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Proud to be a Peacock

Ashley Peterson (front, center) is shown signing her letter of intent to accept a tennis scholarship from Upper Iowa University. She is flanked by the Tiger tennis coaches, Teresa Kvam (left) and Denise Devereux (right). In back are her parents, Tom and Candy Peterson.

New Richmond High School senior Ashley Peterson signed a national letter of intent last Friday to accept a tennis scholarship to attend Upper Iowa University.

Peterson is expected to step immediately into the Peacocks' varsity lineup next fall. Upper Iowa is an NCAA Division 2 program that competes in the Northern Sun (NSIC) Intercollegiate Conference.

Peterson played for the Tiger varsity for the past three years. For the past two years she teamed with Courtney Kvam as the number one doubles team for the Tigers. With Peterson and Kvam leading the team, the Tigers won the Middle Border Conference championship each of the past two seasons.

Peterson has a 45-20 career record. That's pretty impressive considering she never played tennis until she was a freshman. Peterson and Kvam had a 14-6 record as seniors. Kvam also plans to play in college, at UW-Stout.

Peterson worked with Tiger JV coach Denise Devereux in her freshman season. Varsity coach Teresa Kvam remembers seeing Peterson play the following summer.

"She was very impressive, she seemed like she couldn't get enough tennis. She had that commitment all through her four years," Kvam said.

Upper Iowa is located in Fayette, Iowa. It is a town of 1,000 people and there isn't a high school in Fayette. Peterson said the small town atmosphere was one of the attractions that led her there.

UIU is a small private school, with 900 students. Peterson said she was impressed with the school's physical education and coaching programs, which is an area she is considering studying. She had also visited Wisconsin state schools UW-Green Bay, UW-Stout and UW-La Crosse before settling on UIU. Her package is a combined academic and athletic scholarship that covers four years.

The UIU schedule includes fall and spring tennis seasons. UIU is known as a top quality tennis program. UIU competes against schools like Minnesota-Duluth, Minnesota-Mankato and St. Cloud State in the NSIC. UIU is currently second in the NSIC tennis standings with an 8-2 record.

Peterson is believed to be the second New Richmond girl to play Division 2 college tennis. Annie Early, a 1997 NRHS graduate, played tennis at Northern Michigan University.

Coach Kvam said Peterson will be a good fit at college because of her team mentality.

"She was always trying to get everyone fired up, to make things fun," Kvam said.

Dave Newman
Dave Newman has been the sports editor at the New Richmond News since 1988. He has covered the action in the Middle Border Conference, Dunn-St. Croix Conference and Big Rivers Conference for nearly 30 years.
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