Setbacks don’t faze Risebrough

Four-year player Lindsay Risebrough redshirted last season due to injury but is finally back on the court.

Tyler Rushmeyer

In a season full of injuries and medical redshirts, one member of the Minnesota women’s tennis team has emerged as a starting lineup mainstay.

Junior Lindsay Risebrough, a 2003 Edina graduate, has battled back from two years of elbow and shoulder injuries and a missed season to put together her first full campaign since 2003-04.

With the Big Ten Championships approaching, the junior is playing some of her best tennis and is finally healthy in her fourth year at Minnesota.

Risebrough said this year has been a matter of dealing with aches and pains rather than season-ending injuries.

“My body is slowly breaking down, but I just try to mentally block it out,” she said. “I’m just happy to be playing again. I’d play underhand if I had to.”

Coach Tyler Thomson, at Minnesota since Risebrough’s arrival, said her tenure at the University has been a trying one at times.

“When she signed, we envisioned her on the court for four years, and it obviously hasn’t turned out that way,” he said. “It’s been great to see her healthy this year. It’s taken a lot of patience.”

Risebrough posted a 6-4 singles record during the Big Ten regular season along with a 3-5 doubles mark with various partners. During the course of the season, she has found herself playing anywhere from the No. 2 to No. 5 singles spot.

Risebrough said her spot in the lineup is not a concern.

“The goal is just to win as many matches as possible, no matter the position,” she said. “Wherever coach puts me, I’m ready.”

Risebrough’s ability to hit the court whenever called upon is in stark contrast to last season when she took a medical redshirt along with the 2004-05 season when she missed significant time due to injury.

Freshman Mikayla Rogers, who has spent time in the starting lineup at various points throughout the season, said Risebrough is a huge motivation factor for the team in her role as captain.

“Her experience is something to look at and learn from,” she said. “She’s a great leader and inspires the entire team with her work ethic.”

Thomson said no matter what the results are in match competition or what injuries come her way, Risebrough’s work ethic has never faltered during her time at Minnesota.

“Her greatest asset is her level of commitment,” he said. “She’s maintained that level for four years, and it sets a great example for some of our younger players.”

With three medical redshirts being used, and a plethora of braces and ice packs spread throughout this year’s team, Risebrough’s health has become a vital factor to Minnesota’s success.

Sophomore Karina Chiarelli, who also returned to action this year after being ineligible last season, said it’s been exciting for Risebrough to be starting on a regular basis, and she’ll be a key for the team heading into the Big Ten Championships.

“We’ve lost a fair amount of players this year, so it’s big for our team to have Lindsay back,” she said. “We both have some pain here and there. But after sitting out for a year, we can handle it.”