OMAHA, Neb. (Nov. 14) - Creighton women's tennis head coach Tom Lilly announced Katherine Nelsen, a senior from Omaha Marian, signed a National Letter of Intent Wednesday to play tennis for the Bluejays beginning in the fall of 2013.
If Nelsen's name sounds familiar to you that is because she is the defending Nebraska State Individual Tennis Champion at No. 1 singles in Class A. Last spring as a junior, Nelsen rolled to a 6-2, 6-1 win in the state championship singles match over the top seed of the tournament.
Nelsen's victory helped Omaha Marian secure a second-place team finish at the 2012 Class A state tennis tournament last May. She helped the program claim two of its previous four consecutive state titles as well. In both 2011 and 2012 Nelsen was part of the Class A state runner-up duo at No. 1 doubles.
According to the national recruiting site TennisRecruiting.net, Nelsen is the top-rated women's prospect in the state of Nebraska and ranks second overall in the Plains region consisting of seven states. She is listed as a four-star recruit out of a possible five stars on the site.
"Jean and I are really happy to add Katherine, our local state champion, to our team next year," Lilly said. "We will be graduating a former Marian player (Anna Kirshenbaum) and now signing Marian's top player.
"Katherine has all the tools to be a great player and I feel that practicing and competing with, and against, Division I athletes every day is going to bring her game to a whole new level. She is a very good student as well. We're happy that she will be able to continue playing in front of her hometown fans for four more years while preparing to become a nurse."
The week prior to her 2012 state title run, Nelsen also claimed the Metro Conference tournament No. 1 singles championship match at Koch Family Tennis Center with a win over the top seed. Along the way she avenged her only two losses of the season. As a result, Omaha Marian won its fifth straight Metro crown.
Nelsen previously won the Metro No. 1 doubles title in both her sophomore and freshman campaigns.
In the offseason, Nelsen trains at the Rick Faust Academy
where she was named the Nebraska Player of the Year. On the junior circuit she
was a Missouri Valley National Federation Cup Team member. She won five matches
at the Saint Louis Nationals and claimed the 18-and-under girls Missouri Valley
Futures tournament singles title last summer.
Nelsen will pursue a degree in nursing at Creighton. She is the daughter of Bruce and Debbie Nelsen.
Nelsen is the first player from the 2013 high school senior class to sign a National Letter of Intent to play tennis for Creighton.