Henderson Flips Into Georgetown
Sophie Henderson was born into Cirque du Soleil and had Olympic gymnastic aspirations before injuries took over. Thanks to her older sister, tennis and non-profit work fell into her life – as well as a scholarship to Georgetown.'
Frye Commits to the Trojans
After taking family vacations to the state, Bradley Frye wanted to attend college in California. The rising senior blue chip with a love for magic tricks found the right fit at USC and verbally committed to the Trojans in June.
Cernoch Makes Memorable Commitment to UNC
Rising senior blue chip Brian Cernoch made a commitment to the University of North Carolina while standing on the outer courts at Wimbledon last month.
Navarro Gives Early Commitment to Duke
Rising sophomore blue chip Emma Navarro gave a verbal commitment to Duke after making a visit to the campus during the college season. The South Carolina resident is preparing to play in the Girls 18 clay courts and Girls 16 hardcourt nationals this summer.
Duo Decides on Princeton
Bored with the standard playground options at a public park near
his Portage Michigan home, blue chip Bill Duo, then five years old,
decided to join his parents and older sister on the tennis court. A
dozen years later, that curiosity has resulted in an opportunity to
play for one of the country's top schools, with Duo recently
announcing his verbal commitment to Princeton for 2018.
Whitney Osuigwe Reflects on French Open Title
Last weekend at Roland Garros, fifteen-year-old Whitney Osuigwe
achieved a number of firsts on her way to becoming the first American
to win the French Open girls title since Jennifer Capriati in 1989.
Colette Lewis of ZooTennis spoke to her recently by phone about her
win in Paris, her love of red clay, her goals and her plans for this
Rohan Sachdev Stars on the Court and in the Spelling Bee
Drill work has always had a double meaning for Rohan Sachdev. Wearing
an adidas headband and gripping his Babolat racket, Rohan spent many
hours mimicking tennis strokes in the house while his mother quizzed
him from a nearby table. He'd spell a word in the middle of hitting a
forehand against air. He'd spell another during the completion of a
serve. Being a nationally-ranked junior tennis player and
nationally-recognized speller is a balancing act Rohan mastered
throughout his childhood.
Jimena Rodriguez-Benito Heads to Penn Early
Blue Chip junior Jimena Rodriguez-Benito turns 17 in July, however she
has already turned the page on her high school career.
Rodriguez-Benito, who has taken classes through Laurel Springs for
nearly three years, has decided to graduate early and commit to
Penn - a year ahead of her graduation class.
Spring Signing Week '17: Sarianna Kuuttila is Excited to be a Spartan
Sarianna Kuuttila, who is best known on and off the court as
"Sara," has committed to the Michigan State Spartans for the
2017-18 season. The 5-Star recruit has decided to trade in the desert
for the cold beauty of East Lansing, Michigan, but the change is not
as surprising as it may seem.
Spring Signing Week '17: Commodores Land Meyer
Amanda Meyer wasn't sure tennis was the sport for her. The blue chip
recruit took her first lesson to please her parents and until last
year, playing at a top Division I school wasn't a certainty. But as
her results improved and her confidence grew, the 17-year-old
Floridian now marvels at what the sport has given her, including an
opportunity to play and study at Vanderbilt University.
Spring Signing Week '17: Ajai Shekhera Heads to UCSB
Ajai Shekhera is a park-bred player. He didn't begin his tennis
career at a country club. Nobody in his family had any experience with
the sport. Shekhera aspired to become a soccer star until two friends
invited him to hit with them at the local park courts. Nearly a decade
later, Shekhera's friends don't play tennis anymore, and he's going to
play tennis in college. The five-star from Campbell, Calif., has
committed to play at UC Santa Barbara.
Spring Signing Week '17: Riley McQuaid is an A&M Aggie
Riley McQuaid's resourcefulness, resilience and optimism have enabled
her to weather tough losses and injuries that beset top athletes.
McQuaid used those qualities when she was informed six days before the
Fall signing period that her scholarship offer had been withdrawn. She
was stunned, but she quickly regrouped - and her survival instincts
led her to College Station, Texas.
Spring Signing Week '17: Berdusco Decides on Pepperdine
Bradenton's Brian Berdusco turned three difficult losses into a huge
win. After first-round losses in main draw singles, consolation
singles, and doubles at the 2016 Winter Nationals, Berdusco gained
a new focus in his tennis. The win? Berdusco is excited to
announce his commitment to Pepperdine University for Fall 2017.
Spring Signing Week '17: Top Texan Shin Makes Cardinal Commitment
Throughout her entire college decision process, senior Blue Chip
recruit Janice Shin visited several of the country's top universities,
all of which have strong women's tennis teams and solid academic
reputations to match. But one school stood out for the top-ranked
player from Texas, and when she finally got the call with good news
from the coaches at Stanford, Shin announced that she would be joining
the Cardinal tennis team this fall.
Spring Signing Week '17: Hada Chang Signs With Denver
Hada Chang will soon become a Pioneer in the world of women's college
tennis. Chang, who hails from Trophy Club, Texas, signed a National
Letter of Intent last fall with the University of Denver Pioneers.
Spring Signing Week '17: Austin Barr Commits to Williams
Austin Barr is just the kind of the recruit any school would want. A
fierce competitor, Barr is a talented 5-Star recruit whose favorite
moments come in the team environment. An excellent student, Barr will
take his tennis talents from his home state of Ohio to Williams College
in the Northeast this Fall.
Countdown: Puerto Rican Standout is a Xavier Muskeeter
Unlike many of his top-ranked peers, Alejandro Rodriguez-Vidal opted
to train in Puerto Rico to hone his tennis. He spends his summers and
winter holidays in his home in Orlando, Florida, and hits the courts
sometimes, but he is mainly a product of Puerto Rican tennis. The plan
has worked well for him - the 5-Star senior recently committed to
Xavier University in Cincinnati.
Countdown: Lilienthal Commits to Cornell's Big Red
When it came to finalizing her decision on a college commitment,
senior 5-Star Recruit Cheyenne Lilienthal certainly had her pick of
some of the top universities in the country. After visiting all of the
Ivy League schools, the 17-year-old from Land O' Lakes, Fla., took her
time weighing her options before finally announcing that she would
commit to Cornell University's Big Red tennis team.
Countdown: Ysabel Gonzalez Rico finds the Right Fit at Emory
From starting to play tennis at the age of five, to ballgirl at the
French Open, then moving to the United States while in high school and
now committing to play her college tennis at Emory University, Miami's
Ysabel Gonzalez Rico has come a long way in a relatively short period
Countdown: Anchors Aweigh for Andrew Ton
The United States military improved Andrew Ton's life a generation
before he was born. So it's small wonder that Ton, a 5-Star
left-hander from Milpitas, Calif., has committed to attend the U.S.
Naval Academy and play tennis for the Midshipmen.
Countdown: Jacob Brumm to California
As a promising junior growing up in Southern California, Jacob Brumm
was content to play tournaments and work on his game. But when he
learned about college tennis, he became a huge fan and followed the
sport avidly. Now a Blue Chip senior, Brumm received attention of the
college coaches he was following. And last November, Brumm committed to
the University of California at Berkeley.
Countdown: Taylor Bridges Commits to the Wolfpack
Taylor Bridges, a top-50 national recruit from Mesa, Ariz., signed
with N.C. State and coach Simon Earnshaw in November. The Dent Tennis
Academy product is coming off a successful year where she reached the
singles finals of ITF events and had great success in doubles. TRN
talked with Bridges earlier this month about her goals for college
tennis, a time when she quit the sport, and her tennis trips to New
Zealand and Costa Rica.
Countdown: Katya Tabachnik Rides with the Broncos
Katya Tabachnik was carefully considering her options when she had a
breakthrough in her college recruiting process. She thought more about
where she would be happiest rather than choosing the best tennis or
academic program. The San Francisco native, chose to stay close to
home by committing to Santa Clara University. The Jesuit university
in the Silicon Valley provided the right mix of elements the five-star
recruit was seeking for her future.
Countdown: Crawford Headed to Florida
Growing up, Oliver Crawford played tennis, football, travel baseball
and basketball. It wasn't until age 12 that he played in his first
tennis tournament. Fast-forward five years and the 17-year-old
Spartanburg, South Carolina, teen is headed to the University of
Florida after signing a national letter-of-intent with the Gators.
