The Valparaiso University women’s tennis program has announced the addition of Eleanor Chapman (East Sussex, England / Eastbourne College [UT Martin / Lipscomb]), who joins the team effective immediately for the spring 2023 season as a midyear transfer.
Chapman spent the first four years of her collegiate career at Lipscomb and transferred to UT Martin this fall before the Skyhawks announced the discontinuation of their program in September.
“We are truly excited to have Eleanor join our program,” head coach Bob Modesto said. “We’re wanting to compete for a championship, and we feel she can play a pivotal role in that. She brings significant college experience to the table with four years at Lipscomb. We are hopeful that she will help our lineup in both doubles and singles.”
Chapman went 5-2 in singles action during the 2022 campaign. She was a two-time National County Cup Finals runner-up in high school, was ranked No. 1 in Sussex County and had a No. 12 junior ranking in the UK.
“I was initially panicking when the UT Martin program was cut because I needed somewhere to play this spring,” Chapman said. “I spoke to loads of different schools, but Valparaiso had a really nice feel to it. The campus looks very nice and I really enjoyed talking with Coach Modesto and Coach Claire (Czerwonka). My new teammates who I have been in contact with have been very welcoming, and I feel really good about this decision.”
Chapman joins a Valpo team that finished last season with the program’s highest win total – both overall and in conference play – since 2007. She has hopes of contributing to the program’s continued rise.
“My biggest strength is that I compete really well,” she said. “I’m fast and I grind people down. I don’t have a lot of power, but I wear people down and work hard to make myself difficult to compete against. Over the last few years, I’ve learned how important team culture is and how important it is to invest in my teammates to create a good off-court environment. That comes through when you play matches. I’ve learned how to tune into myself and my game to do what’s best for me while at the same time being a good team player.”
In her spare time, Chapman enjoys cooking and traveling. She has completed her undergraduate degree in exercise science and will pursue a Master of Business Administration at Valpo. Her favorite tennis memory growing up was having a professional player come to her school and hit with them every year. Those interactions with standout women’s professional tennis players led her to aspire to be like them one day.
Chapman becomes the first international student-athlete to be listed on the Valpo women’s tennis roster since freshman Jennifer Ehr (London, England) in 2013-14. Ehr did not compete in a match before departing the program. When Chapman makes her Beacon debut, she will become the first Valpo women’s tennis international student-athlete to play in a match since Patricia Arakaki (Campo Grande, Brazil) wrapped up her career following the 2002-2003 season. Arakaki did attend high school in the United States at LaPorte in Northwest Indiana.
“Originally, the adjustment was tough because it’s a slightly different culture,” Chapman said. “Tennis is a very individual sport so being a part of a team within college tennis is a transition. The two college teams I have played on so far have been all international, so I’ve gotten to know different people from different cultures around the world. I’m excited to continue my college tennis journey at Valpo.”
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