BOLTON Arena’s production line of promising young tennis players has earned praise from the head coach of Texas Tech after teen star Olivia Peet signed for the American university.

The 17-year-old will take up an athletic scholarship from September next year, when she will play for the Lady Raiders on the national collegiate circuit.

Peet, whose dad Chris is a former county champion and now coaches for the Lawn Tennis Association, will follow fellow former Bolton Arena players Liz Ullathorne and Sabrina Federici, who also played for Texas Tech.

“Olivia Peet is a coach’s kid,” said Texas Tech head coach Todd Petty.

“Her dad is a great coach, and she is a product of her environment.

“She comes from a long list of Bolton Arena players, and she will not disappoint.

“Liv’s best tennis is in front of her and has the special gift to rise to the moment.

“She will be fun to watch over her career.”

The Greenmount based tennis player is Lancashire number one and in the top 10 in the UK in her age group. She made it to the final of the national 16-and-under singles last year and has already won a match on the senior Aegon British Tour.

Peet will not be the only Bolton Arena product competing on the American collegiate circuit next year after Hannah McColgan, also 17, was signed up on a scholarship with Northwestern.

McColgan, of Cheshire, has trained at the Arena, since she was eight.

In the past year she has won the 18-and-under national doubles title, represented Great Britain, won a match at a women’s ITF event and claimed age-group titles at national events in Bournemouth and Edinburgh.

Suzi Reily, director of sport at Bolton Arena, said: “I have been working with both girls to place them over the past 12 months.

“It is really exciting that they have both been able to secure such fantastic scholarships.

“We have got many more young players coming through over the next few years who will hopefully follow this same path.

“It is a recruitment service we are hoping to continue and develop further, so Hannah and Olivia have shown our youngsters what is possible.”

Bolton Arena is the country’s leading high-performance tennis centre, with around 250 players on its training programme, ranging from four year-olds up to professional players, such as British number three Naomi Broady.

Reily added: “We have worked hard to build our reputation here and it is obviously great for us that the head coach at somewhere like Texas Tech now holds Bolton Arena in such high regard, after the success of our previous graduates Liz and Sabrina.

“There are 350 Division One universities in the United States that offer tennis scholarships, but we were really only looking at placing Hannah and Olivia at a top 50 ranked university.

“Texas Tech is in the top 10 in the US, while Northwestern is ranked in the top 25 but has a very high academic threshold.

“It is regarded just below the Ivy League universities for academic achievement, so Hannah would have had to score a very high mark on her SATs to qualify.

“Both girls have done extremely well. These universities will only take one or two students a year into their tennis programmes so it is a fabulous honour for them and richly deserved.”

Federici, aged 21, of Westhoughton, has set the bar high for Peet to follow. She is in her last year at Texas Tech and made it to the doubles final of the ITA All American Tournament in California in October alongside partner Sarah Dvorak. The pair are currently eighth in the US collegiate doubles rankings.