Fall Signing Week '12: Thoroughbreds Join SMU Mustangs Stable
by Ali Jones
, 18 November 2012
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Anna Kate Anderson, Macie Elliott, and Mary Elizabeth Wright marked November 2012 as a double milestone in their young lives. Not only was it the first time for each to cast her ballot for the presidential elections, it was also the month that each affixed her signature to a National Letter of Intent to play for Head Coach Kati Gyulai's Southern Methodist University Lady Mustangs.
"We are thrilled to have Anna Kate, Macie and Mary join our program," Coach Gyulai said after receiving the NLI's. "They bring tremendous talent, versatility, toughness, competitiveness and pride to our very young program. All three players are well decorated with accolades through their junior tennis careers. They plan, prepare, and expect to win!
"Getting the three young women to SMU was a collective effort with Assistant Coach [Jeff] Hammond who has done a tremendous job identifying the character as well as the championship effort and attitude we were looking for."
Coach Gyulai also said that she expects each of them will "fill leadership roles on this team."
Anna Kate Anderson, Spartanburg, S.C.
In February of her junior year, Anna Kate Anderson, visited SMU, where Jack, her brother, is a sophomore majoring in business and studio art. During this visit, she approached Head Coach Kati Gyulai to learn more about the tennis program.
"I was open as to where I wanted to go," the five-star recruit said. "But I didn't really want to play in the Northeast or the Midwest because I didn't want to play indoors, so that narrowed down a lot of schools."
A number of schools, including USC and LSU, had contacted her and scheduled official visits, but SMU remained the frontrunner. She was thoroughly impressed in Dallas during her official, but did not want to make a hasty commitment, so she went ahead with planned visits to Texas Tech and Samford.
"After my last official visit, I thought about everything," Anderson said. "I always loved SMU, the coaches are great, and the girls are really such hard workers. It was a really tough decision."
On November 14, Anderson signed her National Letter of Intent.
"I just really think SMU's a great fit for me," said the 5-foot-9 righty. "I love the fact that it's strong academically and athletically. The size of the school is just right for me. Not too big, not too small, and it just continues to grow. There are new tennis courts and it's going to be a great complex. The George Bush Library is opening soon."
Anderson, who opted to do online school beginning the second semester of her sophomore year, returned to Spartanburg Day School for her official signing. She had led the Spartanburg Day tennis team to multiple state championships, but left to train at LTP Tennis Academy in Mount Pleasant, and will finish her high school through Laurel Springs.
"I'm really excited," the champion said of her signing, as well as the visit to her old school. "Spartanburg Day supported me through the whole process."