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Norris, Hill, Hunter earn top three spots on TSN women's tennis list

 By RICK PETERSON

TopSports.news

Sheri Norris was Shawnee County's first girls tennis super star, winning back-to-back Class 6A state singles championships for Topeka West while putting together a 103-2 record and not losing a match as a junior and senior.

Norris went on to become a three-time All-American at Arizona State, advanding to the NCAA semifinals, and played on the professional circuit for three seasons, ranking as high as 189 in the world and playing in some of tennis' biggest tournaments.

A member of various halls of fame, including the Arizona State, Topeka Tennis Association and Topeka Shawnee County shrines, it's probably not a big surprise that Norris landed the top spot on TopSports.news Shawnee County Best of the Best Top 25 list for women's tennis.

 Sheri NorrisSheri Norris [Submitted]

 Madeline Hill [Washburn Athletics]Madeline Hill [Washburn Athletics]

Former Washburn Rural star Madeline Hill, who was a state champion in high school, a participant in the NCAA Division I Championships and a Division II national champion, sits No. 2 on the Top 25 list while Hayden four-time state champion Brooklyn Hunter ranks No. 3.

Danielle Knipp, a two-time team champ at Rural and a Big 8 Conference champ at Oklahoma, and Meg Griffin, a former Topeka West singles and team state champ and All-ACC standout at Maryland, round out the top five.

 BrooklynHunterBrooklyn Hunter [Lopers.com]

Hunter, who won a total of seven state championships in tennis and volleyball at Hayden, is the Readers Choice Award winner after receiving more than 100 reader votes while Hill ended up second and the Norris sisters, Sheri and Linda, third and fourth in reader votes.

Here's a look at the Top 25 and Readers Choice Awards:

TSN TOP 25 BEST OF THE BEST WOMEN'S TENNIS PLAYERS

1. Sheri Norris (Topeka West) -- Norris won two Class 6A state singles championships (1980-'81) before going on to become a three-time NCAA Division I All-American at Arizona State and advancing to the national singles semifinals. Norris also played three years on the WTA Tennis Tour. Norris a member of the Topeka Tennis Association Hall of Fame and the Topeka Shawnee County Sports Hall of Fame.

2. Madeline Hill (Washburn Rural) -- Hill won a 6A state singles title for Washburn Rural in 2012 and earned top-four state finishes all four years of her high school career while posting a 100-7 career record. Hill went on to play Division I tennis at Southern Illinois-Edwardsville, playing in the NCAA Championships, before transferring to Washburn where she won an NCAA Division II national championship. 

3. Brooklyn Hunter (Hayden) -- Hunter became the first Class 4A player and only the third all-time to captured four straight state singles championships, winning the 4A title from 2015-'18. Hunter, who posted a 78-2 career record for the Wildcats, went on to play for Division II Nebraska-Kearney before her college career was thwarted by injuries. Hunter also won three state volleyball titles at Hayden.

4. Danielle Knipp (Washburn Rural) -- Knipp helped lead Washburn Rural to 6A state team championships in 1990 and '93 and.was the state singles runner-up in '92 and '93. Knipp went on to play at Oklahoma, winning a Big 8 Conference doubles title. She is a member of the Topeka Tennis Association Hall of Fame.

5. Meg Griffin (Topeka West) -- Griffin won the 1994 6A state singles title for Topeka West, leading the Chargers to the 6A team title. Griffin went on to star at Maryland, earning All-Atlantic Coast Conference and NCAA East Regional Player of the Year honors. 

6. Tonna Rieger (Topeka West) -- Rieger was a three-time 6A state doubles champion for Topeka West from 1986-'88, helping lead the Chargers to a 6A team title.

7. Zebbie Robertson (Hayden) -- Robertson won three straight 4A state singles championships from 1990-'92 and went on to play at Washburn University, posting an 18-3 doubles record in '95-'96.