Countdown: Talcott Signs with the Tribe
After being sidelined for several months with a back injury, Finbar
Talcott still remembers the feeling of the ball on his strings again
is something he will never forget. His appreciation for the game in
the years following that injury helped him achieve his goal of
committing to play college tennis. Talcott is excited to commit to
William & Mary for Fall 2017.
Sanford's Options: North Carolina or Pro Tennis
Blue Chip Alexandra Sanford decided long ago the school she wants
to attend, committing to the University of North Carolina in the fall
of her sophomore year. Now the 18-year-old from Westerville Ohio has
another choice to make - joining the Tar Heels this fall or pursuing
Michigan Bound: Jones to Join Wolverines
Blue Chip junior Alyvia Jones, who recently moved to Louisiana from
Michigan, starting seriously considering her college options in
January of her sophomore year. After looking at several top schools,
Jones found the perfect fit back in her home state, committing to join
the Wolverines in Fall of 2018.
Top Ten Senior Stephanie Schrage Commits to Princeton
Never mind that blue chip senior Stephanie Schrage has consistently
ranked number one in the USTA Girls Eastern Section in the 12s, 14s,
16s and 18s divisions - or that she is ranked in the top ten of the
senior class. Schrage lists high school tennis success as one of her
favorite accomplishments. The team player will get the chance to excel
for her college team next year - as a Princeton Tiger.
In Troubled Times, Tennis Creates Bridge with Atlanta Police
Officer Jarius Daugherty stands on the court, a racket in his hand and
a full complement of police equipment on his belt. At the moment,
however, he's just trying to keep the ball in play as he runs a tennis
drill for a bank of youngsters with varying tennis skills. Daugherty
isn't much of a player; he only recently picked up a racket at the
beginning of an 11-week program called Volleys Against Violence.
However, what he lacks in skill is more than made up for in
Fall Signing Week '16: Georgetown Gains 5-Star Recruits Lee, Ross
Next year, Georgetown University will field a strong roster that will
include the addition of two 5-Star Recruits - Connor Lee and Luke
Ross. Both young men have committed to joining the freshman class on
the Hoyas men's tennis team for Fall 2017. While the players will be
traveling from opposite ends of the country, they share a common goal
in taking the Georgetown team to the next level as teammates.
Fall Signing Week '16: Well-Traveled Gordon Returns Home
Seventeen-year-old Michaela Gordon has traveled the world for tennis
competition, playing all four junior slams as well as major events in
Europe, Asia and Central America. Yet when it came time to select a
college for the next step in her development, the blue chip from Los
Altos Hills California found what she needed in her backyard, at
Fall Signing Week '16: Sah Commits to Stanford
Blue Chip senior Timothy Sah is one of the top junior tennis players
in the country, and his results from this past summer back that up,
capturing the singles title at the USTA Southern California Sectionals
and reaching the quarterfinals in Kalamazoo. Next year, Sah will take
his game from San Diego up to Palo Alto - where he will compete for
the Stanford Cardinal.
Fall Signing Week '16: Chiu Heads to Dartmouth
During her 18 years on this Earth, Abigail Chiu's life journey has
taken her from Hong Kong to Austin, Texas. Next year, Chiu will make
yet another trip, to Hanover, New Hampshire. The talented Chiu will
become a member of the Dartmouth College women's tennis team.
Fall Signing Week '16: Turchetta Heads West to Stanford
The pressure to decide is always intense for a blue-chip athlete such
as Sam Turchetta. Numerous colleges reached out to him, and he
welcomed all of the options. But a school in California was always at
the top of the list.
Fall Signing Week '16: Wan Decides on Columbia
Christie Wan plans to study business in college, and that is
appropriate since she is all business on the tennis court. The
17-year-old 5-star blue chip prospect from Fullerton, Calif., has
spent the past two years at Sunny Hills High School after she
transferred from Whittier Christian High School. And today she is
excited to announce her decision to continue her career at Columbia
Fall Signing Week '16: Tsygura Commits to the Cavaliers
The Scott Brown connection again is reaping recruiting rewards for
men's college tennis' best team of the decade. With Brown, a former
Virginia assistant coach, as the matchmaker, Blue Chip 17-year-old
Kyrylo Tsygura of North Potomac, Md., has committed to play for the
Fall Signing Week '16: Rice Follows Mother's Footsteps to Arkansas
Add another legacy to the storied history of the University of
Arkansas as Blue Chip senior Tatum Rice of Lakeside High School in Hot
Springs, Ark., will stay in state and play tennis for Coach Michael
Hegarty at the U of A. While on the surface this may have seemed like
an easy and logical decision for the 17-year old right-hander, Rice
said it was a difficult choice.
Fall Signing Week '16: Colorado's Ross Commits to Dartmouth
It all started around the age of two for Casey Ross. He would walk
around with a special cut-down squash racket - swinging at balls. Ross
is now a 5-star senior, and he recently verbally committed to
Dartmouth because of its unique academic and athletic environment.
Countdown: Huryn - From Russia, With Love for Tennis
Aleks Huryn's journey to college tennis in Philadelphia, started
as a five-year old learning the sport from his mother, Sveta, in
Russia. When the five-star recruit graduates from high school this
spring, he said he couldn't be more excited to announce that he will
be a Penn Quaker.
Countdown: Norman Chooses the Dukes
As she shoots for the stars, Elizabeth Norman will take aim from
Virginia's Shenandoah Valley. Norman, a well-traveled 5-Star recruit
who lives in Marietta, Georgia, committed in July to play for James
Madison University in Harrisonburg.
Countdown: Mendelsohn Rides the Waves
Max Mendelsohn likely would have committed to Pepperdine even if it
wasn't located in scenic Malibu. But as he gazed at the ocean
from the famous spot many coaches bring recruits, Mendelsohn's
decision came into greater focus. "I just fell in love and knew
it was the place I wanted to be," Mendelsohn said. "The view
doesn't hurt either."
Countdown: Alex Angyalosy Chooses the Red Raiders
Five-star recruit Alex Angyalosy from Boca Raton, Fla., has committed
to join the Texas Tech University women's tennis team. Angyalosy will
definitely delight Lady Red Raiders fans at the McLeod Tennis Center
with her all-around, counter-puncher style of play. But Angyalosy, an
honor student at the Florida Virtual School, also plans to pursue the
pre-medicine program at the northwestern Texas institution, located in
Countdown: Bruins Beckon Bolton
Elysia Bolton has nearly two years of junior tennis remaining, but the
16-year-old blue chip already knows the location of the next stage of
her career: the UCLA campus in Westwood.
Countdown: Illini to Welcome Brown
The Fighting Illini have nabbed one of the top players in the country
to join their team in 2017. Iowa's Alex Brown has announced he's
signing with the Orange and Blue.
Countdown: Van Alphen Stays Close to Home at USC
The phrase "beginner's luck" is often tossed around to
explain instances of surprising or unexpected success, but that term
does not seem appropriate to describe Sydney Van Alphen's winning
the first tennis tournament she ever entered. She has been a natural
since the beginning. That natural inclination helped her earn a college
scholarship to the USC Trojans for next Fall.
Countdown: Bernstine Follows Father, Chooses Hokies
When Chase Bernstine finished his first two seasons of tennis at
Goochland High School with a perfect record, recording two state
singles titles and a doubles title in the process, his teachers and
classmates thought he was going to go out and win the US Open. While
he hasn't done that yet, Bernstine has parlayed his on-court success
into a spot in Blacksburg, Va., next Fall at Virginia Tech.
Countdown: Georgia Snares Coppoc and Goulak
Georgia's academic and athletics reputation proved to be
irresistible to a pair of blue chips and have verbally embraced
the Bulldogs. Morgan Coppoc and Annette Goulak, who have played
successful doubles together, were delighted to have the opportunity to
play on the same college team.
Keegan Smith Stays Home at UCLA
Keegan Smith was considering taking visits to North Carolina,
Washington, Arizona State, Michigan and the University of San Diego.
But the blue-chip recruit never made the travel plans. He kept his
suitcase in the closet and committed to UCLA.
