For Risebrough, sports run in the family

With a first-round NHL draft pick for a father, athletics are a good fit for the senior.Editor’s note: This is the second of a two-part series on the two seniors on the Minnesota women’s tennis team.

by Zach Eisendrath

The daughter of a professional hockey player with six Stanley Cups to his name, Lindsay Risebrough, not surprisingly, felt comfortable on the ice from a young age.

Risebrough, whose father is former Montreal Canadians’ No. 1 pick and current Minnesota Wild General Manager Doug Risebrough, recalls being a pretty decent figure skater during her childhood in Calgary, Alberta Canada.

Luckily for the Minnesota women’s tennis team though, Risebrough – a fifth-year senior playing her final matches at the Baseline Tennis Center this weekend – decided against pursuing a career similar to her fathers (she can’t remember there being too many girls’ hockey leagues in Canada) instead choosing to follow in the footsteps of her mom, Marilyn, from an early age.

Risebrough recalls picking up a racquet for the first time when she was four and then following her mom around on the courts as she played.

An impressive junior career in Canada soon followed for Risebrough, who broke into the top 10 in the Canadian junior tennis circuit.

Then, at 16, Risebrough moved to Minnesota.

Also a skilled soccer player at the time, Risebrough chose to focus strictly on tennis when she began attending the well-known tennis school Edina High School.

“I loved the individual competition and the challenge that (tennis) posed,” Risebrough said.

Playing the No. 1 singles position as Edina went on to win three straight state championships, Risebrough garnered interest from teams all over the country.

“I always thought I wanted to go away from Minnesota – California or something, something a little warmer – but I loved the coaching staff and the facilities and I fell in love with the campus. It’s kind of a cliché, but I kind of knew this was where I wanted to go when I stepped foot on campus.”

Despite a whirlwind of injuries early in her career, Risebrough said her time with the Gophers has been “a complete success.”

After overcompensating for a shoulder injury led to severe elbow pain, Risebrough had to take a medical redshirt during the 2005-2006 season.

Risebrough, whose sister and aunt are traveling from Ottawa to see her final collegiate matches this weekend, said the road back from those injuries has made her a more mature and appreciative player and person.

“This experience has helped shape me into the person I am today. It’s matured me faster than the typical person. I’m sad to be done, in a few weeks, but I’m just trying to make the best of the last few weeks I have with the team. Overall my experience has been wonderful.”

Already with a communications degree and in the process of completing her masters in sports management, Risebrough, said she hopes to make a career in sports.

“My dad has always been involved in hockey, so sports have been big part of my life. I want to work in sports with the career I choose,” she said.

This summer Risebrough will be moving to Seattle to complete a community outreach internship with the NFL’s Seattle Seahawks.

“It will be good for me, although going somewhere on my own is kind of scary,” she said.