Welcome, Class of 2015!
by Dallas Oliver, 1 September 2008
It's the start of the 2008-09 academic year, and TennisRecruiting.net is excited to welcome the new sixth-graders in the Class of 2015 to the weekly TennisRecruiting.net rankings. Starting this week, we feature the new sixth-graders in anticipation of their first ratings just one month from now.
The calendar at TennisRecruiting.net runs from September 1 through August 31. We calculated the final rankings for the outgoing seniors during last week, and we bade farewell to the Class of 2008.
This week, the first week of September, marks the arrival of the new sixth graders. Tuesday and Wednesday's rankings are the first official lists for the 2015 boys and girls, respectively.
This article takes a closer look at some of the top youngsters in the Class of 2015. These kids have performed quite well in the 12s division - as well as the 14s and 16s.
Robert Seby (Oro Valley, Ariz.)
Many tennis players gear up for a tennis match by listening to their favorite songs on their iPods. Not so for 6th-grade standout Robert Seby. The right-hander from Arizona prefers to resin up his bow.
Top 6th-grader Robert Seby
© Doug Wrege, TennisRecruiting.net
"Robert has played the violin for several years," said his father, Matt Seby. "He likes to play in the orchestra, but he also plays prior to his tennis matches. The violin helps to focus his thoughts."
Maybe the USTA should get string instruments out to all junior players, because it certainly seems to be working for Seby. He posted a 62-17 record overall in 2007-08 with 13 wins over 4- and 5-Star recruits in older grades.
Along the way, Seby won five tournament titles - with ten victories in the four national championships. Most recently, Seby swept through the Tuscon zonals with a 5-0 record.
How does he do it? With determination and focus.
"Robert focuses on attacking and running down every ball," says his father. "He plays with maximum intensity throughout match. He strives for top condition by running and strength training/endurance."
Unlike most other junior players, Seby is not actively working with a private coach.
The youngster is also a standout in the classroom. He attends Basis School in Tucson, a school that Newsweek Magazine ranked number one in the country.
"Robert is organized and goal-oriented," said his father. "He makes full use of his time for school work, tennis and friends outside of the competitive junior tennis world.
Seby is the son of Carmen and Matt Seby. He was born in Tuscon, Ariz., and the family now resides in Oro Valley outside Tucson.
David Crisovan (Hallandale, Fla.)
One of the greatest honors for a junior tennis player is to be receive the sportsmanship award at a major tennis tournament. At the Boys' 12 Zonals in Knoxville, Tennessee, 12-year-old David Crisovan went 5-0 and was honored with the sportsmanship award.
Crisovan has had a strong year on the court in 2007-08. He has played in a whopping 31 tournaments over the course of the year, traveling to nine different states and winning 85 matches.
His 85 victories include 23 wins over older 4- and 5-Star recruits. And his recent trip to Little Rock, Arkansas yielded a quarterfinal appearance in the prestigious USTA Boys' 12 Nationals.
"David is a true all-court player," said his proud mother, Georgeta Crisovan. "He has great groundstrokes and a one-handed backhand. He knows when to approach the net, and he is not afraid to do so."
Crisovan is a Florida native. Born in Hollywood, Fla., between Miami and Fort Lauderdale, he now lives with his parents, Georgeta and Valeriu, in nearby Hallandale. In addition to tennis, the younger Crisovan is involved with judo and swimming.
The 4'11" right-hander works with Hevin Hawke at the Bill Clark Academy. They are working together to refine his technique.
His mother, Georgeta Crisovan, is excited about who her son is - both on and off the court.
"David is a really great kid," she said. "His interests are tennis and the Bible. He has a strong belief in God."
Gabrielle Andrews (Pomona, Calif.)
When the first rankings for the Class of 2015 come out later this week, there is a very good chance that Gabrielle Andrews will be at the top of the heap.
Andrews has a gaudy 83-12 record over the past year, and she has a long history of winning big as a youngster. She won her first tournament at the tender age of six, and she won a national tournament at age eight. More recently, she won the 14s division at the Muterspaw
in Las Vegas as an unseeded player.
Andrews' parents, Michael and Evelyn Andrews, are understandably proud of their daughter's accomplishments.
"Gabby has won several National events in both singles and doubles. She took home a bronze ball for third place in last year's Winter Super Nationals in Tucson, beating the top seed in the process as a ten-year-old."
Although they are proud of her wins, her parents are more proud of the way their daughter handles herself on the court.