Kawai Will Play for Illini
After taking visits at schools from Texas to Pennsylvania, 18-year-old
Asuka Kawai has decided to play for the Fighting Illini, beginning in
the fall of 2017.
Top-Ranked Blumberg Chooses Carolina Blue
As he considered his options for college, Blue Chip William Blumberg
encountered a problem - every school he visited went to the top of his
list. Blumberg considered Duke, USC, Wake Forest, Stanford, Virginia
and North Carolina before finally paring his choice down to the
Cavaliers and Tar Heels. In the end, the nation's top-ranked senior
liked what he saw to UNC, and he plans to graduate early and join the
Tar Heels in January for the 2017 spring season.
Zhu Heads to UCLA
A program with the history and reputation of UCLA doesn't need a sales
force, yet Evan Zhu, who will join the Bruins this fall, found himself
surrounded by advocates for the school while in Southern California.
A trio of former UCLA stars - Nick Meister, Dan Kosakowski and Haythem
Abid - had practiced with, coached or competed against the
17-year-old, five-star recruit and were eager to see him in True Blue
Top Texan Chase Wood Chooses Florida State
"My parents always said that once your heart feels right, you'll
know it," said Chase Wood, referring to his college choice.
Wood's parents knew exactly what they were talking about as both
played collegiate tennis - mom for Tennessee and dad for Arkansas.
Taking into consideration his family's advice, athletic history and
his own goals, the 17-year-old blue chip recruit and top-ranked Texas
player verbally committed to Florida State University.
McNally's Path Leads Straight to Columbus
Born and raised an Ohio State football fan, John McNally always
expected to join the Buckeyes once it became clear his level of play
would allow him to compete for one of the nation's top programs.
Dismissing a brief temptation to look elsewhere, the 17-year-old blue
chip from Cincinnati has announced his commitment to Ohio State for
the fall of 2017.
JJ Wolf Stays Home at Ohio State
JJ Wolf's success in tennis was consistent, but the emotional
commitment to the game did not happen until recently. "I just
fell in love with tennis," Wolf said. "I didn't like
tennis that much until this past summer." Still a high school
junior, his newfound dedication and passion for tennis has him focused
on a pro career, but not before sharpening and maturing his game at
Spring Signing Week '16: Battaglia Joins the Bulldogs
After a stellar summer in 2015, Madison Battaglia's college recruiting
search got more complicated. Always interested in the academic
advantages of the Ivies, the 18-year-old from Cold Spring Harbor, New
York, considered the other offers she received, but when the time came
to make a decision, the blue chip relied on the experiences from her
official visit to New Haven to select Yale.
Spring Signing Week '16: Sean Hill Confident Selecting Wake Forest
Berkeley, Calif., is 5-star recruit, Sean Hill's home for now, but not
for long. After narrowing his list, Hill said he made not a quick, but
a calculated decision to continue his tennis career by playing college
tennis at Wake Forest.
Spring Signing Week '16: Shelby Groeneveld Chooses the Sea Lions
To some teenagers the idea of choosing a college more than 2,500 miles
from home might be a little unsettling. That's not the case at all for
Shelby Groeneveld. Born and raised in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida,
Groeneveld will be switching coasts this fall when the 17-year-old
Calvary Christian Academy senior walks on the campus at Point Loma
Nazarene University in San Diego and shortly after that takes the
court for the Sea Lions.
Spring Signing Week '16: Tiffany Huber Picks the Cards
Five-star senior Tiffany Huber has graduated from high school, and she
is ready to enter the highly-competitive world of college tennis.
Huber, who has lived in Boca Raton, Fla., for the past four years,
considered a number of schools from the Big Ten, Big 12, and
Southeastern Conferences. Today, Huber announces that she will become
a member of the University of Louisville Cardinals women's tennis team
Spring Signing Week '16: Alhogbani Chooses the Cavaliers
If Five-star senior Ammar Alhogbani has his way, soccer won't dominate
sports conversation in his homeland of Saudi Arabia. People will be
talking about tennis - and his role in it. Alhogbani and his family
live in Alexandria, Va., just more than a two-hour drive from the
reigning NCAA champions at the University of Virginia. Alhogbani is
excited to announce his commitment to the Cavaliers, who are seeking
their third team crown in four years.
Spring Signing Week '16: Guns Up for Jackson Cobb
Texas Tech coach Brett Masi grabbed himself an old school commitment
when he convinced Jackson Cobb to leave Austin for Lubbock.
Countdown: Ty Gentry Stays Close to Home at Oregon
Ty Gentry is a natural talent, and even without his discipline to be
exceptional, his athleticism and raw power would be anything but
ordinary. Gentry's experienced coaches describe him as one of the best
junior athletes they have worked with. Next year, the Blue Chip
recruit and two-sport athlete will bring his six-foot-five frame to
Eugene to play college tennis for the University of Oregon.
Countdown: Bocchi Brings a 'World' of Experience to UMass
While most incoming college freshmen, especially those embarking on a
journey that includes being a student, athlete face an adjustment
period when it comes to academics, athletics and social matters.
4-Star recruit Martina Bocchi feels she's ahead of the curve as she
heads to Amherst, Mass. The daughter of an Italian diplomat, Bocchi
has lived on three different continents while developing her game
before committing to the University of Massachusetts.
Countdown: Ambrozy Joins Lions' Lair
Adam Ambrozy took his fifth official recruiting visit last fall to
ensure he had left no stone unturned. Both Columbia and the blue chip
recruit benefitted from that decision, when, just days after his trip
to the New York City campus, Ambrozy committed to the Lions.
Countdown: Jayson Fung Crossing the Country for Amherst
Jayson Fung started his college search by looking at several Division
I programs. The more he explored his opportunities, the more Fung
realized he needed to expand his options. Although Fung wanted to
play for a highly-competitive tennis program, he wanted a more
balanced college experience. The five-star recruit began focusing on
the Division III level, and found the perfect match at Amherst College
Countdown: Christina Rosca Commits to the Commodores
Throughout her junior career, Christina Rosca has become quite the
recognized athlete around New Jersey, reaching the top of the rankings
in her home state and cracking the top 25 on the national level. It is
no surprise that she also caught the eye of several prominent
collegiate coaches. Rosca decided this past fall to join the
Vanderbilt women's tennis team later this year in Nashville.
Countdown: Robert Levine a Blue Chip Blue Devil
Most blue-chip recruits get ready for college tennis by playing each
other at nationals such as Kalamazoo or ITF junior events. Blue Chip
senior Robert Levine of Bedford, N.Y., has taken a different route -
playing almost exclusively in ITF Futures pro tournaments, grinding
through qualifying in Texas, Florida, the Dominican Republic and
Canada. He has had some strong results - which helped him commit to
Duke University for Fall 2016.
Countdown: Isabella Lorenzini Commits to the Wolverines
Five-star recruit Isabella Lorenzini of Clarendon Hills, Ill., will
continue to compete over the next year for her Hinsdale Central High
School girls tennis team. The junior captured the Illinois High School
Association Singles Championships in 2015 after placing second two
previous years - and she has played on three state championship
teams. But, in the fall of 2017 Lorenzini will head to Ann Arbor,
Mich., and become a member of the University of Michigan Wolverines.
Ten Questions with Les Petits As Champion Stefan Leustian
Fourteen-year-old Stefan Leustian reached the third round of the
Junior Orange Bowl in December, one of the few times he had competed
against international players. In the six weeks that followed, the
Northern California resident began to post increasingly impressive
results, both in the United States and in Europe. Colette Lewis caught
up with Leustian at the USTA National Spring Team Championships - talking
with him about his recent performance, his titles, and more ...
Blue Chip Senior Ashley Lahey Rides the Waves
Blue Chip senior Ashley Lahey of Hawthorne, Calif., has demonstrated
her resilience. After reaching singles finals at both the Easter Bowl
and Hard Court Nationals in 2013, Lahey suffered injruies that plagued
her throughout 2014 and the beginning of 2015. But she worked hard to
make a comeback, and her results and ranking climbed ascended quickly
over the past year. Today, Lahey is excited to commit to Pepperdine
University for Fall 2016.
