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Airport Encounter Leads Needham to University of Mary

While waiting for a flight at Denver International Airport, Emily Needham spotted the large group of girls wearing tennis gear.

Emily Needham Has Signed with University of Mary
© Contributed Photo

Needham and her family were flying to Indian Wells, California last March. The BNP Paribas Open had been canceled the day before because of the coronavirus pandemic, but they decided to make the trip anyway to spend time in the warm weather.

Needham noticed the players in the airport terminal were wearing University of Mary women’s tennis shirts. The two-star senior from Cheyenne, Wyoming decided to approach the team and learn more.

University of Mary head coach Vida Saliendra told Needham the school was located in Bismark, North Dakota and gave Needham her business card. They connected during the summer, and Needham learned more about the NCAA Division II program.

After taking an official visit to campus and watching a practice, Needham signed with University of Mary last month.

“It kind of feels like it was meant to be,” Needham said. “I was very lucky to meet her in the airport and I realized the school was an unbelievable fit for me. It was such a coincidence for us to run into each other like we did.”

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Page updated on Thursday, January 21, 2021
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