June 12, 2013
BIRMINGHAM, Ala. ----- TennisRecruiting.net, the premier site for junior tennis recruiting, has ranked the UAB women's tennis 2013-14 recruiting class No. 12 among mid-major programs, the site announced on Wednesday.
The Blazers are the second-highest ranked Conference USA team (Marshall/No.6) in the rankings, with Houston and SMU, which will both be leaving the league in 2013-14, holding down the top two spots.
"We are honored to be on the TennisRecruiting.net ranking list and to be mentioned with a lot of elite teams," head coach Lisa Jackson said. "I really like the class we have coming in and I look forward to next season."
In her second year at the helm of the UAB women's tennis program, Jackson will welcome four signees for the 2013-14 season, including four-star prospect and Louisiana product Catherine Ragon, who signed with the Blazers last fall. Joining Ragon will be Giovanna Baccarini, Paula Castro and Pardis Kianoush, who each signed with the Blazers in the spring.
Ragon, who graduated for Mandeville High School in May of 2013, was ranked as the No. 2 overall prospect in the state of Louisiana by TennisRecruiting.net. During her career, Ragon was 29-23 against opponents who were ranked as three-star prospects or higher, including a perfect 21-0 mark against three-star athletes.
Castro, a highly touted player from Ecuador, comes to UAB after receiving as high as a No. 2 national ranking in 2012. Castro had a career-best No. 338 international ranking by the International Tennis Federation and was ranked as high as No. 6 by the Confederacion Sudamericana De Tennis (COSAT) in the under-14 category.
A Brazil native, Baccarini comes to the Blazers after playing in three national tournaments in 2013. She won two of those and lost in the finals of the third tournament. Baccarini had a career-best ranking of No. 396 from the ITF and was rated as the fifth-best player in Brazil by the Brazilian Federation.
Kianoush, who joins the Blazers from Great Britain, was a two-time country champion in both singles and doubles. She helped lead her under-18 county team from 2009-2013, when her squad was the four-time national champion. Kianoush was the top-ranked player on those teams and received as high as a No. 16 national ranking during her career.
UAB enters the 2013-14 season following a 12-8 mark in its first season under Jackson. The 12-8 record is UAB's best overall mark since 2007.