Surrounded by Tennis, Jones Blossoms
Tennis takes hold early in Midland, the longtime home of February's
Dow Corning Tennis Classic. Known for its community outreach and the
local schoolchildren who arrive by the busload for early round
matches, the tournament has been an integral part of the small
Michigan city's sports scene for nearly three decades. Colette Lewis
of ZooTennis.com talks with fifteen-year-old Alyvia Jones, a blue chip
recruit who lives in Midland, about her game as well as her experiences
growing up in a tennis town.
A Conversation with Raveena Kingsley
Seventeen-year-old Raveena Kingsley made several important decisions
last fall. The No. 1 recruit in the Tennis Recruiting Network's Class
of 2016 decided to stop playing junior tennis after the US Open, and
selected LSU for her collegiate career. Colette Lewis of ZooTennis.com
talked with Kingsley about her recent results, her college decision,
her introduction to the game, her preparation when facing a new
opponent and the pro players she admires.
Blue Chip Senior Gaby Pollner Chooses the Tigers
Ever since she first moved to Boca Raton, Fl., five years ago to
develop her tennis, Westchester, N.Y., native Gaby Pollner has built a
strong junior career résumé that includes appearances at
two junior Grand Slams and a career-high ITF ranking inside the top
130. And now that she is taking the next step into a college career,
the Blue Chip recruit has announced that she will return to her
northern roots this fall and play for the Princeton Tigers.
Blue Chip Senior Jessica Livianu Commits to St. John's
Blue chip senior Jessica Livianu received more than 75 letters from
Division I colleges across the country. While she appreciated each
one, the Brooklyn, N.Y., native focused on schools in the northeast.
After narrowing her list to St. John's, Columbia, and Penn, she took a
visit to St. John's that blew her away - and she recently committed to
Head Coach Lauren Leo and the Red Storm.
15-Year-Old Trent Bryde Wins ATP Qualie Match in Atlanta
Sitting in the restaurant of his training facility, Trent Bryde coolly
answered a series of questions about the best week of his young tennis
life. Bryde was only 15 last July when he won the BB&T Atlanta
Open Wild Card Challenge, earning entry into the ATP World Tour 250
qualifying event over a host of seasoned college players. Adding to
Bryde's stunning success was a first-round qualie victory over
33-year-old ATP World Tour pro Catalin-Ionut Gard.
Bucknell Is In His Blood
Even though Senior Max Palmer moved to Houston right before he started
high school, he always knew he would come back to his native Northeast
for college. Palmer prefers training and playing on indoor courts - a
necessary mainstay for northeastern schools. Playing on the fast
courts allows him to maximize his talents - and it also forces him to
work on staying a bit more patient. With that in mind, Palmer recently
committed to Bucknell University in Pennsylvania for Fall 2016.
Fall Signing Week '15: Mack Galvin Flies with the Falcons
When it comes to choosing a college, all students must choose
wisely, putting every consideration into one of the most important
decisions of their life. This is even truer for a tennis player who
has to consider the team he'll be playing and practicing with all the
time. That choice becomes even more of a commitment when you choose to
attend the United States Air Force Academy. Mack Galvin never took
Fall Signing Week '15: Sophia Adams Goes Spartan
Sophia Adams once visited North Carolina for a wedding. She liked it
so much that she's going back to play tennis there. That's how a
Miami girl became the latest tennis recruit for UNC-Greensboro.
Fall Signing Week '15: Jenna Friedel Heading to Cambridge
The initial plan was to make several visits to see colleges. But
Jenna Friedel canceled the rest of her itinerary after only one stop.
She didn't need any more campus tours. The blue chip senior knew
Harvard University was the one.
Fall Signing Week '15: Fighting Irish Bet on Gamble
Playing his first tournament at 9 years old in his hometown of
Webster, New York, Matthew Gamble was disappointed in his 8-0 defeat.
Gamble continued with tennis, choosing it as his only sport at age 14
- developing a booming forehand and an aggressive style of play that
has earned him a top-15 ranking throughout high school. And today,
Gamble announces his commitment to play college tennis at the
University of Notre Dame.
Fall Signing Week '15: Blue Chip Emma Higuchi is a Cardinal
Recruiting interest was high on Emma Higuchi, whose
résumé includes titles at the Easter Bowl and National
Clay Courts, silver and bronze USTA balls, and World Juniors
participant. Higuchi took her time and visited a number of schools
this year before eventually deciding to take the five-hour drive north
from her home in Los Angeles to Stanford University.
Fall Signing Week '15: Hady Habib Heads to Texas A&M
Hady Habib, a Blue Chip senior who hails from Houston, is regarded as
a tenacious tennis player who will bring explosive energy and a huge
forehand with him to college. Wanting to stay in the Lone Star State,
Habib strongly considered Baylor and Texas before ultimately deciding
to join Steve Denton's squad at Texas A&M University.
Fall Signing Week '15: Kenya Jones Chooses the Jackets
To say that Kenya Jones is constantly looking for an opportunity is an
understatement. Whether it's an opportunity to learn in school,
advance her tennis career, think ahead to a possible internship or
maybe even choose to excel in multiple sports, Jones is game. This
fall, Jones weighed all the options and opportunities that were
presented to her as she decided to accept a tennis scholarship to play
for Coach Rodney Harmon and Georgia Tech.
Fall Signing Week '15: Madison Tedford Joins the Frogs
Last Fall, Madison Tedford was a mess. Her legs were hurting from what
turned out to be a shin fracture, which led to her forehand breaking
down. But after some time off from competitive tennis and revisiting
the fundamentals with her coaches at TBarM Tennis, Tedford is playing
the best tennis of her life. The Four-star senior recently made her
college decision as well - heading to Texas Christian University in
Fort Worth, Texas.
Fall Signing Week '15: Hoffmann Stays Close to Home at Cal
Elite Southern California tennis players looking to play at the
college level have a built-in advantage - they can keep their search
fairly close to home. Bjorn Hoffmann is a lifelong Southern
Californian who went this route - making only a handful of unofficial
visits before deciding to make a verbal commitment to the University
of California at Berkeley.
Countdown: Georgia Finds Stars Close to Home
It didn't take Georgia coach Manny Diaz too long to find one of his
recruits for the 2016-17 season. Maybe a shout down the hall of his
Athens, Ga., home was enough to snag the second of his sons for the
team. In addition to his youngest son Alex, two other top recruits
from the South - Alex Phillips and Robert Loeb - are also slated to
become Bulldogs in Fall 2016.
Countdown: Zoë Spence Joins the Irish
From the tournament she helped originate in West Africa, to
numerous countries she has visited to play on the International Tennis
Federation circuit, Zoë Spence is well-traveled even by junior tennis
standards. When next summer arrives, though, she'll settle at a place
she and her family know extremely well: Notre Dame.
Countdown: Fighting Illini Claim Clark
Zeke Clark's competitive fire made the Oklahoma resident one of the
nation's top recruits. Although several Big 12 schools closer to home
were in the picture, the Big Ten's University of Illinois won the
battle for the 17-year-old from Tulsa, who will join the Fighting
Illini in the fall of 2016.
Countdown: Horton Stays Close to Home at Coker
As a kid, Hunter Horton attended tennis camps at the Coker College
campus and sparked a connection with the coaches over the years. It
was that personal connection with the school - and a new friendship
with his future teammates - that Horton said made it a clear choice
for his collegiate career.
Countdown: Cao Twins are Bound for Memphis
The college search for four-star identical twins Josephine and
Katherine Cao began and ended in Memphis, Tennessee. Hoping to get
acquainted with various colleges and tennis coaches at the 2015
National Clay Courts, the Cao sisters were separately approached by
coaches from the University of Memphis. A short while later, the
sisters happily gave their verbal commitments to the Tigers.
Countdown: Bojczuk Heads to Notre Dame
Blue Chip junior Ally Bojczuk played most sports growing up, but nothing
compared to tennis. She first walked on a court at age 8, and she loved
to play even when she couldn't rally. She set to hard work and
steadily improved to where she is a top player in the nation in both singles
and doubles. Fast forward to today - where the top recruit is committing
to a certain school in South Bend, Indiana...
Countdown: Kaden Funk Headed to Penn
Five-star senior Kaden Funk has had a great run in junior tennis.
