Advantage Crane: Eleanor earns tennis scholarship at American college

US BOUND: Tallwood's Eleanor Crane will attend Averett University in Virginia after accepting a scholarship. Photo: NICK McGRATH

US BOUND: Tallwood's Eleanor Crane will attend Averett University in Virginia after accepting a scholarship. Photo: NICK McGRATH

Like a lot of 19-year-olds, Eleanor Crane is off to university.

But, unlike those other 19-year-olds looking to extend their study, Crane has been accepted into an institution almost 16,000 kilometres from her home, which is in Tallwood, between Millthorpe and Blayney.

The tennis ace will take up a scholarship with Averett University, which is based in south-central Virginia near the North Carolina border in America.  

She’ll double her tennis with study, an opportunity too good to pass up after first hearing about the possibility of attending university in the states five years ago from coach Darren Gersbach.

She accepted Averett’s offer after receiving interest from five other colleges.

“I’m really excited to be part of a team,” Crane said.

“I haven’t had that in Orange, it’s not the biggest sport around at the moment.

“And being able to incorporate study and tennis. The cultural aspect of it too, it’s going to be great to experience a different country.”

Crane has taken on junior development tournaments since linking with Gersbach as coach at the age of 11.

He believes the chance to continue Crane’s tennis in America will benefit her game immensely. 

I’m really excited to be part of a team. - Eleanor Crane

“For her to get to this stage is really good. She needs match practice to get to the next level and this is actually going to give it to her,” he said.

“She loves it, wants to be here and wants to train as hard as she possibly can.”

Crane says she’ll focus a lot of her attention on completing a degree at Averett, while honing her skills in one of the biggest tennis markets in the world.

“I’m hoping to improve my tennis and become a solid all-round player,” she said.

“I’m not looking at the pro circuit, at this point. We’ll see what happens.

“I was so excited (to be accepted). We had to put up a YouTube video and within two hours we had our first offer. We had six in total.”

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