EDWARDSVILLE - For Edwardsville High School girls tennis player Annie McGinnis, it's keeping a family legacy going. McGinnis signed a letter of intent to attend Quincy University on Tuesday in a ceremony at Edwardsville High. She'll be following in the footsteps of her older sister Morgan, who played for the Hawks from 2014-2017.

Morgan was absent from the ceremony, but McGinnis knows her sister would be proud of her. "I do wish she could be here," McGinnis said in an interview following the ceremony. "But she's got a job in Kansas City, and it's alright. I know she's going to make it to a lot of my matches, and she's a very supportive sister. So I'm not too upset," she said with a smile. McGinnis considered McKendree University in Lebanon, Webster University in Webster Groves, Mo., and Ottawa University in Ottawa, Kan., and at first, wasn't sure if she wanted to play tennis. A very successful senior season for the Tigers changed everything.

"Actually, I did look at a couple of other schools, and I went on other visits for tennis," McGinnis said, "and I wasn't sure if I wanted to play tennis in the first place. But after my senior season here at EHS, I decided that I didn't want to stop; I couldn't stop playing. So I went on a couple of visits to a couple of other schools, but when I went to Quincy, I did an overnight with the team. I just really clicked with the team and the coaches, and it just felt like that was right for me."

McGinnis enjoyed much success for the Tigers in her career, and Edwardsville coach Dave Lipe is very hopeful for more success at the next level.

"Annie had a great career, obviously," Lipe said, "and Quincy seems like a good fit for her academically. I know she's very interested in nursing, and she's toured the campus. She's really looking forward to the nursing program as well as the tennis there." Lipe agreed that she's keeping a family tradition going. "It's kind of a family thing because she's following Morgan," Lipe said. "Morgan played at Quincy, she had an outstanding career there for four years, obviously. So, Annie took a trip, and I know their coach, Dr. Mark Schuering, a retired judge, loves Annie, is really excited for her game. Annie's ended her career on an exclamation point, obviously, with her great finish at sectionals and state.

"So, I think Annie will continue to grow as an athlete. I'm excited about her opportunity, and I know her family's very excited also. "Annie was a great leader here for us throughout her senior year," Lipe also said. "She had a terrific career, and I think she could do some really great things at Quincy, and I'm excited to follow her career there. I'm grateful for the opportunity that the Quincy coaches and the Quincy staff provided for her. I know she's looking forward to it, and academically and athletically, I think it's going to be a good fit."

McGinnis felt that connection to the Hawks through her sister was very important as well. " It was very helpful to know that my sister really had a great time at Quincy," McGinnis said, " and really excelled in tennis and athletics, and it was just comfortable for me to know that someone so close to me could do so well there. It gives me hope that I'll do just as well there."

The Great Lakes Valley Conference, of which Quincy is a member, has a reputation of being one of the nation's best overall NCAA Division II athletic conferences, but McGinnis was unaware of that when she chose the Hawks.

"You know, to be honest, I really didn't know that, McGinnis said laughing. "Really, the other big draw that there was to Quincy was that it's not too far away from home."

McGinnis plans on majoring in nursing at Quincy, considered to be one of Illinois' best programs of its kind. I'm actually going into the nursing program at Quincy, McGinnis said, " and I'm very excited about that. It was a state of the art nursing program, and it's one of the best in our state, so I'm really excited about that." McGinnis teamed with Hannah Colbert to finish third in the IHSA Class 2A sectional to qualify for state, where the duo went to the second round of the consolation bracket.

McGinnis found her love for the game this past season. "It was incredible," McGinnis said. "My senior year season, like I said earlier, was amazing. I had a great time, I really found I loved tennis before, but I really found my love for tennis this year, which is a factor in why I'm continuing to play in college. I'm just not ready to give it up, so the success I had this season is contributing to my decision to play in college."

Down the road, McGinnis sees herself continuing to be involved with the game. "I'll graduate from the nursing program," McGinnis said, "so hopefully, I'll get a nice job ad a nurse in a hospital or a doctor's office, something along those lines.

"And then, I do really hope I can play tennis as a lifelong sport. "I want to be one of the old ladies at the tennis clinics," McGinnis added with a hearty laugh."

Send your news tips to news@edglentoday.com or on twitter @EdGlenTodayNews

Purchase photos from this article. Print Version