Playing in the tennis-rich state of Florida, he has numerous wins over
current college players, and he won the Class 4A state championship
as a sophomore. Next year, Funk will take his tennis talents and
his strong academic skills to the Ivy League and the University of
Countdown: Coffman Chooses Dallas Baptist
Three-star recruit Madeline Coffman is a well-traveled young lady.
Coffman played tennis her freshman year of high school in Houston, her
sophomore year in Purcellville, Va., and finally, in her current home
of Flower Mound, Texas. Starting in January, Coffman will have to
travel only 30 miles to Dallas, Texas, where she plans to become a
member of the Dallas Baptist University women's tennis team.
Countdown: Maria Smith Heads to Berkeley
Maria Smith, who has spent short stretches over the past few years in
the Golden State for tennis training, will call California home for
the next four years, starting in January 2016. The senior from
Houston, Texas, is graduating a semester early and will join the
Golden Bears of the University of California, Berkeley.
Countdown: Goulak Heads to UC Davis
The UC Davis men's tennis program was the first to contact David
Goulak during the recruiting period, but it was his visit to the
campus that pushed it to the top of his list. "I just felt like I
was wanted, and they made me feel that way more than any other school
that I visited," said Goulak. The 5-star recruit from Oak Park,
Calif., native has verbally committed to the Aggies.
Countdown: Bihel Has 'Golden' Opportunity with Gophers
Top USTA Midwest recruit Karyna Bihel has been playing tennis since
the age of four, but she only started thinking about the possibility
of playing college tennis last summer after reaching the quarterfinals
of a Midwest Closed tournament. After careful consideration and an
official visit, Bihel committed to play tennis at the University of
Minnesota next Fall.
Countdown: Howells Chooses the Irish
William Howells wanted to find a college with a good athletic
reputation. He wanted to find a college with a strong academic
background. But Howells also wanted something more. He believes he
found it at the University Of Notre Dame.
Countdown: Favero Has a Cavalier Attitude
Want to spend time with Camille Favero? Take a number. The 17-year-old
senior maintains a 4.2 grade point average, is a classically trained
violinist, volunteers with special needs children, and is a Blue Chip
senior. Next year, Favero will head to Charlottesville, Va., to join
Mark Guilbeau and his Virginia Cavaliers.
Pietro Rimondini Commits to the Big Red
Blue Chip senior Pietro Rimondini is originally from Italy. The
Rimondini family moved to the United States when he was ten years old
for better tennis and educational opportunities. The talented
17-year-old from Boca Prep International School has committed to
Cornell University where he will continue his tennis career.
Lane Leschly Heads to Harvard
Tennis runs in Lane Leschly's blood. His grandfather, Jan, achieved a
world ranking of No. 10 in 1967, and his father, Mark, who is also
Lane's coach, competed for Harvard. Recently, the Blue Chip senior
committed to the Crimson over a host of other top schools - joining
Head Coach Dave Fish who had coached his father nearly thirty years
Alex Rybakov Chooses TCU
Blue chip Alex Rybakov, the No. 1 recruit in the class of 2015, had
expected to bypass college and jump directly to the pro tour. But this
summer, the 18-year-old Floridian decided to investigate the college
route, which led to his selection of TCU as the program best suited to
help him prepare for a professional career.
Ten Questions with World Junior No. 1 Taylor Fritz
Just over two years ago, Taylor Fritz played his first International
Tennis Federation junior tournament, the Claremont Grade 4, which is
within driving distance of his San Diego area home. Last month, after
reaching the French Open boys final, where he lost to Tommy Paul in
the first all-American final in that tournament's history, Fritz took
over the No. 1 spot in the ITF junior rankings. Colette Lewis of
ZooTennis.com caught up with Fritz at Wimbledon.
Jada Hart Commits to the UCLA Bruins for Spring 2016
Once the idea of playing college tennis became a more viable option,
Jada Hart went through a methodical process of searching for the right
program. The 17-year-old Blue Chip recruit from Colton, Calif.,
naturally explored colleges close to those of her Southern California
home in addition to looking at a few top universities on the East
Coast. In the end, the opportunity to play for the UCLA Bruins and
stay in Southern California was too good to pass up.
Coppoc Commits to Georgia
Even though she just completed her sophomore year of high school,
Morgan Coppoc has already made her college plans. The 16-year-old
Coppoc, of Tulsa, Oklahoma, recently gave her verbal commitment to
the University of Georgia. The Blue Chip athlete will graduate high
school in 2017.
Jake DeVine was playing the best tennis of his life when he first felt
a twinge in his back in November 2013. That twinge led to a 14-month
layoff for the 17-year-old Californian, but now healthy and competing
again, he will join the Southern Californian Trojans this fall.
Gators Suit Neel
Sixteen-year-old Ingrid Neel moved from Minnesota to Florida three
years ago to train at the IMG Tennis Academy in Bradenton. Ranked No.
2 in the class of 2016, Neel now considers herself a Floridian, a
mindset that led her to verbally commit to the University of Florida
Spring Signing Week '15: State Champion Otero Picks Penn State
Five-star senior Oliver Otero has been a major contributor to high
school championship teams in two states. As a freshman in
Winston-Salem, Otero competed for the Reynolds Demons when they won the
2012 North Carolina state crown - and, after moving to Coconut Grove,
Fla., he helped the Coral Gables Senior HS Cavaliers win a championship
in Florida. Otero will bring that track record to State College, Pa.,
next year when he competes for the Penn State Nittany Lions.
Spring Signing Week '15: Urbinati Announces Commitment to Boston College
Deciding on a college can be a difficult and stressful process, as
senior 5-Star Recruit Jacqueline Urbinati has learned when she had
several great schools on her list. But after taking one look at the
campus at Boston College, meeting the coaches and seeing a couple
familiar faces on the team, Urbinati was convinced, and she has
announced her commitment to the Eagles team beginning this fall.
Spring Signing Week '15: Illinois State Champ Eddie Grabill to Dartmouth
Five-star senior Eddie Grabill is a coach's dream - he is an excellent
individual player, but also the consummate team player. Grabill helped
his high school win the Illinois state championships, including his
doubles title in 2013 and the singles title in 2014. In December 2014
Grabill committed to play for Dartmouth College in Hanover, New
Spring Signing Week '15: Alexis Nelson from Twin Cities Heads West
With many tennis players committing early, Blue Chip junior Alexis
Nelson got an early jump on the college recruiting game. Her junior
year not quite over, Nelson has made a verbal commitment to play for
the University of California, Berkeley, in Fall 2016.
Spring Signing Week '15: Alexander Keyser Commits to Columbia
At the start of his college search, Alexander Keyser did not have
Columbia University. on the list of schools he considered attending.
By the end, it was his top choice. The San Ramon Valley High junior
has verbally committed to play for the Lions.
Spring Signing Week '15: Zalewski Commits to the Demon Deacons
Joanna Zalewski didn't start playing tennis until she was 11. Until
then, her favorite sport was fencing. She played her first tennis
tournament at 12, and she won it. Zalewski is coached primarily by her
parents, who never played much tennis themselves, and attends a public
school. That is not the usual path for a Top-20 recruit, but Zalewski
has made it work. Today, Zalewski kicks off our Signing Day Coverage
by announcing her college choice...
Spring Signing Week '15: Pomona Power - Kim Signs with Sagehens
There were no fancy academies or marathon practices. There were no
10-and-under tournaments or tennis camps. Instead, Joy Kim of Van
Nuys, Calif., took a slow and steady approach on her road to a college
tennis career. Her story culminated during her junior year when -
after making eight unofficial trips to various schools - she decided
on Pomona College in nearby Claremont.
Countdown: Jacqueline Carr Commits to the Herd
Much of America learned about Huntington, W.Va., and its most
prominent university via the movie "We Are Marshall." Jacqueline
"Jackie" Carr has decided to experience it fully. Carr, a Five-Star
recruit from Rogers, Ark., committed to the Thundering Herd last fall.
Countdown: Morgan Stone Heads to Santa Clara
Going to University of Georgia Bulldog Tennis Camp for the first time
at age nine was the catalyst behind Morgan Stone's realization that he
wanted to play college tennis one day. Even though he was born and
raised in Atlanta, his family has many California connections. Theose
connections helped bring Stone to the West Coast - he has committed to
play college tennis at Santa Clara University.
