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Valeria Bradley commits to University of Mary Tennis

Apr. 5—DICKINSON — Valeria Bradley completed her National Letter of Intent (NLI) signing earlier this week on Wednesday, April 3, deciding to further her education and tennis skills at the University of Mary in Bismarck.

The last, and perhaps only, time a Dickinson varsity player went on to play collegiately was back in 2007. Bradley, then just a child with a racket in hand, played with her grandfather, unaware that her life would take a similar turn.

As the Midgets' No.1 player, Bradley has diligently developed her skills, emerging as a prodigy for her team and competing at the state level since seventh grade. Now, this young prospect is grown up and making moves.

Influenced greatly by her parents, who both had athletic college careers and served as her coaches from a young age, Bradley's decision to leave home wasn't easy. However, the opportunity to continue her tennis career guided her through the difficult choice. And in her eyes, it's not just her success, but their collective achievement.

"I remember when I was younger and just beginning my high school tennis career. My parents, who also serve as my coaches, and I have worked really hard to get this far," Bradley said. "I'm very proud of my family. I've always known that we had each other's backs and helped each other get back up every time we fell."

What solidified her decision was her visit to the campus, where she met the other tennis players and spoke to UMary's women's tennis head coach Vida Saliendra. They not only greeted her with kindness but also showed like-mindedness and an understanding of her background. Bradley, born in Mexico like her mother, has stayed close to her heritage. Many of the girls on the team are also from different parts of the world, fostering diversity in culture.

From Saliendra's point of view, Bradley's offensive prowess will be a great addition to the Marauders, who have consistently ranked among the top teams in Division II, Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference over the past several years.

"Valeria is a consistent and aggressive tennis athlete. I have seen her grow and develop through the years and see her potential in collegiate competition," Saliendra said. "We're excited she's joining the University of Mary Tennis Program."

With new opportunities on the horizon, Bradley will take the next step with confidence and meticulous attention to detail. Her parents' journey, from meeting in college to building their family and careers in Dickinson, paved the way for Bradley's own path. With a focus on education and her passion for tennis, this move marks the beginning of the rest of Bradley's life.

"I'm very excited about the opportunity to continue playing tennis in a program like the University of Mary," Bradley said. "And I'm very thankful for Coach Vida giving me this opportunity."