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Recruiting Update
Melissa Saiontz - Hold that Tiger!
by Julie Wrege, 9 November 2005

Everyone expected the college decision for Melissa Saiontz (Miami, FL) to be an easy one. Conventional wisdom said that Saiontz would be heading to Cambridge, Massachusetts to play tennis at Harvard. She always assumed that she would follow in the footsteps of her family - both her parents and her older brother are Harvard graduates.

But Saiontz kept her options open and considered other schools. Last month, in our Blue Chip Roundup, the highly-regarded senior named Duke and Stanford as schools of interest in addition to Harvard.

But college recruiting can be a wild ride. Princeton University came into view "late in the fourth quarter", and in the end, the Tigers were able to lure her away from their Ivy League rival. Saiontz has decided to commit to Princeton, and she will finalize her decision later this year. (Note that the Letter of Intent does not apply in the Ivy League - Saiontz's acceptance cannot be finalized until Princeton's Early Decision process concludes in December.)

The 5'6" right hander is an amazing competitor - according to Lynne Rolley, Saiontz's private coach in Miami.

"Melissa has accomplished so much as a junior that she is now exploring tougher competition this year. She is a very mature, all-court player. Melissa has worked quite hard on her groundstrokes this past year. Her backhand has always been good, but I would now call it great - and her forehand has become more of a weapon."

Recently, I had a chance to visit with Saiontz, where we discussed both her junior career and college selection.

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