Makarova Joins Blue Devils
Blue Chip senior Christina Makarova searched near and far to find a
school that was the perfect fit for her tennis and academics. In the
end, the seventeen-year-old standout decided to sign with Duke
McClain Kessler commits to "Dream School" in Florida
When Blue Chip junior McClain Kessler looked at his options for
playing college tennis, one voice helped him make an early commitment
- his grandfather, Andrew "Pat" Driggers. With his grandfather's
advice, Kessler was excited to make an early commitment to the
University of Florida.
Blue Chip Lebedev a Fighting Irish in 2015
Alexander Lebedev impressed college coaches with his focus,
discipline, patience, skill and determination at the Boys' 16
Nationals in Kalamazoo, Mich. Among those who expressed interest in
Lebedev, who is still a high school junior, was Notre Dame. A few
months later, the blue chip junior from Island Park, New York,
verbally committed to play for the Fighting Irish in 2015.
What Does It Take to Be No. 1?
I have known Kimberly Yee since she was seven years old. Being number
one is a reoccurring theme in her life - having won the national
championships and reaching the No. 1 ranking in the girls 12s,
14s, and 16s, often times in both singles and doubles. But from
what her coaches, friends and family say, her greatest strengths are
off the court - as a student and most importantly as a person.
Fallia and Letzt Are Women of Troy
In 2015, the Women of Troy will have two more Blue Chip tennis players
who will carry on a proud tradition. Jessica Failla of Ramona,
Calif., and Alexandra Letzt of Scottsdale, Ariz., will don the
Cardinal and Gold as new members of the USC women's tennis team. The
two girls are both juniors in high school and cannot sign the National
Letter of Intent until next year. But both future collegiate stars are
definitely headed to the City of the Angels.
Aron Hiltzik Will Join His Brother on Illini Team
Five star recruit Aron Hiltzik officially signed his National Letter
of Intent with Illinois Coach Brad Dancer. While the news that he's
joining brother Jared on the team isn't overly surprising to many, 17
year old Hiltzik put a lot of thought into the decision.
Cassandra Vazquez Joins Tar Heels' Elite Team
Cassandra Vazquez was born around the time her soccer-playing father
got obsessed with playing tennis. She tagged along to the tennis
courts with him, and almost 15 years later, her own passion for the
sport has not only continued, it has only intensified - leading her to
travel internationally playing ITF events. In the Fall of 2014,
however, the 5-foot-9 righty will stay put in Chapel Hill, North
Carolina, to play for Coach Brian Kalbas' stellar Tar Heels squad.
Fall Signing Week '13: South Carolina Gains Momentum with 2014 Class
If there is a magic formula when it comes to college tennis
recruiting, University of South Carolina head coach Josh Goffi may
have found it. In less than four years at the helm of the Gamecock
program, Goffi has put together ranked recruiting classes three times,
including a stellar 2014 haul. Next fall the team will add a pair of
Blue Chips, Thomas Mayronne and Harrison O'Keefe, plus Five-Star
recruit Wood Benton.
Fall Signing Week '13: Thai Thompson to College of Charleston
During her freshman year, Thai Thompson joined her high school tennis
team just so she could keep fit for soccer, her primary sport. Two
weeks after joining in, she was hooked. Soccer became a distant
memory, and four years into tennis, the righty has made a verbal
commitment to play for the College of Charleston.
Fall Signing Week '13: Texan John Mee Stays In-State
John Mee is no stranger to Longhorn country, having grown up in Dallas
and spending many tournament weekends in Austin. After a college
search that took him to Illinois, Ohio State, Oklahoma and Arkansas,
he has decided that Austin is where he wants to be for the next four
years. Mee has committed to play for the University of Texas in 2014.
Fall Signing Week '13: No 'Quit' in Johnson as He Heads to TCU
Playing college tennis was nowhere on the mind of a 12-year old,
Trevor Johnson, who was burned out. "I quit," said Johnson. "I quit
from the age of 12 to 13. Then my parents saw me doing basically
nothing; so they said I would have to play tennis again." Johnson
immediately began putting in seven-hour days, training on and off the
court, and for that, TCU Men's Head Coach David Roditi and the rest of
the Horned Frogs are grateful.
Fall Signing Week '13: Hodge Chooses Rice After 'Tough Decision'
It's not unusual for teenage girls to take their time when they face a
hard decision, but it can get more confusing when you are a top junior
tennis player and college is staring you right in the face. Georgia's
Lindsey Hodge took the time to ask many questions, but she was still
flat-out confused. In the end, she liked what many schools had to
offer, but one school stood out from the rest - Rice University.
Fall Signing Week '13: Catanzariti Heads South to College Station
Blue Chip A.J. Catanzariti made his official visit to Texas A&M
during one of the biggest football games of the year - with the Aggies
and 2012 Heisman winner Johnny Manziel hosting the national champion
Alabama Crimson Tide. But by that time, the 18-year-old from
Pittsburgh had already decided Texas A&M was the right choice for
his path to professional tennis.
Fall Signing Week '13: Kallenberg Headed to Harvard
Nikki Kallenberg has been playing tennis since the age of five, when
her mother brought her out to a local park and started feeding her
tennis balls. Kallenberg has worked hard at the sport ever since, and
that hard work has paid off for the Naples, Florida teenager, who
recently gave her verbal commitment to attend Harvard University.
Fall Signing Week '13: Wahoos Welcome Wiersholm
On his official visit to the University of Virginia last month, Henrik
Wiersholm met not only the dean of the McIntire School of Commerce but
head basketball coach Tony Bennett and star guard Joe Harris. That
combination typifies what the 16-year-old from Kirkland, Wash. is
looking for in the college experience, as he has committed to play for
the Cavaliers while preparing for a professional tennis career.
Fall Signing Week '13: Austin is Third Gator Blue Chip
It's a tough call for super-achieving USTA juniors: College tennis or
the professional tour? For Brooke Austin, a 17-year-old from
Indianapolis, Indiana, it was hardly a stretch to see herself as a
fulltime WTA competitor. But after weighing the decision from all
angles, Austin concluded that college tennis - and two-time NCAA
champion Florida - would be the logical steppingstone to her dream of
a professional tennis career.
Fall Signing Week '13: Miller and Broda Pick Notre Dame
Life is much more fun when you can do things with friends - even going
to college. That is the case for Blue Chip recruits Allison Miller and
Brooke Broda - two friends who decided to become members of the
University of Notre Dame women's tennis team. Miller, from Norcross,
Ga., and Broda, who hails from West Chester, Ohio, will sign their
National Letters of Intent later this month, as they will become
members of the Fighting Irish program next year.
Countdown: Rodriguez Excited to Head to Louisville
The allure of Louisville and the ACC was strong enough that Ariana
Rodriguez didn't even need an official visit to decide her college
destination. Rodriguez, a homeschooling 5-Star recruit from the
Bronx, N.Y., committed this fall to the Cardinals after one unofficial
trip to Bluegrass country.
Countdown: Karim Arem to the Big Red
Karim Arem's college plans have always been anchored on academics more
than athletics, and he has always thought the Ivies represented the
best education anywhere in the world. Cornell, however, had an unfair
advantage: Arem's older brother, Mansour, is currently a junior there.
Arem's brother encouraged him to contact Big Red coach Silviu
Tanasoiu, and that suggestion proved to be the best advice given by
one sibling to another.
Countdown: Maize and Blue for Najarian
In spring 2012, Blue Chip senior Alexandria Najarian was hospitalized
with a condition that left her unable to eat, drink, or walk for
several days. Once she was back home, returning to a high level of
tennis was her first priority, and she earned a sixth-place finish at
the USTA Hardcourt Nationals. The commitment, discipline, and positive
attitude she displayed in her comeback are the qualities that earned
her a spot on the Michigan women's tennis team.
Countdown: Josie Kuhlman Stays In-State at UF
Josie Kuhlman is like most young tennis players; she thought she would
be a professional tennis player from the moment she first picked up a
racket. Being one of the top junior players in the country and already
showing promise in professional events, Kuhlman is closer to her dream
than most other players. College tennis in Gainesville may bring her
even closer to her goal.
Countdown: Logan Staggs Joins the 'Cats
As a small player from a small city, Logan Staggs knew he needed to
employ unconventional methods to experience success in tennis. The
5-foot-7, 135-pound left-hander would need to be resourceful,
persistent and extremely dedicated to overcome opponents with more
physical and geographical advantages. Staggs recently celebrated
another milestone along his journey when he verbally committed to play
Countdown: Hannah King Returns to Athens
Hannah King was born in Athens, Georgia, yet playing tennis for the
Bulldogs was by no means a certainty for the Alpharetta, Ga. resident.
Two major shoulder surgeries kept her from competing most of the past
two years, with continual pain testing her resolve. Only her
unwavering determination to pursue the sport despite the many setbacks
has led the 17-year-old high school senior back to Athens. She committed
to Coach Jeff Wallace and the Georgia program just a few days ago.
Countdown: Victor Brown Commits to the Cougars
Victor Brown, a five-star recruit from Rancho Cucamonga, Calif., has
known which school he wanted to attend since he was a small boy. He
plans to travel from California to Provo, Utah, next fall to become a
member of the Brigham Young University Cougars men's tennis team.
Brown will make it official next month by signing the National Letter
Countdown: Gabriella Castañeda Connects with FSU
Like many children growing up in the tennis mecca that is South
Florida, Gabriella Castañeda got an early start on her tennis
career. Her father Larry, a former minor league baseball player,
introduced her to the game when she was just five years old, and she's
been a one-sport athlete ever since. Next fall, Castañeda will
be the newest Seminole on the Florida State women's team and, well,
she's pretty excited about it.
Countdown: Baker Newman a Commodore
Miami's Baker Newman pretty much knew on his visit to Vanderbilt
University that it was going to be his college of choice. Newman, 17,
a senior at Gulliver Prep, chose Vanderbilt from a cache of five
finalists, including Vanderbilt, Northwestern, Wake Forest, Illinois,
Countdown: Gabrielle Smith Fights On
As a longtime resident of Henderson, Nev., Gabby Smith feels fortunate
she can make the four-hour drive to play a lot of her junior tennis
tournaments in the USTA's highly-competitive Southern California
Section. Familiarity with the greater Los Angeles area should come in
handy when the talented 17-year-old begins her collegiate career at
the University of Southern California next fall.
Countdown: Brigante Keeps Open Mind, Chooses Sooners
The USTA's Florida section is widely known as a tennis breeding
ground where players are groomed from birth to one day enjoy a college
or pro career. But don't tell Christiana Brigante. She was 14 years
old when she decided to take tennis seriously, ignoring her peers' 10
year head start. In other words, this soon-to-be University of
Oklahoma Sooner has not been your typical junior player.