Countdown: Toledo Commits to Iowa State
It didn't take long for Claudia Toledo to settle on a college
destination. She decided to attend Iowa State University after just
one visit in early November. She connected with the coaches -
Armando Espinosa and Chris Williams - and loved the what the school
and tennis program have to offer.
Countdown: Yangeng Jiang Continues Journey at Bowdoin
Few tennis players in the class of 2015 have traveled a longer road to
becoming a four-star recruit than Yangeng Jiang of Pennington, N.J.
The story of Yangeng - who recently committed to academically renowned
Division III school Bowdoin College in Brunswick, Maine - begins in
his native China, where he was a promising junior tennis player in a
country that is only recently making an impact on the sport worldwide.
Countdown: Reto Heads to Melbourne and Florida Tech
Alahna Reto of Plano, Texas, has signed the National Letter of Intent
with Florida Tech, an NCAA Division II institution. Reto, a four-star
recruit, had a number of reasons for wanting to become a member of the
Panthers women's tennis team next fall. In addition to wanting to make
an impact on the college tennis world, the 5-foot-7 right-hander also
likes the biomedical engineering program.
Countdown: Sameer Kumar Heads to the Cardinal
Navigating the college recruiting process can be a confusing endeavor
for even the most well-informed families. Sameer Kumar was fortunate
enough to have a trial run with his older brother, Mihir, who plays
for Northwestern. The younger Kumar applied the lessons he learned in
his own decision process, and the Carmel, Indiana, resident decided on
Stanford over an impressive of other schools.
Countdown: Rutledge Goes East to Join Demon Deacons
Texan Eric Rutledge's two major choices - which sport and which
college - came several years apart, with his decision to sign with
Wake Forest the easier of the two.
Countdown: Allie Sanford Commits to the Rebels
Come this fall, Allie Sanford of Phoenix, Ariz., will trade cacti for
magnolias and azaleas - as she becomes a member of Coach Mark Beyers'
Ole Miss Women's tennis team. For Sanford, it's a relief knowing she is going to her top choice
Countdown: Chris Jones Heads East to Tufts
18-year-old Chris Jones embraces competition on the tennis court. Now
a senior at Greenhill School in the Dallas suburb of Addison, Jones
has emerged as a top junior player in Texas, and the 3-star recruit is
looking forward to continuing his tennis career as a collegian this
coming fall at Tufts University.
Countdown: Erica Oosterhout Commits to the Crimson
As a young child exploring different sports, Erica Oosterhout was
confident she would play one in college. The challenging part would be
choosing the sport and the university. Eventually, tennis became
the sport Oosterhout embraced exclusively. Not long after that college
programs began taking notice and one of those programs, Harvard,
became the university she would choose.
Kevakian Commits to the Columbia Lions
For five years Andrea Kevakian managed to keep up her blue chip status
while successfully completing the rigorous academic requirements of
Flintridge Preparatory School. There was little hesitation on her part
when she was offered the opportunity to play for Columbia University,
where the Californian will pursue an even more demanding academic and
athletic schedule in Fall 2015.
A Conversation with Caroline Dolehide
Sixteen-year-old Caroline Dolehide is hardly unknown to junior tennis
fans in the United States. The Hinsdale, Illinois, resident has been
in the top six of the Tennis Recruiting Network's 2017 class since
entering the rankings as a 6th-grader. But her stock went up on the
international scene after reaching the semifinals of the US Open
Juniors. Colette Lewis caught up with Dolehide after her wildcard
appearance in Midland.
Daavettila Chooses Carolina Blue
Her homework complete, blue chip Sara Daavettila embarked on a road
trip to explore several schools she was interested in attending. The
journey proved worthwhile when the Williamston, Michigan, high school
junior stepped onto North Carolina's Chapel Hill campus, sensing
immediately it was the place for her.
Blue Devils Get Another Blue Chip
Getting injured is no blessing for a sophomore tennis player looking to
be recruited by a major Division I tennis program, but Nick Stachowiak
of Cary, N.C., did the best he could to rebound from a back injury.
Stachowiak worked hard for several months on strength and agility
while he recovered. Stachowiak took unofficial visits to several
schools in the Southeast, but nearby Duke University was always at the
top of his list. He committed the Blue Devils in December.
Bruins Reel In Top Junior Ena Shibahara
Ena Shibahara looked around in complete amazement. She was invited to
hit on stadium court at the Los Angeles Tennis Center on UCLA's campus
during an ATP tournament. Shibahara soaked in the surroundings and
decided she wanted to play there again in the future. Shibahara's
dream school became a reality a few weeks ago when the blue-chip
recruit verbally committed to play for the Bruins.
Johnathan Small Picks Notre Dame
Next fall, Blue Chip junior Johnathan Small will travel some 135 miles on U.S.
Highway 31 in Indiana from his home in Zionsville to Notre Dame to
become a member University of Notre Dame men's tennis team.
Daniel Gealer Commits to the Bruins
Because of his hard work and results on the court, Danny Gealer has
earned the opportunity to play in prestigious events like the Ojai
Championships, Junior Davis Cup and Junior Boys Nationals. As Danny
Gealer prepares to make the transition from a highly-recruited junior
player to college freshman, the Los Angeles resident recently
announced he has committed to play college tennis at UCLA starting in
the fall of 2015.
Fall Signing Week '14: Presbyterian College Banks on Belsito
Since starting tennis at age twelve, Daniel Belsito has been making
up for lost time. He started playing tournaments within a week of
first picking up a racquet, and started hitting with coaches a year
later. After winning a state championship and making huge strides in
his game, Belsito took a visit to Presbyterian College - a small
liberal arts school two hours from home. Before long, he realized that
joining the Presbyterian Blue Hose "was the obvious choice."
Fall Signing Week '14: Cameron Klinger Signs with Vandy
Cameron Klinger always played tennis because he enjoyed playing
tennis. He wasn't playing just for the sake of getting a college
scholarship. But as he grew older and showcased his potential, Klinger
started to realize the possibility existed. Klinger's vision became a
reality when the blue chip recruit recently committed to play at
Vanderbilt University in Nashville.
Fall Signing Week '14: Yang Balances Tennis and Academics at Yale
The transition from high school to college is often challenging to
incoming freshmen, but Amy Yang welcomes it. Conventional wisdom
might say the Northview High School senior is biting off more than she
can chew by electing to play NCAA D-I tennis and major in medicine,
law or engineering at one of the nation's top academic institutions in
Yale, but Yang seems to be taking it all in stride.
Fall Signing Week '14: Kimberly Yee is a Cardinal
In 2008, Kimberly Yee was featured as one of the Class of 2015's
rising stars. Over the past six years, she has sustained that level of
blue chip excellence - achieving the top ranking in all age groups and
amassing a slew of USTA balls and titles. With her stellar tennis
credentials and matching academic achievements, Yee was courted by
some of the country's top schools - and she believes she chose the
perfect one for her: Stanford University.
Fall Signing Week '14: Robert Seby to Become a Bronco
When the time came to make a decision on playing college tennis,
Robert Seby had no doubt that Santa Clara University was the place. It
offered the right combination for this teen to want to sign up to play
Fall Signing Week '14: Lampl Heads West to Stanford
When you think of happy landings, think of Caroline Lampl. Lampl, a
Blue Chip recruit in the Class of 2015, flew across the country in
late September to visit her possible college destination. While she
was there, she decided she wanted to attend Stanford, a university
with a renowned academic reputation and unmatched women's tennis
tradition. But there was just one problem: She wasn't sure she would
Fall Signing Week '14: Dan Stefan Declares for the Commodores
St. Petersburg's Dan Stefan likes working with cars and engines, so
his tennis career should certainly be on the fast track now that he
has chosen to play at Vanderbilt University next year.
Fall Signing Week '14: Francesca DiLorenzo Chooses Ohio State
Talking with 2015 top female recruit
Francesca (Fran) DiLorenzo, I had to keep reminding myself that she's
only a senior in high school. This feisty, poised, well-spoken young
woman has a wisdom well beyond her 17 years. The Ohio State University
women's tennis team is getting quite a gem next Fall.