"Gabby plays the game with character, sportsmanship, and a humble attitude. Most juniors' favorite players are Andy Roddick, Serena [Williams], or Maria Sharapova, but few players would acknowledge Gabby's favorite player - Amy Frazier. Gabby admired her game and accomplishments, but she especially loved her attitude, sportsmanship, and court demeanor. Gabby has always said, 'That's the way the game should be played.'"
The 5'3" right-hander works with Barry Friedman at the Claremont Club. While she has worked on her game, she has spent just as much time keeping her emotions in check.
"Like so many other juniors, Gabby is a perfectionist," says her mother. "When things don't go her way, her emotions go south."
Gabby was born in West Covina, California and now lives with her parents in Pomona. This fall, she will attend 6th grade in the Pomona public school system.
Although she will start off at the top of the rankings, a recent injury will keep her sidelined for at least a few months. We wish Andrews well and hope for a speedy recovery.
Andie Daniell (Douglasville, Ga.)
There is a saying that "they grow 'em big" on the farm. That is certainly that case for 11-year-old Andie Daniell. Daniell already stands at 5'5", and doctors say she is on her way to six feet.
Daniell uses her size to her advantage on the tennis court.
"Andie has an aggressive, all court game," says her mother, Ali Daniell. "She can really put people on the defense with her strong ground strokes, and she can follow her shots to the net and take balls out of the air."
That all-court game has been on display in 2007-08, where Daniell has put up a 85-22 record. In addition to a championship at the Peach State, Daniell has multiple titles in the challenging Southern Bullfrog series, and she also went 5-0 in the July Zonals.
Daniell is a Georgia native. She was born in Decatur to Ray and Ali Daniell, and she lives with her parents and older sister Rachel in Douglasville.
The Daniell family is a tennis-playing bunch.
"We all play tennis," says mother Ali. "Ray and I actually met on a tennis court. When we played as adults, Andie and Rachel always tagged along, so they always wanted to play also. They are regular hitting partners, and they tend to bring out the best in each other. Of course, they are competitive and both really want to win when they play."
Daniell works with Greg Amerson in Atlanta Ga., who has coached her for several years. In addition to strength and endurance training, Daniell is working to improve her serve and transition game.
Daniell is homeschooled, which gives her time to balance academics, tennis, and other activities.
"When not doing school or tennis, she enjoys actives on the farm," says her mother. "She enjoys fishing, and she likes spending time with the horses, dogs, and cows. She loves to paint and draw wildlife, and she has actually sold some of her art. Recently, she even started teaching herself to play guitar."
Her mother is understandably optimistic about her future.
"As mom and managing coach, I've always been impressed by Andie's desire, intensity, and love for the game. She would play all day, every day, if I let her.
"I feel her focus and intensity on the court set her apart from most of the players out there. With the support of the USTA, her coach, and Prince, her sponsor, I feel certain she will accomplish great things."
Kimberly Yee (Las Vegas, Nevada)
Our final visit takes us back to the desert with Kimberly Yee. Yee, a Las Vegas native, has had an outstanding 2007-08 campaign with an overall record of 72-10.
Top 6th-grader Kimberly Yee
© Julie Wrege, TennisRecruiting.net
Most of those 72 wins are over quality opposition. Yee has six victories against Blue Chips from older classes, and 12 of her wins came against older 5-Star athletes. In two appearances at national championship events, Yee won seven matches at the USTA Winter Nationals
and four matches at the most recent USTA Hardcourts
One of the more interesting facts about her record is that she knows how to finish. Yee competed in 16 tournaments in 2007-08, and she won her final match in 14 of them. Those 14 tournaments include 7 tournament titles, 3 third-place finishes, and four consolation championships.
Yee, a 5'5" right-hander, is the daughter of Adam and Gabriella Yee. Her father Adam serves as her coach.
"Kimberly is an agressive baseliner," he explains. "Right now, we are working on perfecting her one-handed forehand. She played with a Monica Seles-style forehand until she was ten."
Next month, we anticipate that Yee will be rated as a Blue Chip in the Class of 2015. She will be following in the footsteps of her brother, Blue Chip freshman Kristofer Yee.
While tennis is a huge focus for the Yee family, they make sure that academics and socialization have their proper emphasis.
"Kimberly is homeschooled, and she plays tennis in an academy setting," says her father. "At the academy they provide the kids with lots of other activities. We think she has a well balanced life - as close to normal as a competitive tennis player's life can be."
Please join me in welcoming the Class of 2015 to the TennisRecruiting.net family. We look forward to seven years of excellence from these kids!
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