Countdown: Hampton Drake Enters the Tiger Den
Just a few years ago, it didn't seem possible that Hampton Drake could
wind up at Clemson. He wasn't ranked in the top 100 nationally, and
he was raised in Columbia, S.C., as a fan of the Tigers' rival. South
Carolina Gamecocks fan. But today, Drake is ranked No. 22 among high
school seniors - a jump of nearly 100 spots since he was a freshman -
and he's ready to sign next month with Coach Chuck McCuen and the Tigers.
Ellyse Hamlin Makes Early Commitment to the Blue Devils
Blue Chip junior Ellyse Hamlin, who sits at No. 3 on this week's
Babolat Recruiting List, is one of the most sought-after recruits
in the nation. Many top recruits make their college decisions during
their junior year, and Hamlin is no exception. For the 16-year-old
from Fairfield, Conn., the decision came down to tennis, academics,
and the school environment - and the men's basketball team didn't
Top Senior Peggy Porter Commits to the Gators
As they say across the Gator Nation, 'it's great to be a Florida
Gator', and for Peggy Porter of Dallas, those words ring especially
true. Porter plans play tennis for the Gators and Coach Roland
Thornqvist, and she wants to put the official touch on her commitment
during the Fall signing period.
Blue Chip Senior William Griffith Commits to Cal
"There are so many great schools in California that you can't really
go wrong," William Griffith said of his decision to narrow his college
choices to those in his home state. The blue chip's visits to UC
Berkeley, UCLA and USC reinforced this belief, but did not make his
decision easier. Having been born and raised in Fresno, however,
Griffith had a natural affinity for Cal. After much thought, he
accepted a verbal offer from Cal Coach Peter Wright.
Missouri's Will Little Gives Early Commitment to Baylor
Saying there were many factors that went into this decision, one of
the top juniors in the nation, Will Little has given an early
commitment to Baylor University and head coach Matt Knoll.
Martin Redlicki to Join Brother Michael at Duke
Despite heights suitable for basketball, tennis is the sport of choice
for 6-foot-8 Michael Redlicki and his younger brother Martin, who is
6-foot-5. But basketball terminology probably best describes Martin's
decision to join Michael, currently a sophomore at Duke, in the fall
of 2014, with the choice resembling a layup rather than a slam dunk.
Meredith Xepoleas Commits to the Trojans
Meredith Xepoleas had specific parameters for where she wanted to play
college tennis. The school had to be in California, it had to have
her major and it had to have coaches and teammates she enjoyed being
around. After making her second visit to campus, Xepoleas determined
USC best fit every criteria.
Maia Magill Stays In-State at UCLA
Maia Magill began thinking UCLA wasn't interested in recruiting her.
Magill had sent several emails to the coaching staff throughout the
year, but never received anything in return. But last April, UCLA
head coach Stella Sampras Webster had a chance to watch Magill play
doubles at The Ojai. Within a few days, Magill began the recruiting
process and verbally committed to the Bruins.
Georgia Commit Walker Duncan Has Always Bled Black and Red
Like many kids that grow up in Atlanta, Walker Duncan has always been
a big Georgia fan. Being one of the top junior tennis players in the
land and only entering his junior year, time was on Walker's side when
it came to making a college decision. Duncan talked and exchanged
emails with tennis coaches from all over the country, but he wasted no
time in giving a verbal commitment earlier this month to Manny Diaz
and the men's tennis program at the University of Georgia.
Christopher Eubanks is Staying In Atlanta
Months before Signing Day and a year before his high school
graduation, Christopher Eubanks had made his decision. Now, he's
getting ready to follow through with the paperwork so he can play next
year for the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets.
Blue Chip Grad Tyler Lu is Off to Yale
Tyler Lu looked up to his big brother, Austin, and he wanted to try
everything Austin did. Once Austin decided to play tennis, Tyler
decided he would give it a try. Although Tyler's entry into the sport
was late by typical standards, he quickly made up ground through hard
work and dedication. The reward came when Tyler committed to play at
Yale University. The blue chip recruit from Irvine, Ca., will begin
attending classes in the fall.
Nishimura Headed to UC Berkeley
J.T. Nishimura said he can't wait to compete in college tennis.
"Playing in the Pac 12 conference against schools like USC, UCLA and
Stanford will be awesome," said the 17-year-old Nishimura, who
recently committed to attend the University of California at Berkeley.
"I love being in a team environment."
Chase Perez-Blanco Chooses the Florida Gators
Miami's Chase Perez-Blanco enjoys telling jokes, and he can stare
without blinking for an hour. But when it comes to tennis, he is all
business. The 17-year-old Perez-Blanco is entering his senior year at
Gulliver Prep High School, and he recently committed to play college
tennis for the University of Florida next fall.
McDonald Loses at Kalamazoo, Qualifies for ATP Event in Cincy
While most college freshman were meeting roommates and moving
into their dorm rooms, UCLA-bound tennis player Mackenzie McDonald was
making history at one of the most important professional tennis
tournaments of the year. After losing at Kalamazoo, McDonald accepted
a wildcard into the ATP Masters 1000 in Cincinnati. McDonald made the
most of the opportunity, defeating No. 79 Nicolas Mahut of France and
former NCAA champ Steve Johnson.
Texas Blue Chip Grant Solomon Goes Harvard Crimson
Grant Solomon reached the end of the road in his college deliberations
with a regret that most prospective student-athletes would love to
have: from a list of great schools, he could choose only one. Some of
the top tennis programs in the country had courted the blue chip
recruit from Dallas, Texas, and he saw much to like at all the
schools. But in the end, the rising senior's answer was "a firm yes"
Bradenton's Adam Neff Hits Paris with Longines Junior Tennis Aces
Adam Neff, the top nationally ranked player in the Boys' 12 and under,
had the opportunity to spend his birthday in Paris, courtesy of
Longines. While the trip didn't turn out the way he had hoped, it was
an experience to remember.
Spring Signing Week '13: Connor Kudrick to Wingate
Connor Kudrick will attend college halfway across the country in large
part because it reminds him of what he loves about home. Kudrick, a
3-Star recruit from the Houston suburb of Spring, Texas, has signed
with Wingate University in North Carolina, a rising NCAA Division II
Spring Signing Week '13: Katie Carlson Picks Christopher Newport
The website of Christopher Newport University has a catchy slogan
directed at incoming students: "Get ready to set sail on your journey
to becoming a Captain at CNU!" Katie Carlson, a three-star recruit,
will sail from Omaha, Neb. to Newport News, Va. in the fall and become
a member of the Christopher Newport Captains women's tennis team.
Spring Signing Week '13: Dave Bacalla to Valpo
Illinois native Dave Bacalla won't be going far when he starts college
next fall. He has decided to stay in the Midwest and play for the
Valparaiso Crusaders in Indiana.
Spring Signing Week '13: Aidan Talcott Decides on Denver
Aidan Talcott enjoys making short comedy videos as a hobby, but when
it comes to tennis, he's very serious. Talcott, 17, of Sea Cliff, New
York, recently decided on the University of Denver as his college
destination after weighing offers from several top schools.
Spring Signing Week '13: Ware Works Through Injury to BYU
An old proverb says that out of something bad comes something good.
Thousand Oaks (California) High senior Savannah Ware knows that all
too well - she was sidelined for her junior year of high school with a
shoulder injury. That was a time when junior players were catching the
eyes of college coaches. But all worked out for Ware - who has committed
to Brigham Young University.
Spring Signing Week '13: Arizona's Bhat Heads to Albuquerque's Lobos
Rachana Bhat's tennis goals have always been simple: try to win as
many matches as possible, never dwell on the past, and keep focused on
the future and the opportunities it presents. Playing for the sheer
joy of competition and pushing herself in every match certainly has
paid off - she developed skills, habits, discipline and an unrelenting
will to overcome her opponents. These are among the reasons New Mexico
signed her to a National Letter of Intent.
Spring Signing Week '13: Jarryd Woog Stays Home
Every tennis player is taught that hard work will be rewarded. When
Jarryd Woog was 16, he took some time off to decide if he still
believed that. After months of soul searching, Woog reestablished
himself as a Top 10 player in the South. Today, he will sign an
NLI with the University of Memphis.
Spring Signing Week '13: Hudson Commits to Arkansas
Shannon Hudson of Virginia Beach is shorter than almost all of her
opponents, but she was tall enough to see a red flag on the horizon.
Figuratively speaking, that flag waved prominently enough to prompt
Hudson to change her Southeastern Conference destination.
Hudson, a Blue Chip recruit at just 5 feet tall, first committed to
Tennessee. But she changed her mind and cast her lot with the
Spring Signing Week '13: Cardinal Direction for Lederman
Roy Lederman didn't make the Stanford coaches work very hard to secure
his commitment. Stanford had been Lederman's dream school since he
was in the sixth grade. The blue chip recruit from Miami didn't even
need to make an official visit to the Bay Area before telling Stanford
head coach John Whitlinger he wanted to join the program.
Spring Signing Week '13: Dailey Takes Unique Path to SEC
The road to a college tennis scholarship is usually paved with USTA
tournaments, Tennis Recruiting "stars," and national rankings. Try
telling that to University of South Carolina signee Caroline Dailey.
The Sarasota native's unorthodox approach to her junior tennis career
included over a year spent playing on the ITF Pro Circuit and a
conspicuous absence from the premier USTA events.
Countdown: Liza Fieldsend Joins the Pack
It's not surprising that Liza Fieldsend is a pretty good tennis
player. Her brother and mother both played college tennis, her father
is president of the John Newcombe Tennis Academy, and her godfather,
John, won Wimbledon three times. That would be John Newcombe, of
course. Fieldsend, a 5-Star senior, has signed with N.C. State for
Countdown: Bush headed to Wash U in St. Louis
Jeremy Bush called his college destination his "perfect choice."
Bush, who turned 18 in February, is headed to Washington
University in St. Louis. "It was the perfect choice for me," said
Bush, a senior at Stevenson High School in Lincolnshire, Illinois.
"They have one of the best Division III teams in the country, and I
thought that I would possibly be able to help the team win a national
Countdown: UConn Snags Five-star Alderman
After winning the high school state championship in Mass. as a
freshman, Emma Alderman faced a dilemna - should she continue to play
high school tennis and defend her title, or does she move on and try
to make her mark on the national stage? Alderman chose the latter, and
with her five-star rating, she is one of the highest-ranked recruit
that UConn has ever attracted.
Countdown: Donovan Credits Kid's Day for Inspiration
Benjamin Donovan credits a chance meeting with former U.S. Open
finalist and former top-5 ATP pro Todd Martin and the frenzy of Arthur
Ashe Kid's Day at the Billie Jean King National Tennis Center in with
being enough to make tennis his priority when he was a young junior
player. All grown up, the five-star recruit has committed to play
college tennis next fall at Cal Poly in San Luis Obispo.
