Sports

Chelsea Bailey heads to Wisconsin to play Division I tennis next fall

Chelsea Bailey signed her letter of intent Wednesday to play tennis for the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. She has played for MIHS for her entire high school career, and helped the team to a 3A state title last spring under head coach Mindy Blakeslee. - Megan Managan/Mercer Island Reporter
Chelsea Bailey signed her letter of intent Wednesday to play tennis for the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. She has played for MIHS for her entire high school career, and helped the team to a 3A state title last spring under head coach Mindy Blakeslee.
— image credit: Megan Managan/Mercer Island Reporter

Mercer Island senior Chelsea Bailey signed a letter of intent Wednesday afternoon to play tennis for the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee.

The NCAA Division I school recruited Bailey, along with the University of Connecticut, Xaiver University, University of Dayton and Eastern Washington, among others.

Bailey said while Wisconsin wasn't her first choice in the beginning, she really like the city and the team, which won her over.

"The coach there was so interested and I love the city," she said of UWM coach Sean McInerney and the town. Bailey plans to study nursing, and the Panthers are in the top 10 percent of nursing schools in the country, which helped make her decision easier.

"I got along great with the team members," Bailey said. She said her experience at Mercer Island helped prepare her teamwork skills.

During her three seasons with the Islanders – her fourth will be played this spring – Bailey helped the team to two consecutive state 3A titles, finishing as a runner up in state in both singles and the doubles competition. She was a member of the state championship team in 2009, the last season under the late Joyce Hedlund, and a member of the 2010 team that won state under new head coach Mindy Blakeslee. She also has a league title in singles, doubles and a district title in doubles.

Her older brother Chris also played for the Islanders during his four years at MIHS. He helped the team to two consecutive state titles in 2006 and 2007. Chris Bailey is currently a senior at Whitman College in Walla Walla. He has been a member of the starting six for the Division II Missionaries for the last four years. The team recently ended it's most recent season ranked 19th in the nation.

Chelsea Bailey will join the Panthers in the fall of 2011.

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