News & Features
College Commitment Top Two Oklahomans Sooners To Be
by Ali Jones
, 21 December 2009
Sooners Coach David Mullins didn't need to look far from Norman for his 2010 recruits: he recently signed the top two women in Oklahoma - Mia Lancaster and Whitney Ritchie.
"I believe [building a team] starts in the recruiting process and trying to find the right type of players for our program," Mullins said. "The players we recruit have to want the same things and need to understand what it is going to take to be part of a top tennis program."
Lancaster and Ritchie are both five-star recruits. Each has impressive singles credentials and even more stellar doubles resumes. As seniors at Oklahoma City's Bishop McGuinness Catholic High School, they've played with and against each other. Together they have five national doubles titles and will join McGuinness alumnae and current Sooners Peta Maree Lancaster and Katelyn Connelly.
"Each of our style of play makes us a very successful doubles team," southpaw Ritchie said. "Mia has great groundstrokes which set me up to use my volleys and touch shots at the net."
The four McGuinness women last competed as a team in 2008 during Peta Maree's senior year and propelled the Irish to a 122-0 record and earned the school's tenth team state title.
Lancaster and Ritchie both agree that the transition to the team will be easy for them, but they did look at other schools before committing.
Ritchie was interested in Notre Dame, Illinois and Nebraska, but "Coach Mullins and Coach Connelly were always at the top of my list," she said. A hand-written note from Mullins "exemplified the type of commitment and eagerness that I was searching for in a coach and a program."
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