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Fall Signing Week '11: Li Stays in New Jersey for Rutgers

Gina Li's search for the right college team led her across the Northeast, but she ended up landing back in New Jersey at Rutgers University, an NCAA Division I school.

Gina Li chooses Rutgers
© Meng Zhang
Seventeen-year-old Li was open to all the possibilities when it came to looking for a college. "Other than Rutgers, I was considering some Division III schools as well as other Division I school across the northeastern area," she explained. "I really didn't know which school I wanted to go to in the beginning, so I thought that having a wide range of schools was a good place to start."

The decision was finally made without any official visits, though Li definitely took the time to check out Rutgers before she verbally committed to the Scarlet Knights. "I didn't take an official visit to Rutgers, but I was able to make two unofficial visits instead. I went once last spring and met with the coaches [Head Coach Ben Bucca and Assistant Coach Hilary Tyler] and toured around their facilities, and then I went this past September and was able to meet the team and watch them practice."

When you look at all Gina Li does on the court, it's easy to see how she didn't have time for a lot of official visits. First, there's high school tennis. She is a very important part of the team at Hillsborough High School, which is in the New Jersey town where she lives, and she puts in a lot of time there.

In 2009, Gina Li became the first player in her high school to be named to First Team All-State in New Jersey after she made it to the semifinals of the state championships. She followed that up in 2010 by making the finals of the Somerset County Singles Championship. In 2011, she went even further, winning the Somerset County Singles Championship in a tough three-set contest against Ridge High School's Kelly Williford.

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