Countdown: Megan McCray to Oklahoma State
The Oklahoma State women's tennis coaches thought they had a hidden
gem in Megan McCray. But after McCray embarked on a strong run at the
USTA Girls 18 Nationals in San Diego last summer, they began to worry
McCray was no longer flying under the radar. But McCray visited
Stillwater and fell in love with the program, and last fall she signed
her letter of intent to become a Cowgirl.
Countdown: Oosterbaan Heads South to Georgia
Looking up isn't something 6-foot-8 blue chip Paul Oosterbaan does
often, at least literally. But when the 17-year-old verbally committed
to the University of Georgia, he had two even taller national
champions serving as inspirations: 6-foot-9 John Isner, who led
Georgia to the NCAA team title in 2007, and his 6-foot-10 father J.P.,
a member of the University of Michigan's 1989 NCAA National
Championship basketball team.
Countdown: Chiu Heads East to Columbia
Holding the No. 16 ranking in California and the Southwest speaks
volumes for 5-Star recruit William Chiu's talent. The senior from
Rancho Bernardo HS in San Diego is producing some of the best tennis
of his junior career, and he has now risen to No. 58 in the nation.
Next fall, the senior will head to New York City and Columbia
University to join the Lions' tennis team.
Countdown: Despite Late Start, Mitrache Ready for WSU
While most junior players were picking up a racquet for the first
time, five-year-old Andreea Mitrache was just setting foot on American
soil after a long trek from her native Romania. Mitrache didn't start
playing until she was 12 years old, entering her first tournament at
14 - advanced age by tennis standards. But the late start didn't hurt
much - the left-handed Mitrache has committed to play college tennis
at Wayne State University.
Countdown: Brendan McClain to Boise State
Californian Brendan McClain, who began playing tennis at age 2 and
excelled at the junior level, was very thorough in exploring his
college options. The blue-chip recruit seriously considered Arizona
and LSU before signing with Boise State University. Now that the
process is over and he has chosen the Broncos, McClain is looking
forward to the future.
Liang Wins Talbert Award, Looks Ahead to Harvard
Spencer Liang was recently named one of the four national winners of
the 2012 USTA Bill Talbert Junior Sportsmanship Award, an honor that
signifies how she's matured during her junior career. Next year, the
blue chip senior will take her talents to Cambridge, Mass., and
compete for the Harvard Crimson.
Paladin Pride: Karlee Bryde Signs with Furman
For four-star Karlee Bryde, tennis has been means of self-discovery
and of strengthening family ties. Over a decade after she began
playing tennis, the sport once again offered up another opportunity - a
scholarship to Furman University.
Doyle Commits to Cardinal
Sixteen-year-old Caroline Doyle was born and raised in San Francisco,
so it's no surprise Stanford University was at the top of her list
when she began considering college tennis programs. She had visited
the Palo Alto campus many times while attending her cousin's
volleyball games, struck each time by its pastoral beauty.
Fall Signing Week '12: Thoroughbreds Join SMU Mustangs Stable
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.
Fall Signing Week '12: Alanna Wolff Heads to Princeton
Alanna Wolff is at home with her college tennis destination - both
literally and figuratively. Wolff, who lives in Perth Amboy, New
Jersey was born in Princeton; used to practice there when she was
little, and won her first tournament there, so it seems fitting that
she will attend college at Princeton University.
Fall Signing Week '12: Zieba Chooses 'Home-Court' Advantage
Making the move to college tennis shouldn't be too much of a challenge
for Konrad Zieba. Not geographically, at least. The Blue-Chip senior
from Glenview, Ill., should feel right at home when he travels 10
miles down the road to take his place on the Northwestern Wildcats
tennis team next year.
Fall Signing Week '12: McCord Chooses the Aggies
Junior tennis players make choices on the court all the time. San
Diego's Jana McCord has made all those decisions, but she had trouble
wrestling with the choice of where to attend college. She eventually
narrowed her list, and as she explored her options with more scrutiny
the blue-chip recruit became convinced Texas A&M was the best fit.
Fall Signing Week '12: Elliott Orkin Joins Lipman in Gainesville
Remember the Titans is an inspirational movie about a new coach trying
to work towards a championship. Elliott Orkin, the top recruit from
the state of Georgia, is hoping to help write such a story at the
University of Florida. Orkin is the third highly-regarded recruit to
commit to the Gators this fall.
Fall Signing Week '12: Luca Corinteli Chooses Wahoos
The University of Virginia men's tennis team's recruiting is coming up
big - literally as well as figuratively. 6'4" Luca Corinteli recently
became the latest Blue Chip prospect to commit to Coach Brian Boland's
Cavaliers. Tennisrecruiting.net ranks him 17th in the nation and first
in the Mid-Atlantic Section among the senior Class of 2013.
Fall Signing Week '12: Georgia a Perfect Fit for King
When Mia King made a last minute trip from her home in Cornelius,
North Carolina, to the University of Georgia campus in Athens last
spring, she had no idea what to expect. King's friend and UGA
freshman, Lauren Herring, had begged her to come watch the team's dual
match against fellow SEC school, Florida. As it turns out, King (and
her father) fell in love with the place.
Fall Signing Week '12: Lipman Commits to the Gators
Hiring Bryan Shelton as head coach paid off quickly for the University
of Florida. Maxx Lipman, a former No. 1-ranked junior player from
Brentwood, Tenn., wasn't thinking about Florida until June, when
Shelton - who led the Georgia Tech women's team to an NCAA title in
2007 - got the job and quickly reached out to Lipman to see if he
still had a chance. Five months later, Lipman is committing to the
Fall Signing Week '12: Taylor Davidson Commits to the Cardinal
The Stanford Cardinal women's tennis team has landed one of the
premier recruits in the nation. Blue Chip senior Taylor Davidson has
committed to the storied Stanford program, winners of 16 NCAA Division
I Women's Team Championships. Davidson, from Statesville, N.C., plans
to sign the National Letter of Intent during Signing Week.
Fall Signing Week '12: Goldhoff is Hooked by the 'Horns
After his infamous trip to the finals of the Boys' 18 Clay Court
Championships in July, George Goldhoff's phone started ringing
early and often. Many top college coaches wanted to talk to the
17-year-old senior from Irvine, Calif. In the end, Goldhoff decided
to head to Austin, Texas.
Fall Signing Week '12: Jamie Loeb to Wear Carolina Blue
Jamie Loeb's consistent placing in the top five of the recruiting
rankings is not something anyone has ever questioned. She's been
looked at as a blue chip recruit even before she was officially given
that label and the University of North Carolina Tar Heels will happily
welcome her onto their team next fall.
Fall Signing Week '12: UCLA Bruins Strengthen Roster
It's been seven years since the UCLA men won the NCAA Division I Team
Championship, and they are looking to dethrone Pac-12 rival USC, who
have won the last four titles. The Bruins have taken a step closer to
this goal with the commitments of three Blue Chip recruits to the
Countdown: FSU Loads Up In-State Recruits
Jake Albo, Grayson Goldin, Jose Gracia, Jr. and Jack Haffey have long
battled it out on the tennis courts as junior tennis players in the
state of Florida. Starting next season, they will no longer be rivals
as they hit the courts as members of the Florida State University
men's tennis team.
Countdown: Rochin Stays In-State at Northern Arizona
Hailey Rochin's first experience at a national tournament didn't end
well. She told her mother she would never be good enough to compete at
that level. But Rochin's mother said it was possible; she would just
have to keep practicing. After following her mother's advice, Rochin
was not only good enough to compete at the national level - she was good enough to earn a tennis scholarship at Northern Arizona.
Countdown: Kwiatkowski Decides
The question wasn't so much where Thai-Son Kwiatkowski would go to
college, but whether he would go. The Blue Chip recruit from
Charlotte, N.C., said he has played tennis as long as he can remember
and wants to reach its highest level - the ATP Tour. But that path
will now include some time in the college ranks, as the highly-coveted
announces his decision.
Countdown: Damon Niquet Heads to the Tribe
Three-time Wisconsin state champion Damon Niquet took a couple of
visits to Williamsburg, Virginia, and he saw all that he needed to
see. Niquet recently made a verbal commitment to head coach Peter Daub
and William & Mary to join the Tribe Tennis Team in Fall 2013.
Countdown: Claire Williams to Texas Tech
Claire Williams, a four-star recruit, will travel the 200 miles from
San Angelo, Texas, to Lubbock and become a member of the Texas Tech
Red Raiders women's tennis team next fall.
Countdown: Hamilton Likes Tennis, Surf at UCSB
As a rising junior tennis player in Southern California and avid
surfer, Teague Hamilton had a slightly different mind-set when
exploring his college options. So it came as no surprise at all when
the Laguna Beach, Calif., resident chose a school where he could do
both. UC Santa Barbara ended up being a perfect fit.
Countdown: Madeline Lipp Chooses Northwestern
Maddie Lipp rarely takes many things for granted. She realizes how
fortunate she is to play tennis and earn a college scholarship, and
she will carry that attitude with her when she arrives at Northwestern
next fall. The blue chip recruit committed to play for the Wildcats
Countdown: Wake Forest Scores Trio of Stellar Recruits
On a stormy Saturday in early September, three high school tennis
players were among the horde of screaming Wake Forest fans watching
the Demon Deacons defeat North Carolina in football. Not long after,
Samantha Asch, Kimmy Guerin, and Luisa Fernandez - all on official
visits of Head Tennis Coach Jeff Wyshner - made verbal commitments
to WFU for Fall 2013.
Countdown: Goldberg Set to Plant Cardinal Roots
When the time came for Yale Goldberg to decide on a college tennis
program for the 2013 season, he considered schools in the Ivy League,
Northwestern, Stanford, Lehigh and his hometown-favorite Ohio State.
It was a tough decision, but in the end, it didn't take long for the
sunny skies of Palo Alto, Calif., to tip the scales.
Countdown: Schafer Selects the Gamecocks
Blue Chip senior Andrew Schafer, a South Carolina high school state
champion, will follow play college tennis next fall at the University
of South Carolina. The Eddie Herr finalist plans to sign a National
Letter of Intent with the Gamecocks in November.
Countdown: Narcissa Summerall Goes with Big Green
Ever since she was a little girl, Narcissa "Narni" Summerall has
wanted to attend Dartmouth College in Hanover, N.H. In the fall,
Narni plans to fulfill her longtime wish to attend the ninth-oldest
university in the nation as a member of the Big Green women's tennis
team. Narni, a five-star recruit, has given a verbal commitment to
Dartmouth coach Bob Dallis.
Sherry Thomas, a Mother with a Mission
When DJ Thomas was a toddler, his fingers clung tightly to the fence
as he enviously watched his sisters hit tennis balls. "Mama, I want to
do that," said the youngster. "No, little boys don't play tennis,"
said his mother, who thought DJ would gravitate to football and
basketball like her late husband. DJ, however, has proven to his
mother that yes, little boys do play tennis, and that they can get
really, really good at it.