8. Alex O'Neal (Hayden) -- O'Neal was a three-time Class 4A state singles champion for Hayden, winning titles in 2006, '07 and '08.

9. Morgan Dietz (Topeka West) -- Dietz won a pair of 6A state doubles championships for Topeka West in 1987 and '88.

10. Misty Nigh (Topeka West) -- Nigh was a state doubles runner-up for Topeka West in 1994 while helping the Chargers win the 6A team championship and went on to star at Washburn University, posting a 73-25 record in singles and a 78-15 record in doubles.

11. Linda Norris (Topeka West) -- Norris won the 6A state singles championship for the Chargers in 1983, following in the footsteps of older sister Sheri, who won won back-to-back titles in '80 and '81.

12. Michelle Knipp (Washburn Rural) -- Knipp was a state singles runner-up for the Junior Blues and went on to become a standout for Wichita State, earning All-Gateway Conference honors.

13. Stacy Cook (Topeka West) -- Cook won a 6A state doubles championship for Topeka West in 1985.

14. Diana Gaither (Topeka West) -- Gaither teamed with Cook to win the 6A state doubles championship for West in 1985.

15. Angie Gober (Topeka West) -- Gober was a 6A state doubles champion for Topeka West in 1986.

16. Megan McBride (Washburn Rural) -- McBride was a 6A state doubles champion for Washburn Rural in 1994.

17. Jenni VanVlack (Washburn Rural) -- VanVlack teamed with McBride to win the 6A state doubles title for Rural in 1994.

18. Caroline Graham (Hayden) -- Graham won a state doubles championship for the Wildcats in 1994.

19. Morey Graham (Hayden) -- The Grahams, Caroline and Morey, teamed up to win a state doubles title for Hayden in 1994..

20. Sheri Olivier (Washburn Rural) -- Olivier was a two-time 6A state singles semifinalist for Washburn Rural, placing second in 2006.

21. Anne Freden (Topeka West) -- Freden teamed with Nigh to place second in 6A doubles in 1994 and went on to earn all-conference honors at Wellesley.

22. Stephanie Johns (Topeka High) -- Johns was a multiple-time city singles champ for the Trojans before signing with Missouri.

23. Amy Bybee (Topeka West) -- Bybee posted a second-place doubles finish for Topeka West in 1985, part of a dominating stretch of doubles success for the Chargers.

24. Andrea Hazlett (Topeka West) -- Hazlett posted a state runner-up doubles finish for Topeka West in 1985.

25. Ruth Fairbank (Topeka High) -- Fairbank was regarded as one of Kansas' leading all-around sportswomen, winning numerous titles in tennis, softball, basketball and bowling.

READERS CHOICE AWARDS

1. Brooklyn Hunter -- No. 3 in TSN Best of the Best Top 25 (see capsule above).

2. Madeline Hill -- No. 2 in Best of the Best Top 25 (see capsule above).

3. Sheri Norris -- No. 1 in Best of the Best Top 25 (see capsule above).

4. Linda Norris -- No. 11 in Best of the Best Top 25 (see capsule above).

5. (tie) Meg Griffin -- No. 5 in Best of the Best Top 25 (see capsule above).

5. (tie) Michelle Knipp -- No. 12 in Best of the Best Top 25 (see capsule above).

5. (tie) Morgan Dietz -- No. 9 in Best of the Best Top 25 (see capsule above).

5. (tie) Diana Gaither -- No. 14 in Best of the Best Top 25 (see capsule above).

5. (tie) Stephanie Johns -- No. 22  in Best of the Best Top 25 (see capsule above).

10. (tie) Danielle Knipp -- No. 4 in Best of the Best Top 25 (see capsule above).

10. (tie) Misty Nigh -- No. 10 in Best of the Best Top 25 (see capsule above).

10. (tie) Megan McBride -- No. 16 in Best of the Best Top 25 (see capsule above).

Next up: Men's tennis Top 25 Best of the Best and Readers Choice Awards.