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Countdown: Tanenbaum Selects Big Red
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As one of the nation's best players, Dena Tanenbaum of Manasquan, N.J., enjoyed plenty of collegiate options.

When she went to Ithaca, N.Y., and saw red - Big Red - she was sold.

Dena Tanenbaum commits to Cornell
Tanenbaum, ranked No. 36 in the nation and No. 2 in New Jersey in the senior class of 2012, according to tennisrecruiting.net, has committed to play for Cornell University in the prestigious Ivy League.

"It was definitely a difficult decision since all of the schools I visited were completely different," she said, citing weather, the strength of the teams and their overall sports programs, academics, location and campus.

Tanenbaum took official visits to Virginia Tech, the College of Charleston, Boston University and Louisville. She also received scholarship offers from Oregon and home-state school Rutgers, though she didn't make official visits there.

But when she went to Ithaca, N.Y., she really liked what she saw.

"All of the schools I visited were phenomenal in some aspect, so it made my decision pretty tough," she said. "Cornell was the last visit I took, and it really had the total package."

Tanenbaum cited coach Mike Stevens for "doing great recruiting and trying to build up a strong program."

Cornell's current roster has 11 players - nine Americans and two Europeans, but no seniors. A panel of tennis followers voted the Big Red's incoming class of Five-Stars Tanenbaum and Laila Judeh of Potomac, Md., to a tie for 23rd nationally in tennisrecruiting.net's winter rankings.

As for this season, the Big Red won seven of its first nine matches.

Tanenbaum also said, "The campus is beautiful, the team is strong, the academics are outstanding, and the people couldn't be any nicer."

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