Following a Family Tradition, Robbie Bellamy Commits to USC
Robbie Bellamy has been steadily climbing the rankings over the past
two years, and that rise had not gone unnoticed by coaches. After
sorting through the incoming calls, the reigning 18s champion of
USTA/SoCal narrowed his choices down to two: top-ranked USC or
third-ranked UCLA. Bellamy ultimately committed to the reigning
four-time NCAA champion Trojans.
Blair Shankle is a 2013 Baylor Lady Bear
World traveler and Blue Chip recruit Blair Shankle's family ties are
so tightly knit and deeply rooted in her native state that when the
time came for her to choose a college, they played a huge factor,
along with academics and athletics. Baylor University, two hours from
where the Shankle clan lives, fit the bill to a T and received
Shankle's early verbal commitment.
TJ Pura Picks Blue Devils
Blue Chip Thomas (TJ) Pura has decided to stick with the color that
suits him and will be heading to the Duke Blue Devils next fall.
While Pura still has to make it official with the signing of a letter
of intent in November, he was seen in Kalamazoo sporting a Duke hat.
Rubin Conquers Clay and Gets Ready for Grass
Noah Rubin has earned his place at the top of the rankings. The
16-year-old phenom from Long Island, N.Y., ranked 14th among juniors
internationally, reached the quarterfinals of the French Open Juniors.
This week, he has his sights set on Wimbledon.
Page Heading to Orange and Blue
Just as they get ready to host the next NCAA Division I Championships,
the Fighting Illini also secured the No. 6 position of the Men's
Recruiting Class rankings with the addition of Blue Chip Brian Page,
Makenzie Craft is Gone to the Dawgs
With her sister off to college in the fall, Makenzie Craft's
motivation to pursue her own college plans intensified. She visited a
host of schools, but none of them felt right. Upon the suggestion of
her coach, she went south to Athens, Ga., and she found what
she was looking for. Craft recently signed with the University of
Georgia for Fall 2012, a year earlier than her class.
Keegan Commits to Gator Tennis
When you have some of the most notable and highly respected women's
tennis programs bidding to sign you to their squad, it can be a tough and
overwhelming decision. For Kourtney Keegan, a junior Blue Chip player
from Roswell, Ga., the decision between schools like Notre Dame,
Georgia, North Carolina, Florida, UCLA, Michigan, Northwestern and
Georgia Tech was exactly that.
Spring Signing Week '12: Zhang Heads to the Maroons
Gordon Zhang won't have much of a commute when he goes home from
college for the holidays. The Lisle, Illinois, native has decided to
stay close by and play for the University of Chicago.
Spring Signing Week '12: Mary Meyers Flies with the Falcons
In an application process that took about six months to complete, Mary
Meyers breathed a sigh of relief when she turned in her completed
papers to the Air Force Academy in February. A few weeks later, when
Coach Kim Gidley called to say that she had been accepted, Meyers was
left almost speechless.
Spring Signing Week '12: On the Court with Connor Clements
While other players were developing higher rankings, Connor Clements
was developing his tennis skills. While other players were studying in
public or private school, Clements was studying online. Years later,
the rankings reflect how well the road less traveled seems likely to
get Clements to a favorable college destination.
Spring Signing Week '12: Chi Goes West to Join Bears
It's not often a Floridian cites weather as a reason for relocating,
but blue chip senior Lynn Chi offers that as one of many reasons she
will be signing a National Letter of Intent to attend the University
of California-Berkeley this fall.
Spring Signing Week '12: Henry Craig Heads to Denver
If not for a sign alongside the road, who knows if Henry Craig would
have ever discovered tennis. Driving home from school one day seven
years ago, Henry's father spotted an advertisement for tennis lessons
posted on a pole. Fast forward to this year, where the Murrieta,
Calif., native has signed to play college tennis at the University of
Spring Signing Week '12: Maggy Lehmicke Picks Nebraska
In spite of a relatively late start in the demanding world of
tournament tennis, Maggy Lehmicke is listed as a five-star recruit by
TennisRecruiting.net. Ranked No. 2 in the Northwest and the state of
Washington, Maggy has signed a national letter of intent with the
Spring Signing Week '12: Austin Siegel Chooses the Cardinals
Whether it be training at the Bill Adams International Tennis Academy,
earning a significant victory in Florida or playing a tournament in
another continent, Austin Siegel is getting a world of experience as
he gets ready to move from the upper echelons of junior tennis to
Division I college competition.
Countdown: Alexandra Landert Picks Seton Hall
Alexandra Landert's journey began in 1993 when the future five-star
tennis recruit was born in Zurich, Switzerland. The next stop for
Alex will be South Orange, N.J., when she becomes a member of the
Seton Hall Pirates women's tennis team in the fall.
Countdown: Husky fan Barnhart joins his Dream Team
Hudson Barnhart had long wanted to be part of Coach Matt Anger's
Washington Huskies Squad, and in the fall signing season, Barnhart
finally fulfilled that goal and became the first U-Dub signee for
Countdown: Tanenbaum Selects Big Red
As one of the nation's best players, Dena Tanenbaum of Manasquan,
N.J., enjoyed plenty of collegiate options. When she went to Ithaca,
N.Y., and saw red - Big Red - she was sold. Tanenbaum, a five-star
recruit, has committed to play for Cornell University in the
prestigious Ivy League.
Countdown: Klein Rides High with the Mustangs
Derek Klein figured Cal Poly was not an option for his college tennis
career when his letters and emails went unanswered. But once Nick
Carless became the new coach, he contacted Klein, and "Cal Poly
became my top choice."
Countdown: Beatrice Rosen to Emory
California native Beatrice Rosen is the highest-ranked player in the
signing class of Atlanta's Emory University and one of the most
improved players in the country over the past year. The story behind
her rapid ascent is one of hard work - but is also the result of one
Countdown: Patrick Heads to Hawkeyes
As a five star recruit, Dominic Patrick had quite a few schools
interested in him. The 18 year old has checked his favorites out and
made the decision to play for the Iowa Hawkeyes starting this fall.
Countdown: Kitchen Commits to the Terps
Many important people occasionally leave business hotbeds to travel to
vacation spots. But with Five-Star recruit Ashley Kitchen, it will be
the opposite. Kitchen, who grew up on picturesque Hilton Head Island,
has committed to play for the University of Maryland.
Countdown: Brendan Aguilar Chooses the Runnin' Rebels
Brendan Aguilar's commitment to the University of Nevada, Las Vegas
meant much more than it would to the average tennis player. Not only
did it secure Aguilar's dream of playing college tennis, it ensured he
would be the first in his family to attend college.
No. 1 Schneider Commits to North Carolina for 2013
Ronnie Schneider, the top recruit in the class of 2013, had 24
colleges on his list when he started working through the process
during his sophomore year. After winning the 16s title in Kalamazoo
last August, that list was whittled down to 10, and last month there
was just one school remaining - North Carolina, which has received
Schneider's verbal commitment.
Countdown: Anna Mamalat Chooses Texas A&M
Anna Mamalat, a junior player with a world of competitive experience,
has signed a letter of intent with Texas A&M University.
The Blue Chip recruit from Philadelphia inked with
the Aggies last October, and she plans to travel to College Station in
Countdown: Trinh Roars with the LSU Tigers
Tam Trinh sported a white LSU cap to his first Kalamazoo Championship
in 2010, when he and his partner went on a magical run as the first
unseeded team in 25 years to win the 16s doubles title. In fall 2011,
the five-star Trinh made his intentions official with the Tigers by
signing a National Letter of Intent to play for Louisiana State
Top 2013 Prospect Edward Covalschi Picks Notre Dame
With college tennis as the logical denouement of his stellar USTA
career, Blue Chip Edward Covalschi started looking at his options
midway through his junior year of high school. He whittled down the
list to his top choices: Ohio, Michigan, Cornell, Illinois, and Notre
Dame. In the end, the myth and magic of the shillelagh-wielding
Leprechaun and the Fighting Irish won him over.
Top 2013 Prospect Nick Wood Chooses Georgia
Late in the summer, after Nick Wood was sidelined with a stress
fracture in his elbow that required surgery, he decided to use the
down time to get his college search out of the way. Applying the same
work ethic that has propelled him to TRN's elite Blue Chip ranks, Wood
took unofficial visits and narrowed his candidates to a pair of SEC
rivals: Tennessee and Georgia. Ultimately, Georgia captured his
Courtney Amos to Yale
Eighteen-year-old Courtney Amos had her heart set on the Ivy League.
By the end of an official visit to Yale University in September, the
five-star recruit from Tucson, Arizona, had found her college home.
Alex Jesse Joins the Illini
Alex Jesse will be staying in the Midwest and joining the Fighting
Illini tennis team next fall. The Blue Chip recruit had a number of
options since he has been consistently at top of the national rankings
over the last few years. It has all been a result of his solid
tournament play in both singles and doubles.
Fall Signing Week '11: Kathryn Hoch Heads to Wisconsin
Kathryn Hoch doesn't expect to be surprised by many of the gifts she
receives on Christmas Day this year. Since she has committed to play
at the University of Wisconsin, the five-star recruit knows exactly
what is waiting for her under the tree. "My parents are buying me
parkas, blankets and every color of Uggs possible," Hoch said. "I need
to stock up on the warm clothing."
Fall Signing Week '11: Watson Heads to the Swamp
Gordon Watson enjoys sun, surf and skeet shooting and he will parlay
it into a college tennis career at the University of Florida. I loved
[Coach Jackson], campus and players, and it felt like home," said
Watson, who is ranked 12th nationally, fifth in the southeast and
third in Florida. "I really loved the other schools on my list, but I
realized that I wanted to continue my training in Florida after my
Fall Signing Week '11: Becker O'Shaughnessey to Alabama
Becker O'Shaughnessey was born and raised in the South. And now, just
as he had planned it, that's where he'll play his college tennis
starting next fall. After a search that came down to four schools -
Alabama, Georgia, Georgia Tech, and N.C. State - the five-star recruit
from Macon, Georgia, is poised to sign a national letter of intent to
play for the Crimson Tide in Tuscaloosa, Alabama, just four hours from
Fall Signing Week '11: Elbaba Commits to UVa
Julia Elbaba has certainly earned her Blue Chip status. Her results
have given her a top ten position in the Babolat rankings. With all
this success came quite a few college tennis opportunities for the
petite 17 year old, and she took her time weighing her decision. Just
this week, Elbaba finally made her decision to join the Virginia
Fall Signing Week '11: Kurey to the Jackets
Megan Kurey, the 22nd-ranked senior prospect from Alpharetta, Ga., is
the final commitment in Georgia Tech's highly ranked women's
recruiting class. Kurey joins three other highly-ranked senior
prospects for Tech coach Bryan Shelton in Atlanta for 2012.
