing program in Minnesota so that was also a huge draw. That would be a pretty cool program to be part of so that’s why I looked at it the most I think.

DN: Were you planning on going there even if you didn’t play tennis?

ED: Tennis wasn’t the deciding factor there. It was more music actually that was one of the deciding factors for Northwestern because the music scholarship is what I’m going on. Being able to play tennis made it even better.

DN: What instrument do you play?

ED: I play tenor saxophone, so I had an audition in January I think. I’m not going to minor in music or anything, but I still get to be part of the wind ensemble. It’ll be fun.

DN: When did your family move to Wahpeton?

ED: We moved here in December of my junior year.

DN: Where did you move from?

ED: We moved from Osceola, Wisconsin.

DN: What was the experience at a new school like?

ED: It was a really weird time to move I guess to show up right before Christmas break, but I guess we came back after Christmas break and then we had all the preseason stuff for tennis. That was cool. That was how I made friends was through tennis so I guess it got better because I had that to look forward to.

DN: How was your first season playing for Wahpeton?

ED: It was amazing. It was so much fun. Coach Amanda (Lunsetter) is awesome and she’s so dedicated. I think everyone on the team would agree that when we play, we want to play well so that Amanda can see all the time that she puts in for our team pay off. She makes it really fun. It was great.

Our conference here is way more competitive than the conference I played in in Wisconsin, so that was kind of an eye-opener to get to the first match and play all these crazy-good teams, but it was also a great learning experience, too, because I had never played teams like they are in the EDC until last spring. It was cool.

DN: And your sister (Olivia) was on the team, too?

ED: I did. She’s a sophomore this year.

DN: What’s that like being on the same team as your sister?

ED: We got to play doubles for a match last year. It actually went better than I thought it would. It was so much fun. I thought (we were going to butt heads) but we won so something went right.

DN: What was your reaction when you found out you might not have a season this year?

ED: I was pretty disappointed. We did this thing called JTT, which is Junior Tennis Team, at Courts Plus all winter. We got to play singles and doubles matches and a bunch of the girls and the guys. If we ever didn’t get to play against other girls, we get to hit against other guys. That’s really cool, because they hit so much harder you know? We got to do that all winter and we got everybody in the weight room and everybody was so pumped and ready to go and I don’t know. It’s kind of a letdown.

DN: Is it a silver lining knowing your tennis career isn’t over after this year?

ED: Definitely. I’m really lucky that I get the chance to keep playing. One of our other seniors I know is pretty bummed right now.

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