Fall Signing Week '14: Yates Set to Join Tiger Squad at Mizzou
When Turner Yates began her college search, among her top criteria
were joining the SEC and being part of a team that developed American
players. After weighing the options of several different
universities, not only did she feel that the University of Missouri
was the best fit, but there was also one quality about the Tiger
tennis team that stood out to her most of all - the feeling of being
part of a close-knit family.
Fall Signing Week '14: Grayson Broadus to Notre Dame
Grayson Broadus of Carrollton, Texas, a five-star recruit, is a real
fighter. For the last six months, Broadus has been dealing with a
fractured hand, a hurt back, and a strained shoulder. But, being the
fighter that he is, Broadus is back in action. Appropriately, Broadus
made a commitment to become a member of the Notre Dame Fighting Irish
men's tennis team.
Countdown: Golovin Geauxs to Tigers
Blue chip recruit Jessica Golovin didn't give much thought to college
tennis until this summer. The top recruit from New York was thinking
only of pro tennis until a discussion with her coach and an official
visit to LSU convinced her she would be wise to spend the next stage
of her tennis career in Baton Rouge.
Countdown: Auteri Seizes Opportunity at Lehigh
Staten Island's Chris Auteri loves the word opportunity. As a top
junior player growing up in the New York City area, he had to make the
most of each opportunity, which includes limited court time playing
indoor tennis during the cold winter months. Auteri says he is also
grateful to Lehigh University Head Men's Tennis Coach Wouter Hendrix
for the opportunity to make a commitment to play tennis for the
Countdown: Blue Chip Trio Commits to Duke
Blue chip seniors Catalin Mateas, Vincent Lin and Adrian Chamdani,
among the top in the Class of 2015, have verbally committed to Duke
University. Ryan Dickerson, with his five-star credentials, joins the
University as well, making Coach Ramsey Smith's Blue Devils one of the
best recruiting classes of the year.
Countdown: Marie Norris Picks TCU
Marie Norris, a five-star recruit from Burdett, Kan., has given a
verbal commitment to become a member of the Texas Christian University
women's tennis team next fall. Norris, who has been a Blue Chip
recruit throughout her high school career and ranked among the nation's
Top 10, will take her two-handed backhand and aggressive style to the
Countdown: Andrew Gu to Santa Clara
As Andrew Gu began to explore the option of playing tennis
collegiately, the promising junior standout ideally hoped he would be
able to play at a university close to home. As the 16-year-old
Northern California-resident narrowed down his search, he learned that
he was on Santa Clara's radar. Upon visiting Santa Clara in January
of this year Gu became convinced the West Coast Conference school
located close to San Jose was a great fit for him.
Countdown: California Girl Gabby Andrews Chooses UCLA
Blue chip senior Gabby Andrews seriously considered another top
program thousands of miles away, but late last year the two-time
junior slam champion chose to complete the next phase of her tennis
career closer to her Pomona, California home when she verbally
committed to UCLA.
Countdown: Asami's Inside Track to Pacific
Yuki Asami had an inside source when it came to researching University
of the Pacific. Asami's friend, Francis Dean, is a member of the UOP
women's tennis team, and Asami asked Dean several questions about the
school and the program. Once Dean realized Asami was interested in
attending UOP, she told head coach Charlotte Scatliffe about Asami.
Emails were exchanged, and Asami was soon on her way to Stockton.
Countdown: Big Blue Nation Welcomes Hussey
Austin Hussey, a five-star recruit from Edgewood, Ky., has decided to
become a member of the University of Kentucky Wildcats men's tennis
team. Hussey, ranked No. 1 in the Blue Grass State, will make the
short 75-mile journey to Lexington in the fall. He made the commitment
to Wildcats head coach Cedric Kauffmann last January.
Countdown: Whalen At Home with Hoosiers
Natalie Whalen first picked up a tennis racquet at the age of four
during a summer vacation to Florida. It wasn't long before people took
notice of her smooth strokes. Fast forwarding to senior year, and the
Chicagoan narrowed her list to a pair of Big Ten programs. But after
meeting the Indiana team and head coach Lin Loring, she immediately
felt at home with the Hoosiers.
Makarome Lives Up to Her Name, Commits to Columbia
Star Makarome credits her parents for some "creativity
points" with respect to her name - and believes it may have
helped her land a spot on a top college tennis program. The Wesley
Chapel, Florida teenager recently committed to attend Columbia
University in 2015 after an official visit on Sept. 8-9, just the two
days before her 17th birthday.
Kaitlyn McCarthy stays in-state with Blue Devils
Kaitlyn McCarthy the top-ranked senior of the Class of 2015,
shortlisted four of the country's outstanding schools: Florida, UNC,
Stanford and Duke. After visiting campuses, she narrowed them to
two - Duke and Florida. "It was a tough decision, both schools are
really great," said the blue chip recruit. With lots of family in
the area, location dictated her outcome. Home is Cary, North Carolina,
a 20-minute drive from Duke, where McCarthy will enter in Fall 2015.
Sophie Chang Commits to the Wahoos
When Sophie Chang was still in elementary school, she didn't know
much about college tennis, but she had an idea that she wanted to head
south to Virginia. Surely enough, that is what will happen. Chang, a
homeschooled Blue Chip rising senior from Havre de Grace, Md., has
committed to play for the Virginia Cavaliers, who have become one of
the nation's top programs in the past few seasons under Mark
Blue Chip Victor Pham Commits to Columbia
From the outside, it seemed like the obvious choice. Victor Pham's
older brother attended Columbia and was a member of the tennis team.
Most people figured Pham would pick the school to prolong the family
tradition. But Pham wanted to choose the school that was the best fit
for him, and he didn't want anything to influence his decision. After
doing thorough research and visiting several colleges, Pham decided
the obvious choice was the right choice.
Hampton Heads South to Sun Devil Territory
As one can imagine, growing up as a tennis player in the Northwest can
limit your options for playing outdoors. Which is partly why
Washington's top-ranked junior, Samantha Hampton, has decided to head
south for the next four years. The Blue Chip senior from Vancouver,
Wash., announced she will head to sunny Tempe to join the Arizona
State University women's tennis team as a freshman next fall.
Kyle Mautner to Penn
As a teenager, Kyle Mautner's goals have always been to get as many
training hours on the court as possible while still getting good
grades in school. Now a 5-Star senior, Mautner's focus on tennis and
school is paying off - as he looks forward to Ivy League education
while playing tennis at the University of Pennsylvania.
Rice Owls Claim Top-ranked Texan Jacob Hansen
Most rising seniors see college as the next step to an independent
life away from family. For Blue-Chip-to-be recruit Jacob Hansen,
however, his decision was mostly determined by the fact that his
parents finally settled in Texas after years of living overseas. The
Hansens relocated to Houston, home to Rice University, where Jacob has
verbally committed to play in Fall 2015.
Tate Allwardt to Vanderbilt
Tate Allwardt enjoys the challenges that tennis brings. "I really
enjoy competing," said Allwardt, 17, of Boca Raton. "I am a very
competitive person, and the one-on-one nature of tennis creates an
extremely competitive environment. Next year, Allwardt will take his
competitive outlook to Vanderbilt University - when he competes for
Commodores this coming fall.
Kennedy Shaffer Heads Between the Hedges
Kennedy Shaffer should fit right in next year as a member of the
University of Georgia's women's tennis team. The mascot for the school
is a Bulldog, and Shaffer's tenacity both on and off the court should
serve her well. The 17-year-old from Rossford, Ohio, recently made a
verbal commitment to attend the University of Georgia in 2015.
University of Southern Kal: Boyd Chooses USC
From an outsider's perspective, Kalman Boyd's college recruiting
process should have been an easy one. Much of his family attended USC,
and his grandfather coached the basketball team. But tennis recruiting
is a two-way street, and it isn't easy to claim a spot on a team that
has won five of the past six NCAA Division I titles. But when Boyd
visited campus and received an offer, he was excited to commit to the
Trojans tennis squad the next day.
Seelig Makes Early Commitment to Ohio State
Kyle Seelig wasn't interested in a long, drawn out recruiting process.
