Ellie Becker commits to UW-Stout to further her tennis and educational career

Sean Ellertson
St. James Plaindealer

Last Wednesday, St. James senior Ellie Becker announced her commitment to the University of Wisconsin-Stout to continue her tennis career after racking up 101 wins in a Saints uniform.

"I first reached out to the coach before the season started. He got in touch with me the week before sections," said Becker. "We basically set up a meeting together after tennis season ended and I really liked the visit."

Becker made her decision when she found out some local friends were also heading to Stout, and also participating in athletics.

The 4x Big South Conference team nominee has been slated at the #1 singles spot past two years, Becker has served as the #1 singles player for the Saints, racking up 31 wins in the #1 spot, including 18 in 2019.

Becker achieved her 100th career win in thrilling fashion over Blue Earth Area in the Big South Conference championship match. After falling behind two sets to zero to Tea Armstrong, Becker rallied to win the next three in a match that wound up deciding who would take home the conference championship.

"Ellie Becker has achieved a very high level as a player," said St. James tennis coach Les Zellmann. "She won over 100 career matches and this puts her in the top 15 ever that have played girls tennis. This includes two years of playing #1 singles where you have to play the best from the other team every time that you play. Her charismatic smile and her desire to play well have been instrumental to our team. If you have players that can accept the need to lead with good play and play with grace, then you have a real player. This is what Ellie has brought to the team through her career."

In her five-year tennis career, Becker was a part of two Big South Conference (2017,2019) championships, two state teams (2016, 2018), and qualified for state individually twice (2018, 2020).

Becker is the next in the long time of St. James tennis athletes to take their skills to the next level, including her older sister, Zoie, who graduated from St. James High School in 2019 and committed to play for the University of Saint Mary's 

"It's just following the line of other athletes and hopefully some will continue on after me," said Becker.

Even for all of her success on the court in her career, Becker says coaches and relationships are what she'll miss the most about being a part of the St. James tennis family.

"I'm definitely going to remember the coaches and how they have a big impact on each player and how well we all get along with each other as a team."

Becker says was drawn to UW-Stout as a polytechnical school and is hands-on based, which helps her learn better.

 Becker plans to major in construction management.