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Spring Signing Week '13: Katie Carlson Picks Christopher Newport
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The website of Christopher Newport University, located in Newport News, Va., has a catchy slogan directed at incoming students: "Get ready to set sail on your journey to becoming a Captain at CNU!"

Katie Carlson, a three-star recruit, will "sail" from Omaha to Newport News in the fall and become a member of the Christopher Newport Captains women's tennis team. Christopher Newport is a member of the NCAA Division III.

Katie and her new teammates will be "captained," so to speak, by head coach Eric Christiansen, who became Christopher Newport's first full-time director of tennis in July 2012. He had been an assistant coach for CNU's men's program for the previous five seasons.

"Shortly after arriving on campus for my first visit in early October," Katie said, "I knew this was the school for me. I immediately connected with coach Christiansen and (assistant) coach (David) Weiner, and their commitment to excellence. I appreciate their genuine concern for each member of the team, and I know they will make a great impact on my experience at CNU."

Although Katie received offers to play tennis at Division I and II schools, she chose CNU because it was the best overall fit for her. CNU provided a top-notch academic experience, an excellent tennis program with great coaches, and a beautiful campus. Other schools Katie considered were the University of Northern Colorado, University of Nebraska-Omaha, Augustana College (S.D)., Maryville University (St. Louis), and the University of Redlands (Calif.).

Katie, who plays for Omaha's Duchesne Academy of the Sacred Heart (a college prep school for girls), is a two-time Nebraska Class B singles champion. In addition, Katie was named to the all-state team three years in a row, and received the Sportsmanship Award from the Nebraska Coaches Association. Katie also has been consistently ranked in the top-20 in the Missouri Valley since beginning competitive play at age 10.

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