Fall Signing Week '11: Stephanie Nauta is Charlottesville-Bound
Stephanie Nauta has always been inspired by a single goal - to be a
professional tennis player. But she is cautious about jumping to
the pro ranks too quickly. "I see that I need to get stronger and
have a lot to improve on," said the blue chip senior. Nauta's
decision to sign an NLI with Virginia next fall is the latest triumph
for advocates of college tennis as a worthy training ground for
aspiring touring professionals.
Fall Signing Week '11: Mays to the Demon Deacons
The Wake Forest Demon Deacons men's tennis team will have a new weapon
in its arsenal next season. That weapon is Blue Chip recruit Morgan
Mays, a hard-hitting, aggressive, and generally pumped-up, high-energy
young man who will bring fresh enthusiasm to the Winston-Salem, N.C.,
Fall Signing Week '11: Muliawan Heads to Princeton
Many players scan the top 25 rankings before selecting what colleges
they might want to attend. Blue chip senior Amanda Muliawan did the
same, only the rankings she checked were those found in the "U.S. News
& World Report." And once the Wyckoff, N.J., resident visited the
Princeton campus, the choice became a no brainer. She wanted to be a
Fall Signing Week '11: Vinsant an Aggie
Shane Vinsant wanted to have his college decision made a few months
ago. But the blue chip recruit from Texas knew it was something he
couldn't take lightly. He knew how important it was for his future.
He wanted to make a good choice from several strong options, but that
kind of decision can weigh heavily over time. Vinsant has been
feeling a little lighter these days since deciding that Texas A&M
is the place for him.
Fall Signing Week '11: Top Recruit Hardebeck Chooses Stanford
Blue chip recruit Krista Hardebeck has faced several tough choices in
her life. A devoted piano student, she wasn't able to continue her
quest for mastery of that instrument when she began to find success on
the tennis court. Choosing between UCLA and Stanford also proved
difficult, but in the end, what she calls her "lifelong dream" to play
for Stanford won out, and she plans to sign a national letter of intent
to compete for the Cardinal.
Fall Signing Week '11: Redlicki Chooses the Devils
It was the sort of streak that most tennis players can only imagine.
For 30 matches during the summer of 2010, Michael Redlicki was
untouchable, powering his way to prestigious titles at the Claycourts
and Hardcourts. That breakout run opened many doors for the big lefty
from Illinois, and college coaches started calling. Now, Redlicki is
poised to take the next step in his tennis journey and sign an NLI
with Duke University.
Fall Signing Week '11: Elaina Cummer Picks Davidson
The next stop for Elaina Cummer is Davidson, N.C. The five-star
recruit has committed to become a member of the Davidson College
Wildcats tennis team. "[The coaches] are a great pair," said Cummer.
"They seem to be genuinely interested in the girls on the team, and
very intent on getting the best possible results. The girls on the
team are welcoming, fun, and easy to be around."
Fall Signing Week '11: James Boyd a USD Torrero
James Boyd thought he wanted to go far away from home for college. He
thought it would be easier to exert his independence in a new area of
the country. But Boyd eventually discovered there was a diamond
located right in his own backyard. The Rancho Santa Fe resident
couldn't pass up the chance to play for the University of San Diego.
Fall Signing Week '11: Li Stays in New Jersey for Rutgers
Gina Li's search for the right college team led her across the
Northeast, but she ended up landing back in New Jersey at Rutgers
University, an NCAA Division I school. The coaching staff, proximity
to home, and academic reputation of Rutgers convinced the seventeen-year-old
Li to become a Scarlet Knight.
Countdown: Brooke McAmis a True Maroon Cougar
As she began her college search, Brooke McAmis was told by a good
friend that "when you visit a school, you'll just know." And when she
went to the historic College of Charleston, she knew. It was love at
first sight for the five-star athlete and she has decided to make an
Countdown: Garrett Gordon Looks to Improve at Georgia Tech
Garrett Gordon's tip to junior players looking to play college tennis
is not to worry about things you can't control, but he admits he
struggled with his own advice last summer. Earlier this year, worried
about college, he lost twice to unseeded to players in Southern
tournaments. Then, after committing to Georgia Tech, Gordon went off
to Kalamazoo for the Nationals and knocked off two Blue Chip
Countdown: Van Cott Twins to Tulane
Twins Alexander and Ian Van Cott began their search for a college
tennis home with a simple stipulation: They were going someplace warm
and sunny. The 5-star recruits from Unadilla, New York, recently took
a major step toward their shared goal of playing college tennis on
warm, sun-splashed days by verbally committing to attend Tulane
University in New Orleans, Louisiana.
Countdown: Blue Chip prospect Vrabel reflects on commitment to Notre Dame
On the rare occasion when she isn't playing tennis or studying, Blue
Chip recruit Julie Vrabel enjoys art. Don't be surprised if she draws
some four-leaf clovers in the next few years to display her new school
spirit. Vrabel has committed to attend Notre Dame in August and play
for the defending Big East Conference champion Irish.
Countdown: Nicholas Naumann Picks Texas
Nick Naumann has decided to don the Burnt Orange and become a Texas
Longhorn when he signs the National Letter of Intent in November. He
chose Texas without making an official visit, but he planned to make
the trip in late October.
Countdown: Zach Mueck Heads to the Musketeers
Five star recruit Zach Mueck has chosen to stay in his native Ohio and
play for the Xavier Musketeers. The West Chester native won't have
far to travel to the Cincinnati school, which is part of the Atlantic
Countdown: World Traveler Krueger Looks Close to Home for College
Blue chip recruit Mitchell Krueger has seen the world the past two
years, traveling to Malaysia, Australia and throughout Europe to
compete against top competition on the ITF junior circuit. Yet in
selecting a college, the 17-year-old from Aledo, Texas has narrowed
his choices to three schools close to home: Oklahoma, Texas A&M and
Countdown: Watrous Heads to Colorado
Mazy Watrous, a resident of Newport Beach, California, has verbally
committed to the University of Colorado. Playing for the Buffaloes
will give her the chance to play against some of the top players in
the nation since they joined the Pacific-12 Conference. "Having an
opportunity to go to CU and do something for that team would be so
rewarding," said Watrous. "I feel like it's a pivotal time for CU and
I really want to help make a difference."
Countdown: Rinaldi Commits to the Seminoles
The Florida State men's coaching staff didn't have to pull out all the
bells and whistles while recruiting Michael Rinaldi. Rinaldi wanted
to stay close to home - and decided that FSU was the best option.
Once Coach Hultquist called and made him an offer, his answer was easy.
Countdown: Fotopoulos Commits to Lady Vols
Mimi Fotopoulos had one thing on her mind after committing to play for
the University of Tennessee. She wanted to spruce up her wardrobe
with a bright shade of orange. The Lady Vols are hoping to reap even
bigger dividends from Fotopoulos on the court once she arrives in
Knoxville for good next Fall.
Countdown: Alves to the Gauchos
Matthew Alves finally succumbed to the peer pressure. During Alves'
college search, some of his friends and family members were pushing
him to consider attending UC Santa Barbara. He took a visit and had a
"perfect weekend" - enjoying the location, team, and tennis
facilities. Alves is happy to have committed to UCSB - and he is
looking forward to his future with the Gauchos.
Countdown: Kyle McPhillips heads West to UCLA
Kyle McPhillips can hardly wait to hit the courts in sunny Southern
California as a UCLA Bruin freshman next fall. In fact, the blue-chip
recruit from the Cleveland suburb of Willoughby, Ohio, is already
packing her suitcase in her mind's eye.
Countdown: Willenborg Headed to Penn
Athleticism runs in the Willenborg family. Blaine Willenborg is the
latest member of the family to make his mark in the tennis world and
has committed to attend the University of Pennsylvania next year.
Lakeway's Austin Mayo
Austin Mayo, a 17-year-old senior from Lakeway, Texas, was
honored for his drive, hustle and determination during a week-long
training session at the IMG Bollettieri Academy. The 3-Star
recruit and reigning state doubles champion talks tennis with
TRN contributor James Hill.
Bjorn Fratangelo Contemplates His Tennis Future
Until recently, college tennis was certainly the primary option for
top-ranked Bjorn Fratangelo. Although he had achieved great success
as a junior, he had experienced few breakthroughs on the international
or professional stage. Then Fratangelo, unseeded, became the first
American boy to win the French Open junior championship since McEnroe
in 1977. He followed up that performance with several strong Futures
performances, lifting his ATP ranking into the 700s.
Nolan Paige Heads to Palo Alto to Join Cardinal
As a highly prized tennis player, Nolan Paige received phone calls,
letters and Facebook messages from coaches vying for his commitment.
In the end, Paige succumbed to the sincerity and persistence of Head
Coach John Whitlinger and recently committed to Stanford University
before beginning his senior year.
From Judo to Tennis, Luca Corinteli takes the lead
Luca Corinteli has made it to the top of the national rankings and
recently won the title at the USTA National Boys' 16 Clay Courts. It
was his first Gold Ball for singles, but certainly not the only first
prize he's taken. Corinteli has many trophies on his mantle from a
sport that most tennis players know nothing about - Judo.
Harrison Looks Toward College as First Step to Pro Career
Catherine Harrison knows what she wants from her college tennis
experience. The 17-year-old rising senior from suburban Memphis,
Tennessee is seeking a coach and a program that will prepare her for
a career in professional tennis. That's the easy part. The hard part is
deciding among her final three: Duke, Georgia Tech and Virginia.
2012 Commitment: Andrew Korinek a Longhorn
Last summer, seeded 5th at Texas' premier sectional tournament,
Andrew Korinek blew through the 18s division to win the title, firmly
establishing himself as one of the top Texas juniors of his
generation. Shortly afterwards, Texas coach Michael Center offered
Korinek an early scholarship. After discussion with his family,
Korinek accepted - and he will be a Longhorn in the Fall of 2012.
2012 Commitment: Yates an Early Lady of Troy
Ellie Yates has learned that certain acronyms are translated
differently in different parts of the country. Yates, a blue chip
recruit from Mississippi, recently made a verbal commitment to play
tennis at USC. Most locals have assumed she is heading to the
University of South Carolina. But Yates has to correct them. She is
heading to the West Coast to attend the University of Southern
Kowalski Soars with the Eagles
Next fall, Brian Kowalski will become a member of the Emory University
Eagles tennis program when he enrolls at the Atlanta-area institution.
At Emory, the Tampa, Fla., native will play for one of the most
successful teams in NCAA history - while also receiving a quality
Spring Signing Week '11: Scatliffe Heads to UCSB
It would be easy to assume UC Santa Barbara had a huge advantage in
recruiting April Scatliffe. After all, her older sister, Charlotte,
played for the Gauchos and is now an assistant coach for the team.
But the Redlands, Calif., resident thought she wanted to blaze her own
trail at a different school and not be in her sister's shadow. But
the all-encompassing lure of UCSB was too strong to ignore - she
signed to play for the Gauchos.
