Where Are They Now: Featuring Ellyse Hamlin
James Maimonis, Communications and Engagement Coordinator | March 1, 2018
*’Where Are They Now’ is a monthly feature that highlights former New England junior players who have continued on to play NCAA tennis. We will be catching up with players currently competing at all NCAA levels across the country. Our first highlight is Ellyse Hamlin.
DURHAM, NC- Ellyse Hamlin, of Fairfield, CT, is a former No. 1 ranked junior player in New England currently in her junior year at Duke University. She plays both singles and doubles for the No. 2 nationally-ranked (as of February 27) Blue Devils. She and doubles partner, Kaitlyn McCarthy, opened the 2018 spring season as the No. 2 ranked doubles team in the NCAA and at the time of writing, sit at No. 3. Ellyse has had great success at Duke thus far, earning ACC Third-Team honors her freshman year, helping lead her team to a share of the regular season conference title last season, and winning the Riviera/ITA Women's All-American Championships this past fall.
USTA New England recently caught up with Ellyse to find out a little more about her college experience.
You got off to a great start this fall with the win at the All-American Championships. Talk about your experience.
It was an incredible experience. It was special for me and Kaitlyn and to win All-Americans together because we are such great friends off the court and that translates so much to doubles.
Both of our games compliment each other well, and we’ll have days when one person is down and the other person can pick them up and do it well. It’s a nice feeling to know you don’t always have to play perfectly because your partner will have your back.
What is your outlook for the 2018 spring season?
Staying consistent this year is going to be key. I’m actually healthy now after having appendix surgery freshman year and needing a shoulder injection sophomore year, so I feel great.
In doubles, Kaitlyn and I focus on every match, making sure we’re playing right way, and making the individual tournament together is end goal.
As a team, we want to win the ACC title this year. We’ve been up and coming the past couple years and we’ve all bought into the great team culture and want to live up to the program’s standards. In the back of our minds, we are thinking about winning the NCAA title, so having that thought really pushes us through every match.
How has your NCAA tennis experience been so far?
College tennis has been amazing! It is only place where you get the atmosphere of playing with a team at such a high level while competing alongside some of your best friends. Our men’s team is also great, and the camaraderie that our teams have makes for an even more fun environment.
How much did playing USTA New England Juniors mean to you?
I still remember the days playing Sectionals at Yale. I had a match there sophomore year and it brought back memories because juniors are what shaped me into player I am today. When I go home, I still go back and play with my step dad (and former coach) and go to tournaments with him and get to see some of my friends there.
It’s such a small community, and we all played each other so much growing up, it’s great being able to still keep in touch with some of them and extend those friendships into college tennis. In the ACC alone I’m close with Meghan Kelley (UVA), Emma Davis (Wake Forest), Kimmy Guerin (Wake Forest- graduated in 2017) and Anna Rogers (NC State).
What were your favorite moments from USTANE Juniors?
Winning Sectionals in the 18s (at UMass Amherst) was definitely one of the highlights. It was one of the only New England tournaments I hadn’t won so it was amazing to win that. I also really enjoyed playing on the USTA teams. It was a great experience getting to compete with some of those girls, and it really gave you a taste what college tennis would be like
To follow Ellyse’s progress, visit the Duke women’s tennis homepage.