This fall, however, she will be wearing some new colors.
She’ll be wearing the Black and Gold of West Virginia State University.
Miller, a former Logan High School tennis standout, recently signed with the Yellow Jackets to play at the collegiate level.
In her final year at Logan, Miller had a tremendous season during the 2010 spring campaign.
Miller won all of her singles and doubles matches as the Lady Wildcats’ No. 1 singles player to help LHS beat out Chapmanville and Man to win the county championship at the new Chief Logan Recreation Center tennis courts in April.
The match of the night on Senior Night in May for the LHS tennis team belonged to Miller as she defeated South Charleston’s Julia France, 9-8, in a tiebreaker that went to 16-14 in a match lasting almost three hours.
Miller was the only female tennis player from Logan County to qualify for the Class AAA state high school tennis tournament.
Miller was also the only tennis player (boy or girl) from Logan County to make it past the first round of tournament play.
She defeated a player from Musselman, 8-4, in opening round action for No. 1 seeds, but was ousted by Huntington’s Sarah Cummings in the 3A quarterfinals.
“A’Lee Miller played excellent this season,” Logan tennis coach Justin Turner said. “She finished second in the region. All three seniors (A’Lee, Jaclyn Hobbs and Caitlyn Motes) will be missed and will be hard to replace.”
West Virginia State University is a historically black university, founded in 1891. The school has evolved into a fully accessible, racially diverse, and multi-generational institution offering both four-year and graduate degrees.
The school is located in Institute, eight miles from downtown Charleston.
West Virginia State is a Division II member of the West Virginia Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (WVIAC).
Founded in 1924, the WVIAC is one of the oldest leagues at the small-college level. The league’s 15 member schools are: Alderson-Broaddus College, Bluefield State College, University of Charleston, Concord University, Davis & Elkins College, Fairmont State University, Glenville State College, Ohio Valley University, Shepherd University, West Liberty University, West Virginia State University, West Virginia Wesleyan College, Wheeling Jesuit University, University of Pittsburgh at Johnstown, and Seton Hill University. Pitt-Johnstown and Seton Hill are the WVIAC’s first out-of-state members since 1932.
The West Virginia State women’s tennis team is coached by John Simms. The team finished 15-9 overall and 7-2 in conference play in the 2009-10 season. Although the team qualified for a third-straight NCAA tournament appearance, the third-place finish behind the University of Charleston and West Virginia Wesleyan in the WVIAC standings was the lowest for the program in four seasons.
“A 9-0 win over Central Intercollegiate Athletic Association champ Virginia State was the highlight of the past season, along with a strong performance against conference champion West Virginia Wesleyan in the conference tournament,” Coach Simms said in a review of last season. “A’Lee and two other recruits will play major roles in helping the team reclaim the conference title that it won twice in the past four seasons”
The Yellow Jackets finished fifth in the Atlantic Region rankings, their highest final ranking ever.
Coach Simms expects for the girls’ team every year to be one of the 48 teams in the country to qualify for the NCAA tournament and to be in the running for the WVIAC championship.
“This year is no different,” Coach Simms said. “A’Lee will be expected to step into the starting line-up and contribute right away. She will be one of two freshmen in the lineup and how well they adapt to the college game in their rookie season will be very important.”
Coach Simms has been impressed with what he has seen from Miller so far.
“A’Lee has shown a willingness to listen, to work hard, and is a fighter on the court. These are the main reasons I recruited her and are what I consider to be her best assets going into college tennis,” he said.
Miller spent the summer in Houston, Texas, working as a lifeguard for Sweetwater Pools and competed in USTA Junior Tournaments.
In the 2010 summer season, she finished second place (Silver medalist) at the Woodlands Junior Clay Court Championships. Miller took third place at the Woodlands Junior Open, after losing in an extraordinary effort in a match going to super tie-breaker and lasting one and a half hours in 100-degree weather. She also made it to the semifinals at the Bay Area Junior Open-Summer series, as well as winning first place (Gold medalist) at the 44th-annual Lake Conroe Junior Open.
As a biology major at West Virginia State, Miller starts classes on Aug. 23.
Miller will first see action as a new West Virginia State Yellow Jacket on the tennis court during the weekend of Sept. 4 at the Depauw University tournament in Greencastle, Ind.