Spring Signing Week '11: Efferding Returns to Texas to Join Aggies
Jeremy Efferding left Texas for Florida several years ago, but the
blue chip recruit will be back in the Lone Star state for his college
tennis career, having chosen to join Texas A&M University this fall.
Spring Signing Week '11: McCourt Heads to the Tigers
When Zack McCourt first tried tennis lessons at age six, he hated it.
"I absolutely hated it," McCourt said emphatically. "I gave it another
shot when I was nine, and played once or twice a week, but finally
fell in love with it when I was 10." Fast forward eight years and
McCourt, 18, of Sunrise, Florida, is headed to Princeton University.
Spring Signing Week '11: Uberoi to the Bears
The moment she had been anxiously awaiting finally arrived, and Nikita
Uberoi rushed to the computer to learn her fate. Uberoi had committed
to play at Brown University, but she still needed to be officially
admitted. After waiting a few hours for Internet traffic on the
overloaded servers to die down, Nikita and her fraternal twin sister,
Nimita, both read the opening word "Congratulations".
Spring Signing Week '11: Callie Whitlock a Tar
Next fall, Callie Whitlock of Richmond, Va., will soon join the tennis
team at Rollins College in Winter Park, Fla. "I chose Rollins because
it is a beautiful school and a great fit for me," said Callie, a
four-star recruit. "It is a small school, which I think I would
benefit from. And, it is Florida, which is perfect for tennis. I know
the work I have done over the past years has paid off."
Spring Signing Week '11: Diaz Fulfills Lifelong Dream as Buckeye
Blue Chip Christopher Diaz narrowed down his college choices to his
hometown team and his father's alma mater. In the end, he opted to
stay at home in Columbus and be part of Ohio State's athletics, whose
tradition of sports excellence he has known for as long as he can
Spring Signing Week '11: Dancu Signs with DePaul
Joshua Dancu enjoys playing tennis and the drums - but he acknowledges
their differences. "I feel less stress performing drums because a
miscalculation will not cost me a match," said the Florida senior. "As
I have gotten older and more experienced, they each provide a
different type of rush." This fall, Dancu will take both of his talents to
the city of Chicago, where he will compete for the DePaul University Blue
Spring Signing Week '11: Kandinata Arrives at Richmond
From Indonesia to Florida to North Carolina and soon to the University
of Richmond, 16-year-old Melissa Kandinata has acquired a world of
perspective amid her tennis travels. Kandinata, a five-star recruit
ranked 41st among the senior class by TennisRecruiting.net, has
committed to play for the Richmond Spiders in the fall. She's one of
the highest-ranked recruits ever for the Spiders, who have won six of
the last seven Atlantic 10 Conference championships.
Countdown: Hamburg Heads to Gophers
Jack Hamburg describes himself as "a guy from nowhere in South
Dakota," but he's certainly been recognized in the world of tennis.
This 10-time state high school champion is getting ready to bring his
skills a bit further east when he joins the Minnesota Golden Gophers
in the fall.
Countdown: Zabor Rolls with the Tide
Before going on any of her five official visits last fall, 5-Star
recruit Emily Zabor made a spreadsheet that included 16 things that
would appeal to her in a school and tennis team. While she liked all
five schools that she visited, one stood out. In Novemeber, Zabor
signed with Alabama.
Countdown: Wolfpack Welcomes Ronald Powell
At the start of his junior year, Ronald Powell got some alarming news
- he had torn cartilage in his wrist that would require surgical
repair. Two surgeries and ten months of rehab later, Powell would
return to the court and start to regain his tennis form. This past
fall, Powell decided to play his college tennis in Raleigh, N.C., with
Coach Choboy and the N.C. State Wolfpack.
Countdown: UCLA Welcomes Kaitlin Ray
Growing up in Little Rock, Arkansas, Kaitlin Ray got serious about her
tennis at age 11. When her enormous potential for the sport began to
materialize, Ray's tennis journey kicked into high gear. That journey
has taken her through Smith Stearns in South Carolina - on her way to
college tennis at UCLA this coming fall.
Countdown: Wood to the Stags
Warren Wood wasn't concerned about perceived status symbols. He
didn't want to attend a Division I institution simply to brag about
playing at that level. Wood was most concerned about finding the
right all-around fit for his game, his happiness and his future.
That's why the Del Mar, Calif., resident decided to play tennis for
Claremont-Mudd-Scripps, a Division III program in Southern California.
Countdown: Cypers Joins Amherst with Eye Toward Titles
Four-star recruit Jonathan Cypers has a variety of reasons for
selecting Division III Amherst for his higher education, with
location, academics, and friendship among them. But the first one the
18-year-old New Yorker mentions is the tennis dream of many college
players - a chance to win a national title.
Countdown: Martin Hooked by Horns
Next August, Alex Martin will be flashing the "Hook 'Em Horns" sign
when the five-star recruit becomes a member of the Texas Longhorns
women's tennis team. Martin was attracted to Texas by the school and
tennis program - but the clincher was the chance to get to play for
sixth-year Texas head coach Patty Fendick-McCain, a former collegiate
and pro tennis star.
Countdown: Denis Nguyen Heads to Cambridge
Attending Harvard always seemed like more than just a dream to Denis
Nguyen. The five-star recruit considered the possibility a complete
fantasy. But it's become very real for Nguyen since he made a verbal
commitment to play tennis for the Crimson.
Countdown: Buell Heads Off to the Generals
During her junior year in 2009, Meghan Buell and her partner won the
Ohio state doubles title. That caught the attention of several
college coaches, including Eric Ishida, head coach at Washington and
Lee. In early 2011, after a phone call and an official visit, Buell
verbally committed to the Generals.
Capra Chooses Duke for Transition to Professional Career
Reaching the third round of the US Open is rarely considered a
problem for a teenager with a WTA ranking in the 300s. But Beatrice
Capra's success last year in New York presented her with an obvious
opportunity to reconsider her commitment to attending college. When
all was said and done, Capra signed a National Letter of Intent to
play for the Duke Blue Devils in 2011-12, where she aims to polish her
game while preparing for a career in pro tennis.
Jasmine Minor Heads to Georgia Tech
Throughout her junior tennis years, Jasmine Minor has always been a
strong player. There never seemed to be a doubt that she would have a
wide range of top colleges to choose from, but she ran into some
obstacles just before her senior year. Those obstacles did not
dissuade Georgia Tech Coach Bryan Shelton, however. Minor recently
committed to play for Shelton's Yellow Jackets in Atlanta.
Recent U.Va. signee Mitchell Frank cherishes practice with Federer
Though he has won plenty of significant matches and championships in
his budding career, one of Mitchell Frank's best tennis memories is a
practice. His practice partner? None other than Roger Federer.
Frank, who recently signed to become the University of Virginia's
latest blue-chip recruit, got to conduct the workout of a lifetime at
last year's U.S. Open.
Giron to UCLA in 2011
17-year-old high school senior Marcos Giron is the latest in a line of
top junior tennis players to emerge from Thousand Oaks, Calif. Like
many of those coming before him, the Blue Chip recruit has committed
to play college tennis at a Pac-10 program. On November 10, Giron
signed a letter of intent to play at for the UCLA Bruins next Fall.
Fall Signing Week '10: Giuliana Olmos Chooses the Trojans
Giuliana Olmos was planning to take a year off and play professionally
once she graduated from high school. But after the NCAA instituted a
rule change that allows players to only take six months off without
penalty, Olmos changed her mind. A whirlwind six-week recruiting
process came to a happy conclusion for Olmos last week when the
Fremont, Calif., native committed to play for USC.
Fall Signing Week '10: New Yorker Tahir Bound for Durham
The very modest Jason Tahir didn't think he was good enough to make
the Duke team so he set his eyes elsewhere. This week, however, the
blue-chip recruit, whose tennis skills and accomplishments speak
louder than the young man himself, will sign a Letter of Intent with
the Blue Devils.
Fall Signing Week '10: Withrow an Aggie in Maroon and White
College could not come any sooner for Jackson Withrow, the nation's
10th-ranked player. The blue-chip recruit from Cornhusker country has
committed to play for the Aggies of A&M and is scheduled to be in
Texas by January 2011.
Fall Signing Week '10: Emina Bektas Heads to Ann Arbor
In her young life, Emina Bektas has lived in Germany, Indianapolis,
and the Texas Hill Country. Next year, she will make one more trip,
to Ann Arbor, Mich. Emina plans to become a member of the Michigan
Wolverines women's tennis team - and she plans to sign her National
Letter of Intent this week.
Fall Signing Week '10: Chappell to the Horned Frogs
After a flurry of college coaches came knocking on his door, Nick
Chappell finally narrowed his choice to the last two. The
seventh-ranked junior's ultimate goal is to play and succeed on the
professional tennis circuit. His college choice came down to who can
best help him achieve that goal. The man for the job, he thought, was
David Roditi, the newly-hired coach of the TCU Horned Frogs and former
junior Davis Cup captain.
Fall Signing Week '10: Caroline Price to Wear Carolina Blue
Before Caroline Price made her decision to join the North Carolina Tar
Heels, she followed the advice of her father - she made several
unofficial visits during her junior year, then took official visits to
four schools this fall. I asked Caroline in email and phone
interviews about her recent decision to join the University of North
Carolina in fall of 2011.
Fall Signing Week '10: Stineman Heads to The Farm
Robert Stineman said balancing academics and tennis has been the
guiding factor in his life. After considering prestigious schools
like Harvard and Yale, the 17-year-old senior from Winnetka,
Ill. plans to continue that balancing act at Stanford University.
Fall Signing Week '10: Flores to the Utes, PAC-10
Two years ago, Danielle Flores sat by her father's hospital bed
conveying her lifetime goals and tennis aspirations. Just like she
vowed, she will be signing a letter of intent tomorrow to play for the
University of Utah. "My dad would have been ecstatic," Flores said.
"He loved tennis so much, and would always call me to ask how I was
doing in tournaments and watched me play when he could. I know that he
would be overjoyed and really proud of me."
Fall Signing Week '10: Amber Li a Yale Bulldog
Five-star recruit Amber Li had just returned from an official visit
when the phone rang in her Tampa, Fla., home. It was Danielle
McNamara, the women's coach at Yale University, calling to arrange a
visit during a family trip to Florida. Yale was already one of Li's
top college choices. And a few days after her dinner with Coach
McNamara, it was Li's only choice.
Countdown: Santamaria Heads to USC
If Sabrina Santamaria wants something badly, she doesn't sit back and
wait for someone else to make the first move. Santamaria knew the
University of Southern California was her top choice, so she emailed
head coach Richard Gallien with her playing schedule and past results.
Gallien came to watch Santamaria play a short time later, and
eventually offered her a scholarship.
