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Fall Signing Week '14: Overview and Blue Chip Update

At long last the Countdown is over, and Signing Week has arrived. This Wednesday, November 12th, is Signing Day: the first day that high school seniors can formally commit to a Division I or Division II tennis program. We have been counting down the days for the past month, but now we switch to our Signing Week coverage.

In this first article, we take a look at our schedule for the week, and we also update you on the status of the Blue Chips.


Signing Week Schedule

All week, TennisRecruiting.net will bring you new features on the seniors. These articles will run in addition to our usual content - the Class Rankings List and RPI rankings that we publish from Tuesday through Friday.

Take a look at our coverage schedule - and then get up-to-date on the Blue Chips...


Blue Chip Update

Quite a few of our Blue Chips recruits - boys and girls - had made progress towards their college decisions when we checked in with them in October. Thirty of the 57 Blue Chip athletes - fifteen boys and fifteen girls - had made commitments.

We have been trying to contact the undecideds in the meantime, and today we take one last look at their status before the big day on Wednesday. Several recruits have narrowed their lists, some are thinking seriously about deferring college for a year or turning professional, and a few more have announcements scheduled. Let's take a look at the lists...


Girls' Status

The table below shows the updated status of the Blue Chip recruits. The Commitment column shows whether the recruit has made a verbal commitment or is undecided, while the Interests column indicates schools of interest.

Gabrielle Andrews CA UCLA UCLA
Jessie Aney MN North Carolina North Carolina
Sophie Chang MD Virginia Virginia
Andie Daniell GA Alabama Alabama
Francesca Dilorenzo OH Announcing 11/12 Ohio State, Virginia, UCLA
Katharine Fahey NJ Michigan Michigan
Jessica Failla CA USC USC
Jessica Golovin NY LSU LSU
Ellyse Hamlin CT Duke Duke
Jessica Ho PA Duke Duke
Mia Horvit FL   Open
Dasha Ivanova OR   Open
Andrea Kevakian CA Deciding Soon California, Duke, Florida, Northwestern, Stanford, UCLA, USC
Gabriela Knutson CA Syracuse Florida State, Miami (FL), Pepperdine, Syracuse
Caroline Lampl VA Announcing 11/12 Duke, Stanford, Vanderbilt, Virginia
Alexandra Letzt AZ USC USC
Melissa Lord CT Stanford Stanford
Star Makarome FL Columbia Columbia
Kaitlyn McCarthy NC Duke Duke
Brienne Minor IL Michigan Michigan, Northwestern, UCLA
Bianca Moldovan MI N.C. State N.C. State
Erica Oosterhout FL   California, Princeton, Stanford, Virginia, Florida
Chloe Ouellet-Pizer NC North Carolina North Carolina
Kennedy Shaffer OH Georgia Georgia
Amy Yang GA Announcing 11/14 Harvard, Princeton, Yale
Kimberly Yee NV Announcing 11/13 Duke, Florida, Harvard, Penn, Princeton, Stanford, UCLA
Joanna Zalewski NJ   Open

Trio of Commits

Three more Blue Chip girls have declared their commitments - Melissa Lord, Gabriela Knutson, and Bianca Moldovan.

Lord, a top-ten senior from Connecticut, who went 4-0 without dropping a set at the USTA Girls 18 National Team Championships, has declared her commitment to Stanford University.

Knutson, a Blue Chip senior from Sacramento, Calif., has decided to head across the country to Syracuse, N.Y., to play for new head coach Younes Limam at Syracuse University.


Meanwhile, Bianca Moldovan, the No. 1 recruit from the state of Michigan, liked what she heard from Simon Earnshaw, the new coach of the N.C. State Wolfpack.

"I am very excited about the coaches at NCSU - and the potential of the program," said Moldovan. "I knew I wanted to go some place where the main focus would be tennis. With four scholarships available for 2015, a head coach that has a ton of experience and has won nine NCAA championships in Division II, and an assistant coach that had a great college career finishing No. 4 in the collegiate rankings, I believe NCSU will soon become a top-ranked program where I can improve to my fullest potential as a player and as a person."

Earnshaw, who was named women's head coach in May, comes to N.C. State after a dominant run at Armstrong Atlantic State in Savannah, Ga., where he coached both the men's and women's programs to national titles. Earnshaw was able to strike quickly on the recruiting trail - Moldovan is the first Blue Chip recruit to commit to the Wolfpack since Tennis Recruiting started rating junior players in 2005.

Moldovan liked what the coaches had to say.

"The coaching staff is great," she said. "They are very supportive of their players and will tell them exactly what they need to do to get to the next level.

"What I liked best was their hunger for success. I could tell they have the same aspirations I have. They know what it takes to be at the top - and they know it will be possible only with hard work and a determined mindset."

Moldovan has been dominant in USTA/Midwest tournaments and beyond - reaching the finals day of her events and winning several titles at sectional, national, and ITF events.