Anxious to see his hard work pay off, the Blue Chip recruit visited
six top programs before the end of his junior year in high school.
Following his fast and furious recruiting process, Seelig committed to
join the Ohio State Buckeyes in the fall of 2015.
Daniell Commits to Tide for 2015
Blue Chip junior Andie Daniell has grown to 5'11" - and has grown into
one of the top junior tennis players in the country. Recently, the
powerful right-hander verbally committed to play college tennis for
Coach Jenny Mainz and the Alabama Crimson Tide.
Daniel Rayl Picks Notre Dame
Blue Chip recruit Daniel Rayl of Carmel, Ind., intends on becoming a
member of the University of Notre Dame men's tennis team. Daniel,
ranked No. 24 in the Class of 2015, will have to wait until next fall
to wear the blue and gold of the Fighting Irish. Daniel, who attends
the private Park Tudor School in nearby Indianapolis, recently made a
verbal commitment to Notre Dame first-year coach Ryan Sachire.
Spring Signing Week '14: Bridgham Joins Flyer Family
The college tennis recruiting process can be difficult to navigate,
each school with its own unique set of pros and cons. But a specific
academic aim can simplify things, immediately knocking out
otherwise attractive options. That was the case for Marlys Bridgham.
An aspiring engineer, the Five Star recruit knew just what she was
looking for, and an email from Dayton head coach Ryan Meyer showed
her a perfect fit.
Spring Signing Week '14: Maese Commits to Boise State
After almost a year of international competition and intense tennis
training, Daniel Maese decided to return home to Texas. As his senior
year was quickly coming to a close, Maese gave up his tennis
activities momentarily so he could focus on academics. It was then that
his coach suggested he check out Boise State, and three months after
the initial contact, the four-star Texan committed to Coach Patton's Broncos.
Spring Signing Week '14: Austin Bates Follows March Madness to FGCU
Each March, the country is transfixed on March Madness, with fans
filling out their brackets and rooting for underdogs. Austin Bates
was among the millions that followed the run of the Florida Gulf Coast
University's men's basketball team to the "Sweet 16" in 2013. Then a
light went on. "March Madness is how I heard about the school,"
admitted Bates. "I got in contact with them, and it went from there."
Spring Signing Week '14: Amanda Atanasson Tigers Up
After taking her fourth official visit, Amanda Atanasson knew where
she wanted to go to college. Or, she might say, "geaux." Atanasson,
a 5-Star player from the Mid-Atlantic Section, committed to Louisiana
State. She selected the Tigers over a host of universities from
various areas - none too close to her home in Owings Mills, Md.
Spring Signing Week '14: Wolverines Snag Schalet
Myles Schalet has decided to leave the East Coast for the Midwest,
choosing to play for the Bruce Berque and the Michigan Wolverines in
the fall of 2015.
Spring Signing Week '14: Mira Ruder-Hook Goes Wolverine Blue
Mira Ruder-Hook has a slight difference in opinion to the popular
quote "winning isn't everything. It's the only thing." "Wins are more
fun," said the senior from Denver, Colorado. "But it's the losses that
have motivated me." That attitude propelled Ruder-Hook to more wins
and a lofty ranking - and opened up many college options for the Blue
Chip senior. Today, the Blue Chip senior announces her college
decision - and it involves Blue.
Spring Signing Week '14: Henry Adams to Abilene Christian
Four-star recruit Henry Adams of the San Antonio area has been a
winner at each of the Texas high schools he attended. He played for
New Braunfels High School when they won the Class 4A state team
championship, and he was on the third-place team at Alamo Heights when
he captured the individual doubles title with John King. Adams
leveraged his record into a National Letter of Intent with Abilene
Christian University in Texas.
Spring Signing Week '14: Gaels Bring in Banner Class
Emma Critser and Kareena Manji formed a successful tandem when they
won a National Open Girls 18 doubles title together last summer. The
two five-star recruits will be extending their partnership a bit
longer as both have signed to play at St. Mary's College in Moraga,
Countdown: Kaylin Kruseman to St. Mary's
When it came to deciding on where to play college tennis, the decision
was easy for Four Star recruit Kaylin Kruseman, who will attend
Division II St. Mary's University in San Antonio next fall.
Countdown: Huskies add Homegrown Blue Chip Stewart
Mitch Stewart, a blue-chip recruit from Federal Way, Wash., and owner
of five USTA balls, is legendary for his patience, speed, and mental
toughness. Those qualities, along with his endurance and thirst for
competition, will be tested in the Fall of 2014, when he officially
joins Head Coach Matt Anger's University of Washington Huskies. He
signed his National Letter of Intent in November 2013.
Countdown: Alice Li to Johns Hopkins
Alice Li began playing tennis in Tianjin, China, at age 8, but she
eventually discovered she was expected to put all her efforts into
either school or tennis - doing both was discouraged. Three years ago,
Li came to America to train, and things have worked out well. Now a
3-star recruit, Li recently committed to play college tennis at Johns
Hopkins University in Baltimore, Md., this coming fall.
Countdown: Sandberg Moves East to Ivy League
When Aaron Sandberg began his college search early on in his junior
year, he set his sights high on a collegiate team. He looked at Ivy
League schools and other prestigious institutions. With a second look
at what Brown had to offer, the Hudson, Ohio, 5-Star Recruit knew he
had found the college for him. After an official visit, Sandberg
decided to commit to the Brown University Bears team this fall.
Two-Sport Star Aney Chooses Tennis and Tar Heels
Leading Minnesota's high school hockey league in scoring is no small
achievement, but 2014 scoring champion Jessie Aney will be hanging up
her skates in 2015 and heading south to join the North Carolina Tar
Heels tennis program.
Countdown: Katelyn Jackson Signs With Texas Tech
Katelyn Jackson a Five-star recruit from Roland, Ark., will add to the
luster of the Texas Tech University women's tennis team next fall on
the Lubbock campus. Katelyn, the top-ranked player in Arkansas,
signed the National Letter of Intent with Lady Raiders head coach Todd
Petty in November.
Countdown: Eric Tseng to UCSD
Eric Tseng had realistic expectations for his future when it came to
tennis. The Irvine resident knew the sport could only take him so
far. But he also knew it would be far enough to make a huge impact on
his life. "But I wanted to use tennis to get into a good academic
college that I might not be able to get into otherwise," said Tseng.
The four-star recruit accomplished his goal - signing to play at UC
San Diego during the early signing period last November.
Countdown: Dunn Decides on the Tide
Blue Chip senior Bennett Dunn committed to Alabama over a year ago,
all without attending a single official visit. Dunn saw all she needed
to see on a 2012 road trip with her mother, Pam.
Countdown: Lamar Remy Commits to Wisconsin
For Lamar Remy, it's time for a cool change. After spending about
five years training and occasionally basking in the warmth of
Bradenton, Fla., the 3-Star prospect has elected to play tennis for
the University of Wisconsin.
Blue Chip Junior Katharine Fahey Commits
Blue Chip junior Katharine Fahey says that her favorite junior tennis
experience was playing in the Junior Fed Cup in California last
summer. She truly enjoyed the camaraderie of being on a team. Finding
that camaraderie won't be a problem in her future - she is ready to
announce her early college choice for Fall 2015.
Jess Jones Commits to Being a Volunteer
Top-20 national recruit Jess Jones let out a sigh of relief once the
recruiting process was over. But the 6'1" Blue Chip from Warner
Robins, Ga., was excited that he had made the right choice. Jones
recently made his commitment to Coach Sam Winterbotham and the
University of Tennessee Volunteers.
Renaud Cooks Up Victories, Commits to Georgia Tech
Johnisse Renaud is a self-proclaimed "chef on the rise." Her
culinary talents take a back seat to her tennis expertise on the
courts, however she has quite the recipe for success. Renaud, 17, is
headed to Georgia Tech on a full scholarship to hopefully lead the
Yellow Jackets back to a national tennis championship.
Princeton Perfect for Steffensen
She has been described as a pit bull on the court, but when she sets
foot on the Princeton campus this fall, she'll officially be a Tiger.
Blue Chip senior Katrine Steffensen is ready to use her trademark
fighting spirit to make an immediate impact on the Princeton team.
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 in this week's
Babolat Class Rankings, 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.