Martin makes Brave decision

Bryan Veginski
Morton High School senior Julie Martin, middle of front row, signed March 27 with Bradley University, where she will play Division-I women's tennis for the Braves. Pictured with Martin in the MHS library are, in front, from left: her mother, Laura Martin, and grandmother, Pat Martin; second row: Martin's grandmother, Shirley Selke, her father and MHS girls tennis head coach Pete Martin and coach Pat Lowder.

The most successful singles player in Morton High School girls tennis history will play at the Division-I level next season.

MHS senior Julie Martin signed March 27 with Bradley University, where she will play women’s tennis for the Braves.

“After Bradley gave me the opportunity it did, it stood out that this is where I want to go,” said Martin.

Martin said the Peoria university had several things she desired — a great program in her intended major of public relations, close proximity to her home and an accomplished tennis team.

Her sister, Jessica Martin, a one-time teammate at Morton, currently is a BU student.

A nine-year veteran of the sport, Julie Martin said she has wanted to play collegiately since her freshman year.

“It’s been my dream. I’m really excited,” she said.

Martin projects as a top three doubles player for the Braves, who are led by head coach Matt Tyler.

In 2014-15, BU was 9-7 entering its Missouri Valley Conference opener against Northern Iowa on Friday.

To prepare for the jump to D-I athletics, Martin said she plans to keep playing in high-level events and refine her strokes.

In the fall, she completed a decorated career for the Potters as a four-year No. 1 singles player for her father, Pete Martin.

Martin, the 2013 and 2014 Journal Star Player of the Year, owns the Morton singles career (97) and season (32) wins records.

A four-time Illinois High School Association state final qualifier, Martin was named all-Mid-Illini Conference four times, including three first-team selections.

She also owns a pair of M-I singles titles and a 2012 Bloomington Sectional doubles crown.