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Spring Signing Week '11: Kandinata Arrives at Richmond
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From Indonesia to Florida to North Carolina and soon to the University of Richmond, 16-year-old Melissa Kandinata has acquired a world of perspective amid her tennis travels.

For Kandinata, the winding road leads to UR
© Doug Wrege, TennisRecruiting.net
Kandinata, a five-star recruit ranked 41st among the senior class by TennisRecruiting.net, has committed to play for the Richmond Spiders in the fall. She's one of the highest-ranked recruits ever for the Spiders, who have won six of the last seven Atlantic 10 Conference championships.

She'll arrive as an outstanding student, a North Carolina public-school champion and as someone appreciative of her considerable opportunities.

Kandinata, who will turn 17 in May, got an early start to develop her skills, starting to play at around age 5 alongside her sister at a tennis clinic in her native Indonesia. "I loved it and my sister did not, so she stopped," Kandinata says.

She credits her mother, Dahlia, with helping nurture her love for tennis and academics.

"My mom home-schooled me until I was 14," Kandinata says. "All the credit goes to her. I like to study. I really like math."

Kandinata also complimented her dad, Daniel. He is based in Jakarta, the Indonesian capital, and is an independent financial consultant.

"He'd heard of the University of Richmond," she says. "He travels a lot, all over Asia and to London.

"He comes home once every two months. He's pretty awesome."

That background in trading contributed to Kandinata's decision to attend UR, and she called the university's relatively small class sizes "an appealing factor."

"Richmond has a really good business program, and that's one of the reasons I chose the school," she says.

Kandinata says she used consulting services from Scholarship for Athletes, which gave her a list of schools to consider.

Richmond was among the suggestions, and Kandinata likes the picturesque campus. She also is fond of Mark Wesselink, who is in his 20th year as the Spiders' coach and has taken his teams to eight NCAA tournaments.

"He really cares about the girls and does things for their benefit," she says. "I love the school. It's beautiful."

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