The Blue Chip senior is excited to head to Raleigh next year and get started.

"My goal for freshman year is to support, fight, and win for my team. I want to help the team reach the goals we set up for ourselves. One of my personal goals is to establish myself in the collegiate rankings."


Lord, Knutson, and Moldovan will be joined this week by four more Blue Chip seniors making commitment announcements. Francesca Dilorenzo (New Albany, Ohio) and Caroline Lampl (Bluemont, Va.) both make their announcements Wednesday on Signing Day, while Kimberly Yee (Las Vegas, Nevada) and Amy Yang (Alpharetta, Ga.) keep things going on Thursday and Friday, respectively.


Boys' Status

Below we see the status for the Blue Chip boys. The table uses the same format as the girls' table above.

Kalman Boyd CA USC USC
Liam Caruana TX Texas Texas
Adrian Chamdani CA Duke Duke
Jack DeVine FL   Open
Yancy Dennis MD South Carolina South Carolina
Walker Duncan GA Georgia Georgia
Mark Epshteyn-Losev FL   Open
Michael Genender CA Stanford Stanford
Jacob Hansen TX Rice Rice
McClain Kessler GA Florida Florida
Cameron Klinger CA Announcing 11/14 Alabama, Notre Dame, Texas, Vanderbilt
Anudeep Kodali NC   Open
Sameer Kumar IN Stanford Stanford
Alexander Lebedev NY Notre Dame Notre Dame
Vincent Lin IL Duke Duke
Catalin Mateas MA Duke Duke
Eduardo Nava CA   Open
Reilly Opelka FL   Florida, Georgia, TCU, Virginia
Tommy Paul NJ   Open
Alfredo Perez FL   Open
Victor Pham CA Columbia Columbia
Emil Reinberg GA Georgia Georgia, Texas
Alex Rybakov FL   Open
Robert Seby AZ Announcing 11/13 Open
Kyle Seelig PA Ohio State Ohio State
Logan Smith CA   Open
Dan Stefan FL Announcing 11/12 Michigan, North Carolina, Vanderbilt
Dennis Uspensky NY Considering a Gap Year Open

Dennis a Gamecock

There are no newly-announced commitments, but we did get the chance to catch up with Maryland's Yancy Dennis - who committed to South Carolina right before our last check-in with the boys.

Yancy Dennis is heading to South Carolina
© Bill Kallenberg, CapturedInAction.com
The biggest factor that went into Dennis' decision was the coaching staff.

"During my visit, I was able to relate to the players on the team quite well," said Dennis. "But more importantly, [Head Coach Josh Goffi] played a huge factor - along with [Assistant Coach Ryan Young]. Both were very professional - and were interested in me not only as a tennis player but also as a person."

The Blue Chip senior, who won five straight three-set matches this past May to win a National Selection Tournament, felt many connections with the coaches.

"I like that the coaching staff wants to get to know me inside and out in order to bring the best out of me," said Dennis. "They are very focused on improving my game - and personalizing my development as a player. And since there are only eight players on the team, their coaching staff can spend more individual time with the players."

Dennis believes that South Carolina will help him continue to hone his craft - while striving to reach som lofty goals.

"I want to improve my tennis game significantly in order to progress toward my goal of becoming a professional player - while maintaining at least a 3.5 GPA," said Dennis. "I also want to contribute as many wins as I can for the team - and for the team to finish inside the Top 10 by the end of my freshman year."


Later this week, Dennis will be joined by at least three more Blue Chip seniors making their own commitments. On Signing Day, we get a commitment from Dan Stefan (St. Petersburg, Fla.). Fellow seniors Robert Seby (Oro Valley, Ariz.) and Cameron Klinger (Elk Grove, Calif.) follow up with their announcements on Thursday and Friday, respectively.


Signing Week Continues...

Signing Week is just getting started, and we have two more articles for you today. Come by at 2pm Eastern / 11am Pacific for recruiting advice from Marcia Frost on how early to engage with the recruiting process. Later on at 6pm Eastern / 3pm Pacific, James Hill profiles the Notre Dame recruit Grayson Broadus.

And make sure to come by the website all week for much more. Tomorrow we feature recruits from around the country in our national roundup - leading up to the big day on Wednesday. TennisRecruiting.net gives you a courtside seat to all the Signing Week action!


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12/07 Brandon Do chooses Lamar
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12/07 Morgan Cross chooses Arkansas
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12/08 Qualifier Lys, Unseeded Kolodynska in Eddie Herr Girls ITF Final; Argentina's Tirante and Burruchaga Meet for Boys Title; Broadus and Collins Take…
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Colette Lewis has covered topflight junior events as a freelance journalist for over a decade. Read her weekly column, follow her on Twitter, and and find more of her daily commentary at ZooTennis.

Page updated on Monday, November 04, 2019
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