Spring Signing Week '14: Amanda Atanasson Tigers Up
by Sonny Dearth, 17 April 2014
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After taking her fourth official visit, Amanda Atanasson knew where she wanted to go to college.
Or, she might say, "geaux."
Atanasson, a 5-Star player from the Mid-Atlantic Section, committed to Louisiana State. She selected the Tigers over a host of universities from various areas - none too close to her home in Owings Mills, Md.
"The vibe of the school and the coaches is what got me," said Atanasson, who stands first in Maryland, sixth in the Mid-Atlantic Section and 44th nationally in the senior class, according to the Babolat Recruiting Lists. In 2013, she climbed as high as 34th in the class.
"My first visit was to South Carolina, and then I went to Illinois and UC Santa Barbara, and then LSU. It was really tough because every school's great and had really unique things," she said.
"I looked at a lot more schools and talked to more coaches, but those were the four that I picked."
When she went to Baton Rouge, she was smitten with the program run by Julia (Scaringe) Sell, who has been LSU's coach since September 2012. Sell played No. 1 for Florida's national-champion team in 2003, was an assistant coach for two Notre Dame Final Four squads and had been a USTA Regional Training Center coach.
"I think it was the combination of the coaches and the training atmosphere," Atanasson said. "I think she's going to develop the program, and I know she can develop the players."
Sell's spouse, Michael - a former Georgia Bulldogs standout who used to coach top American pro John Isner - is a volunteer coach for the Tigers, and Amine Boustani is Julia Sell's assistant. Boustani's longtime career includes serving as head coach for 11 consecutive NCAA Division II appearances with Drury and working as the director of coaching and player development for the Qatar Tennis Federation from 2009-12.