Daniell Commits to Tide for 2015
by Rick Limpert, 16 May 2014
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Blue Chip junior Andie Daniell plays big on the court - figuratively and literally.
The 5'11" junior from Douglasville, Ga., has had a breakout year on the court. Her record for the last twelve months stands at 75-21 - including 29 wins against Blue Chip opponents. She won ITF singles titles in Jamaica
and Puerto Rico
, mixing in a doubles championship for good measure. More recently, Daniell emerged from qualifying and advanced to the quarterfinals of the main draw of the $10K Futures event in Gainesville, Fla., at the end of March. Add in 16 victories at the USTA National Championships, and it is no surprise that Daniell sits at No. 3 on the Babolat Class Rankings List, No. 2 in the USTA Girls' 18s Standings, and No. 154 in the ITF rankings.
Daniell has always been a strong athlete, playing both soccer and tennis at high levels before committing solely to tennis as an early teen. But she faced some challenges recently when she grew almost a foot within a one-year period.
"I'm not going to lie, there were some awkward years," admits Daniell. "I'm not growing quite as much now, and being tall is an advantage, but you have to work really hard as things don't come as naturally."
Daniell said she worked all of last year on her balance and foot speed, and it has clearly paid off.
"I changed academies and started working with Jason Parker at Ginepri Performance Tennis. I also started working out with Paul Fortunato at Ozone Fitness, and my footwork improved and it really helped my game."
Daniell's physical tools and tennis performance caught the eye of many coaches at the next level, but she has made an early commitment to play college tennis for Coach Jenny Mainz and the Alabama Crimson Tide.
"Andie absolutely fell in love with Alabama when she visited," said her mother, Ali Daniell. "Lots of other schools contacted her, and her response was, 'I'll visit other schools, but I really want to go to Alabama.'"
The younger Daniell echoes those sentiments.
"Alabama is where I want to be," said Daniell. "They are clearly a team on the rise, and I want to be part of that. I'm very excited about making the commitment, and it does take a little pressure off. Now that I know where I'm going, I can just play tennis."
As for why she made the commitment to Alabama, Daniell cites many reasons such as team chemistry, the coaches, the facilities, and academic support.
All of those - and the fact that it isn't all that far from her Douglasville home didn't hurt.
"I wanted to stay closer to home, but if I had to go further, I would have," stated the powerful righty that just had just come off a quarterfinal appearance at the Easter Bowl.