Dec. 11, 2008
BIRMINGHAM, Ala. -- UAB women's tennis coach Krissy Hall has added two players to the Blazers' 2009 spring roster and inked a third for next fall.
Paula Alvarez and Brittany DeFelice will enroll at UAB in January and compete in the spring season, while Richole Berger has signed to join the Blazer program for the 2009-10 academic year.
"I am so thrilled that Paula, Brittany and Richole have decided to join the UAB family," Hall said. "All three display the characteristics that we are looking for in student-athletes and will represent UAB and our tennis program in a first-class manner.
"They all bring a tremendous amount of competitiveness to our team, and I look for them to add many positives to our tennis program throughout their years at UAB."
Alvarez has committed to the Blazers from Spain, where she has had a successful junior career. A graduate of IES Sanchez Canton in Pontevedra, Spain, she trains at the High Performance Sporting Centre of Galicia for coach Marco Antonio Casal. She is the daughter of Jose Felix Alvarez and Maria Cristina Pino.
Alvarez finished in the top eight of the Marca Master National Under-16 Tournament, reached the semifinals of the Galician Regional Senior Championships and played in the Spanish National Under-18 Championships. Additionally, she has competed in several International Tennis Federation junior tournaments.
"Paula is an outstanding tennis player as well as a quality person with great character," Hall said. "She is a great fit for our team's philosophy, and I expect her to have an amazing college career at UAB."
DeFelice is a sophomore who comes to UAB as a transfer from Wyoming. With the Cowgirls this fall, she posted a 13-11 overall record, including an 8-4 singles mark, highlighted by wins over players from Colorado, Virginia Tech and Tulsa. During the spring campaign in 2008, as a freshman, she managed a team-best record of 14-3 in singles competition and an overall mark of 21-13.
DeFelice played at Edmond North High School in Edmond, Okla., where she made multiple appearances in the Oklahoma State Championship and won the No. 2 singles state title during her sophomore season. At the junior level, she reached a USTA ranking of No. 2 in the Oklahoma District and No. 7 in the Missouri Valley Section. DeFelice is the daughter of Terry and Sue DeFelice.
"I am thrilled to be coaching Brittany once again," said Hall, who recruited DeFelice and coached her as a freshman at Wyoming. "She is an extremely hard worker both on the court and in the classroom. She brings a 'never quit' attitude as well as a team-oriented spirit. With her commitment, dedication and experience, I feel she will make a lasting impression in the history of Blazer tennis."
Berger, a senior at Hermiston High School in Hermiston, Ore., has signed a National Letter of Intent to join the Blazers in the fall of 2009. A three-time district and state champion in doubles, she has compiled an 87-2 record entering her senior season. Ranked as the top recruit in Oregon and No. 4 in the Northwest by tennisrecruiting.net, Berger has competed in several national junior tournaments.
As a student, Berger owns a 3.94 GPA and ranks 17th in her class of 310. She is the daughter of Curt and Roxanne Berger. Her father was a wrestler at Oregon State, while her sister Rachel is a senior tennis player at Eastern Washington, and her other sister Rebecca is a sophomore on the Wyoming tennis team.
"Richole is an extremely hard worker who will settle for nothing less than her best," Hall said. "She is always looking to improve, and her best tennis years are still ahead of her. She will play a significant role in the success of the program over the next four years."