Countdown: Cotrone Commits Early
When it came to choosing a college, Cotrone wanted a big atmosphere, a
nice campus, a warm climate, teammates he meshed with and coaches he
admired. One trip to Tallahassee, Fla., was all he needed to make a
decision. "I had four or five official visits lined up, and FSU was
my first one," said Cotrone, 17. After he got back from Florida State,
he called the other coaches to tell them he wasn't going to be coming.
Countdown: Dennis Mkrtchian Decides on UCLA
When Mkrtchian was 6 1/2 years old, his family decided to go hit
tennis balls at the courts near its house in Reseda, California.
Nobody had any background in the sport, but Mkrtchian's parents
figured it would be a fun way to spend a few hours together. Fast
forward 11 years - and Mkrtchian has verbally committed to play
college tennis at one of the premier schools in the country.
Countdown: Like Jensen, 2011 Orange Have Star Power
Luke Jensen arrived at Syracuse University in 2006 with an ambitious
vision for the women's tennis program: He wanted his players to become
serious contenders on the pro circuit, but also leave with an academic
degree that provided a future after their playing careers. With
things playing out according to script, Jensen has received verbal
commitments from four highly-ranked seniors that are at the same time
dazzled by his star power - and not cowed by his demanding program.
Countdown: Blue Chip Turewicz Selects Blue Devils
When Monica Turewicz took an unofficial visit to Duke University in
May, she felt an instant bond. Although it was the first of three such
visits she was planning to make, her experience in Durham set the bar.
"They were really welcoming," said Turewicz. "They're all so together
and the team spirit's really good." In just a couple of weeks,
Turewicz plans to sign an NLI with the Duke Blue Devils.
Countdown: Newman to Continue Comeback at Florida
When it comes to tennis, expect the unexpected. Just ask blue-chip
recruit Spencer Newman. After a change in schools that hindered his
practice time - and after significant injuries that left him with
screws in his legs - nothing would surprise him. But Newman is excited
to take his place as a member of Coach Jackson's Florida Gators in the
Fall of 2011.
Countdown: Gregory Scott to UCSB
For young tennis players, growing up in Southern California has a lot
of advantages. Great weather, a lengthy assortment of tournaments
month after month and plenty of strong competition. Blue Chip senior
Greg Scott of Manhattan Beach, Calif., has decided to stay in the
Golden State for college at UC Santa Barbara.
Countdown: Megan Horter to Baylor
The Baylor Bears have a recent tradition of being both a top-five
program - and a team dominated by foreign tennis players. They have
not had an American or Texas girl on scholarship in years. It takes a
special kind of recruit to step in and break that trend - and that's
exactly what they will be getting in 5-Star recruit Megan Horter.
Countdown: Xepoleas to the Boilermakers
As a blue chip recruit, Lynda Xepoleas had quite a choice of where to
go to school. When she narrowed down her list of schools, the finalists
came as a surprise to some. This Southern California girl skipped the
PAC-10 and decided to go to the Midwest - specifically Purdue.
Lynda Xepoleas article placeholder.
Countdown: Anteaters Get Jung
Jacob Jung did not always plan to go to college - he thought his path
in tennis would lead him straight to the pros. But an elbow injury that kept
him off the court for a year and altered his perspective. Jung has to decided
to attend a college close to home, making a verbal commitment to Coach Trevor
Kronemann and the UC Irvine Anteaters.
Countdown: Jeremiah a Cowgirl
Mary Jeremiah's college invitations would turn almost anyone green
with envy. But, after checking out colleges throughout the South
Central and Southeastern United States, the blue chip senior decided
to wear the orange and black of a Cowgirl.
Countdown: Three Top Recruits to C of C
Three top recruits from the Southeast have given verbal commitments to
become members of the College of Charleston women's tennis team.
Joining 2009 ITA Southeast Coach of the Year Angelo Anastopoulo are
Samantha Maddox (Lexington, Ky.), Jenny Falcone (Davidson, N.C.), and
Grace Baker (Charlotte, N.C.). The three highly-rated recruits all plan
to sign with the Cougars as soon as possible in the Fall Signing
Countdown: Johnson Heads South to USC
Eric Johnson was only 3 1/2 years old when he wandered into his
family's garage and discovered an old tennis racket. He began hitting
balls against a wall, and realized how much he enjoyed the process.
Fast forward several years, and the San Jose, Calif., native enjoyed
competing - and having success - in national events. Johnson, a Blue
Chip senior, should have plenty of opportunity to continue that
success with his college choice.
Countdown: Koch in Garnet and Black
Although seventeen-year-old Kyle Koch headed into his senior year of
high school with a solid tennis resume, the 6-foot-3 South Carolinian
expected stiff competition for a coveted NCAA Division-I tennis
scholarship. But Koch's big game had caught the eye of Josh Goffi,
the recently-hired coach at South Carolina. Within weeks of Goffi's
arrival, Koch announced his verbal commitment to stay in-state and
play for the Gamecocks.
Sock Weighs Options After Winning U.S. Open Boys Championship
"What are your plans for deciding between college and professional
tennis?" From his first U.S. Open press conference after an opening
round main draw loss to Marco Chiudinelli of Switzerland, through the
final press conference following his boys' singles championship 12
days later, Jack Sock has been asked over and over again about his
tennis future. Colette Lewis sat down with Sock in New York...
Atlanta's Pasha Commits to Georgia Bulldogs
It wasn't the program's storied history of tennis excellence, or a
conversation with former Bulldog John Isner, currently in the ATP Top
20, that led to blue chip Nathan Pasha's verbal commitment to the
University of Georgia. Instead, it was the opportunity to be close to
his family while working toward a professional tennis career that had
the rising senior from Atlanta deciding to head to nearby Athens.
Recruiting Profile: Katie Goepel
During her preteen years, five star recruit Katie Goepel found
contentment hitting tennis balls against the garage door of the family
home. Those countless hours have helped give the 17-year-old from
Chatham, New Jersey plenty of options. A straight-A student, Goepel
received a dozen or so calls from college coaches on July 1, and she
is now reviewing her list of possible schools.
Nicholas Baez: Bienvenidos a Barcelona
Nicholas Baez could not have imagined that a leisurely European
vacation would drastically change the course of his young life. In
July 2010, Baez and his mother will move to Spain so he can train
full-time at the Academia Sanchez-Casal in Barcelona. Ali Jones talked
with the Baez family about this significant move.
Egger Will Join Washington Huskies in 2011
Emmett Egger is comfortable on the road - playing tennis on several
continents while living and training in Florida and Texas. But when
it came time to consider his college options, the Issaquah, Washington
native kept the University of Washington high on his list. Last
month, Egger verbally committed to join Matt Anger's Huskies in the
fall of 2011.
Tucker Tennis Sends off Eight Seniors to Division I
Trent Tucker wants to regain Tulsa's old glory. Tulsa was once known
as the "Oil Capital of the World" with numerous gushers spitting oil.
But Tucker is not digging for black gold. Instead, he's planting
seeds of tennis. His 2010 harvest has been bountiful: eight of his
students have signed on to play Division I tennis - to Cornell, Duke,
Florida, Iowa, Marquette, Oklahoma, OSU and UMKC.
Herring Commits to Georgia for 2011
It was love at first sight for blue chip Lauren Herring when she
stepped on the campus of the University of Georgia last October. The
rising senior recently made a verbal commitment to the Bulldogs,
becoming Coach Wallace's first commitment for 2011.
Spring Signing Week '10: Katherine Oudin a Paladin
Katherine Oudin, one of the top unsigned high school senior girls, is
going to the University of Furman. An honor student at The Walker
School in Marietta, Ga., Oudin will give Furman two top-100 recruits,
the most in the Southern Conference.
Spring Signing Week '10: Grant Commits to the Trojans
Michael Grant, a five-star recruit from Santa Barbara, Calif., will
sign an NLI with the University of Southern California Trojans men's
tennis team - the defending NCAA Division I champions. Grant, a
native of London who moved to the U.S. in 2004 with his family, plans
to join a tennis-rich school which holds 17 NCAA team titles.
Spring Signing Week '10: Aaron Pfister to Michigan State
To tennis aficionados around Flint, Michigan, Aaron Pfister is a
familiar name. His two consecutive state singles championships
resulted in him being named "Mr. Tennis" by the Michigan High School
Tennis Coaches Association - and Player of the Year by The Flint
Journal for the second straight year. Next year, Pfister will be
in Green and White as a Michigan State Spartan.
Spring Signing Week '10: Courter an OSU Cowgirl
From the rich vein running through Georgia's tennis landscape that
produces top-quality gems, another sparkler from Lawrenceville has
been unearthed. Five-star Julia Courter is off to Stillwater,
Oklahoma, for further polishing.
Spring Signing Week '10: Top Californians Commit to UC Davis
In January, the University of California-Davis women's tennis program
was ranked No. 18 among the 2010 recruiting classes. UC Davis coach
Bill Maze is especially pleased with his three recruits, all who hail
from California. Joining the Aggies program in the fall are Kelly
Chui, Nicole Koehly and Megan Heneghan.
Spring Signing Week '10: Davis Signs with Seminoles
Blue chip Blake Davis looks back on last year's USTA Boys 18 Clay
Court championships as an important moment in his college search.
Unseeded in Delray Beach, Davis went on to reach the quarterfinals in
the main draw and the consolation final, results that confirmed both
the health of his surgically-repaired knee and his position as one of
the nation's top recruits. This week, Davis will sign a NLI to continue
his career with the Florida State Seminoles.
Spring Signing Week '10: Jerjomina Rounds Out Georgia's Class
With no more than four of its current players returning, the
University of Georgia women's tennis team would be excused with a
rebuilding year in 2010-2011. Just don't count on it. Next year, the
Bulldogs welcome a trio of blue chip prospects. Following the winter
signings of Lilly Kimbell and Kate Fuller, head coach Jeff Wallace
inked another Athens-bound athlete in Alina Jerjomina.
Spring Signing Week '10: Joey Fritz to Amherst
Joey Fritz is a modern-day Renaissance man. An excellent student,
pianist, and tennis player, the five-star recruit makes sure his life
is in balance and has his priorities set: school always comes first.
When it came time to pick colleges, he gravitated toward smaller
schools with strong academic traditions. Fritz selected Amherst as
his college destination.
Spring Signing Week '10: Ariel Morton goes Tiger
Ariel Morton of Spring, Texas, is one of the hardest hitters in junior
tennis despite her diminutive size - 5-foot-4 and 108 pounds. "I
don't realize I'm small," Morton said. "Most people have to tell me."
Ranked No. 43 nationally among high school seniors, Morton wrapped up
her recruiting process in November when she accepted an offer from
Louisiana State University.
Countdown: Anicete an Owl
When 5-Star senior Kim Anicete started thinking about college, it
really came down to two things: she needed someplace close to home,
and she needed a school that would get her ready for medical school.
