From the year 2000-2003 the high school girls tennis scene in the state of Illinois was dominated by Naperville Central star Elizabeth Lumpkin, who won the IHSA singles championship four years in a row. While no player in Illinois has come close to matching Lumpkin’s state performance since that time, another Naperville Central Redhawk also had an incredible four year state run from 2012 through 2015. That would be Tiffany Chen, one of the top tennis players to ever come out of Naperville.
Under the tutelage of longtime Central coach Don Bonet, Chen rolled off four consecutive top four state finishes in a row, with the pinnacle coming during her sophomore season in 2013, which culminated in a two set state championship match victory over Isabella Lorenzini from Hinsdale Central. In addition to the state title, the Redhawk great took 4th in 2012, 3rd place in 2014 and ended her career as the state runner up as a senior in 2015, as Lorenzini avenged her defeat from two years earlier.
Chen’s success carried over to a high performance level for the Naperville Central program, as the Redhawks won sectional championships all four years and finished in fifth place as a team at state in 2013.
Retired Naperville Central girls tennis coach Don Bonet coached both Elizabeth Lumpkin and Tiffany Chen, and was able to appreciate their greatness and what they both meant to high school tennis.
Four state medals and a perfect score on the ACT led Chen to the Ivy League and Princeton University. For the past three seasons, Tiffany has been a key member of the Tigers team that won the Ivy League championship.
Chen heads into her senior season with hopes of ending her Princeton career on a high note after going 11-6 in singles play as a junior. And it turns out she hasn’t slipped in the classroom either. Chen was named to the Intercollegiate Tennis Association All-Academic team for the 2018-19 school year.
No matter what the future holds for Tiffany Chen as her collegiate career begins its descent, her mark on the Naperville Central tennis program and the IHSA record books will live on forever.
Look back at other Naperville Athletes in our Where Are They Nows!
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