Greenup grad Hill takes court at EKU
Feb. 3—An area tennis star is still hitting the books, so why close the book on her playing career?
In just three and a half years, Greenup County High School graduate Madison Hill earned a degree from Campbellsville University in mass communications with an emphasis in public relations.
With two seasons of athletic eligibility to go, Hill couldn't pass up the opportunity to wrap up her tennis career in Division I-style.
Eastern Kentucky University announced it was reviving its women's tennis program, so Hill inquired. EKU coach Adam Cohen offered her a spot.
"I needed to go and do my master's anyway, and I get to play tennis here," Hill said of the easy choice.
Through the end of January, Hill was 1-3 in singles matches and 1-3 in doubles play. Both victories came against her former school. Emmeline Polevoi was her doubles partner.
While it was gratifying to trump Campbellsville, she is grateful for her time with the Tigers.
"I loved it there," Hill said. "It was a small school, but it was what I needed for my situation coming out of high school. They took care of everything financially. It was perfect for me."
The 5-foot-8 Wurtland native was a two-time All-American at Campbellsville. She was Mid South Conference Athlete of the Week and was also named student-athlete of the week, she said.
Hill moved to Richmond on Jan. 10.
"The next day, we were practicing," she said. "... It's really different. Practices are a lot longer, and (EKU) is a lot bigger than Campbellsville."
With five Russian-speaking teammates and one from Venezuela, Hill said there is "such a communication challenge," but she has enjoyed it.
"Competition is so high here," she said.
Hill said the Division-I level is more of a power game.
"I was playing a match the other day and Coach just stopped me and said, you just gotta let it go and hit the ball," Hill said. "There's no playing soft and hitting short. So, the first serve, I hit as hard as I can.
"All your shots gotta have depth to them," said Hill, a three-time 16th Region singles champion and the 2019 All-Area Player of the Year.
Hill said she's proud of where she's from — Greenup County — and all of eastern Kentucky. Her main goal is to pursue her master's and stay on scholarship, she said.
"Tennis is gonna end, but I'd love to be able to teach tennis as a get older, and give back to the community," Hill said.
As of this writing, EKU was headed to Dayton, Ohio, for a match on Friday and then going to Highland Heights to take on Northern Kentucky on Saturday.
On Wednesday, March 1, the Colonels will visit Marshall at 5 p.m.
Eastern Kentucky will get into Atlantic Sun Conference play on March 12. The A-Sun Tournament will take place in Jacksonville, Florida, beginning on April 15.
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