She has easily found both - and will enroll this fall to play for coach
Elizabeth Schmidt and the Rice Owls.
Countdown: Army Strong on the Courts, Too
In January, the Black Knights of the United States Military Academy
were voted one of the Top 10 recruiting classes for the Class of 2010.
Army has developed a strong tradition in the Patriot League, winning
nine titles and appearing in the conference championship match 15
times in the 16 seasons. Strong recruiting may lead to even loftier
goals for the Cadets.
Countdown: Kissell Follows Own Road to N.C. State
When Joelle Kissell thinks of tennis, she can't help but think of
family. Her older sister, Michaela, plays No. 1 singles at Marshall,
and many expected the younger sister to commit to the Thundering Herd.
But when the press release announcing her decision hit the wire on
December 11, it came from Raleigh, N.C. - Joelle Kissell had committed
to the N.C. State Wolfpack.
Countdown: Fournier Signs with Texas Tech
Haley Fournier of Leawood, Kan., is a two-sport athlete who has signed
a letter of intent with the Texas Tech University Red Raiders.
Fournier, a key member of four championship teams for Blue Valley
North H.S., signed her NLI in tennis, but she still loves both sports
- and she hopes to walk on to the Tech soccer team.
Countdown: Alex Rovello playing at an Elite Level
One of Oregon's greatest high school tennis champions is staying close
to home as Alex Rovello of Portland's Cleveland High School announced
that he'll be an Oregon Duck.
Countdown: Mamalat a Marquette Golden Eagle
When 5-Star senior Daniil Mamalat finished up his junior year, he
started to look around at colleges - including Indiana, Penn State,
and Marquette. The more he learned about Marquette, the better he
liked it. Finally, he signed on.
American Andrews brings home European trophies
Blue chip Gabrielle Andrews barely had time to return to her
California home to rest on her 2009 Winter Nationals laurels. Almost
immediately, the 13-year-old champion was on the road again,
representing the United States in two of the most prestigious European
junior tournaments: Aegon Teen Tennis and Les Petit As. That trip
was a very successful one.
Floridian Blackwell Headed to Nebraska
Coach Kerry McDermott and his Nebraska men's tennis team will have the
services of a Florida player next season. Tom Blackwell has signed a
letter of intent, and will join the Huskers squad in 2010. The
nationally ranked Floridian is the first player from the Sunshine
State to play for the Big Red since 1992.
Top Two Oklahomans Sooners To Be
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.
Fall Signing Week '09: Kimbell Continues On-and-Off Court Education at Georgia
It was only fitting that, after bucking the odds as both a high school
and junior tennis star, Lilly Kimbell chose college over the pros.
That was a simple decision. Deciding among Florida State, North
Carolina, Texas, Illinois and Georgia... now that took some thinking.
Ultimately, the 5'7" right-hander chose to cross the country and
attend the University of Georgia next fall.
Fall Signing Week '09: Katz Chooses the Quakers
Five-star recruit Zachary Katz has made the decision to head East to
play college tennis for the Pennsylvania Quakers. His coach, the
legendary Rick Macci, thinks it is a great fit. Zach is very bright
and will get a super education," Macci said. "He can be a top Ivy
League singles and doubles player right away."
Fall Signing Week '09: Santa Clara's Mills Recruits Lamble
Santa Clara University men's tennis coach Derek Mills tackles
recruiting with the same competitive spirit he does a dual match. He
is undeterred as he goes after his targets. The results speak for
themselves. Last year's recruiting class was ranked, and the 2010
class starts off with Blue Chip recruit John Lamble.
Fall Signing Week '09: Dream Come True as Mengel Picks Duke
Thanksgiving is fast approaching but Chris Mengel couldn't wait until
Nov. 26 to share his gratitude. In revealing his commitment to play
tennis at Duke, the blue-chip Pittsburgh prospect thanked everyone
from Craig Perry, his coach of eight years, to the International
Tennis Academy, where Mengel spent the first half of 2009 honing his
strokes. Friends, family and the staff at Pittsburgh's Shady Side
Academy rounded out Mengel's thank-you list.
Fall Signing Week '09: Kosakowski Decides
The pull of a close-knit family and a university's athletic and
academic tradition made Daniel Kosakowski's college choice easy. The
native Californian with strong Polish roots will stay in Los Angeles
and don the blue and gold of the UCLA Bruins.
Fall Signing Week '09: Cercone Stays in Home State, Signs with Gators
Back when she was playing zonals and intersectionals for the Florida
section, Alexandra Cercone loved the team atmosphere at those junior
competitions. She treasured the bonds formed by the team t-shirts and
well-rehearsed cheers. And although college tennis may mean bigger
audiences for that team spirit, her decision to sign a National Letter
of Intent to join the University of Florida in 2010 will keep that
Florida pride in full view.
Fall Signing Week '09: Mira to the Commodores
Maria Mira, with her grit, determination, and serve-and-volley game is
heading to Tennessee next fall to wear the black and gold of the
Vanderbilt Commodores. "I chose Vanderbilt based on the following
factors: the small student population, its academic excellence and
topnotch tennis program with a great coaching staff and its beautiful
campus in the heart of Nashville."
Fall Signing Week '09: Hold That Hilsman
Five-star recruit Cal Hilsman will officially don the orange-and-white
jersey at Clemson this coming January, and he can't wait for the day
to come. "It was a no-brainer," he said about his decision to go to
Clemson, less than two hours from his home in Spartanburg, S.C. "It
just felt right. I really think that this is the best environment for
me to grow not only as a tennis player but as a person. It is close
to home and close to heart."
Countdown: Smyth to the 'Cats
Blue Chip Lacey Smyth had numerous suitors vying for her commitment:
Colorado, Pepperdine, San Diego and Washington. Ultimately, her heart
went to Arizona. "I chose Arizona [because of its] supportive
coaching staff, the cohesiveness of the team, and the career
opportunities available at the University," said the #3-ranked
Countdown: Dolehide Heads West to UCLA
It's hard to imagine anyone being more excited than Brian Dolehide
when his big sister, Courtney, verbally committed to UCLA. Courtney
Dolehide and her brother visited UCLA together, and that visit made an
impact. "That is when I fell in love with the school," she said.
"It's such a great academic school and it is so sports-oriented.
There is so much spirit around being a Bruin, and I am just really
excited about that part of it."
Countdown: Saba to the Devils
Frederick Saba was 13 when Nick Saviano told him that full-time
dedication to tennis would make him one of the elite players in the
country. At the time, Saba wasn't even an elite player in his native
Florida. Now, Saba is the No. 5 player in TennisRecruiting.net's
class of 2010. He will sign with Duke later this month.
Countdown: Ann Arbor Welcomes Bolender
17-year-old Brooke Bolender already has a number of significant
victories, including wins over Sloane Stephens, Christina McHale, and
Chanelle Van Nguyen. She owns a Gold Ball from a USTA championship,
and she reached the finals in both singles and doubles at the
International Grass Court Championships in June. Next year, Bolender will
be wearing the maize and blue of the University of Michigan.
Countdown: Cheung Calls Irvine Home
One goal of every major college coach is to keep talented local
recruits in their own backyard. For Ryan Cheung, that is literally
almost the case at the University of California, Irvine.
Countdown: Tigers Take Three
Three highly-ranked recruits from Florida, Georgia and Alabama have
given verbal commitments to become members of the Auburn University Tigers
women's tennis team. Jackie Kasler of Gulf Breeze, Fla.; Julia
Courter of Lawrenceville, Ga.; and Emily Newton of Dothan, Ala.; will
all play for head coach Tim Gray in Auburn, Ala.
Countdown: Shane chooses Cavaliers
Justin Shane enjoyed seeing a tall, slender young man named Juan
Martin del Potro make his big breakthrough at the U.S. Open. Shane, a
tall, slender young man from Falls Church, Va., hopes his big
breakthrough will come with the University of Virginia Cavaliers.
Countdown: Millie Nichols Commits to Tennessee
Millie Nichols, a Texas high school singles champion, has decided to
become a Volunteer. The Lake Travis star told the husband-wife
coaching team of Mike and Sonia Hahn-Patrick that she is headed to
Knoxville next fall.
Countdown: Hanna Mar Remains a Devil
Hanna Mar's college mascot will be no different from her high
school's, except for its color: she's trading her Hinsdale Central Red
Devils for Duke University's Blue Devils. "I visited a number of
schools and there was just a feeling I had at Duke," said Mar.
Countdown: Alden Stays Close to Home, Chooses Illinois
University of Illinois Head Coach Brad Dancer didn't look far for his
first Class of 2010 recruit. It was hard for him to miss Brian Alden,
a 6'5" five-star prospect from Inverness, Ill. The Fighting Illini
featured four players from the Prairie State in 2009, so Alden should
feel right at home in Champaign, even if it is a three-hour drive from
Davis Gains Stature in New York
Top-ranked sophomore Lauren Davis decided to defend her USTA National
Girls 16s title in San Diego this year - in part to return to the
biggest stage in U.S. tennis - Flushing Meadows, New York. Having played
only three ITF junior events in her tennis career, Davis needed the US
Open Junior wild card given to the 16s champion, and once she secured
it, without dropping a set in her seven victories, she was ready for
her second chance in New York.
Capra Considers Options While Enjoying Junior Grand Slam Success
Blue chip senior Beatrice Capra loves to write, keeping a journal of
her experiences as she travels the tennis circuit. This summer, the
class of 2010's third-ranked player reached the final 16 in all three
junior slams, concluding with a quarterfinal appearance at the U.S.
Open. With that kind of success, writer's block isn't likely, and she
provided some of her impressions during a recent interview.
On Serve with Heather Watson
By now, you probably know Heather Watson as the U.S. Open Junior
girls' champion. But how much do you really know about the
17-year-old IMG Bollettieri Tennis Academy student originally from the
tiny island of Guernsey, just south of the United Kingdom?
Lords of the Strings
Joshua Rey talks with the talented trio of junior players in the Lord
family of Bloomfield, Conn. - Matthew (10 years old), Melissa (12),
and Dayna (14).
Texas and Texas A&M Recruiting Classes
When it comes to college tennis in Texas, there are plenty of solid
men's programs within the state. Texas has reached the semifinals in
three of the last four years, including the championship match in
2008, while Baylor won it all in 2004 and lost in the finals in 2005.
Texas A&M is on the rise, reaching the Sweet 16 this season. Rice, TCU
and Texas A&M-Corpus Christi are always in the tournament. This past
recruiting season saw Texas (#3) and Texas A&M (#18) with recruiting
classes in the top-20. How good are these classes?
Will Heads Florida's Way
Blue chip recruit Allie Will had two decisions to make during her
senior year. The 18-year-old from Boca Raton, Fla. was debating both
where and when she would attend college, deciding late last year on
the University of Florida, and early last month that she would not
take a year off, but instead join the Gators this fall.