Nov. 9, 2011
FORT COLLINS, Colo. - Colorado State women's tennis Head Coach Jon Messick inked a group of National Letter of Intent signees for the 2012-13 season Wednesday, landing a five-star recruit, two four-star recruits and a local three-star recruit.
"This is by far the largest and most talented recruiting class that we have been able to assemble," said Messick "The rankings and competitive experience of all of our signees will make an immediate impact on our results next season."
A product of Kapaun Mt. Carmel Catholic High School, top-ranked recruit Abby Stevens of Wichita, Kan. --a five-star recruit according to Tennis Recruiting Network-- clinched the 5A state championship title alongside her high school team, which also claimed state 5A championship in 2011.
"Abby has shown herself to be a consistently tough competitor in the junior ranks," said Messick. "She has the ability to wear opponents down with her relentless consistency and can win by being aggressive as well. Abby's `fight to the finish' attitude will be a great asset to the Rams next year."
Stevens was also honored with Player of the Year for Kansas' girls in 2011 as well as winner of the Sportsmanship Award for Kansas in 2011. She was the No. 1 ranked player in Kansas and No. 2 ranked player in the Missouri Valley section. On top of that, Stevens was ranked as high as No. 127 in USTA national rankings.
Also signing Wednesday was Kendall Heitzner, who spent last season at Winston Churchill High School in Potomac, Md., and was a four-star recruit according to Tennis Recruiting Network. Heitzner was the No. 1 ranked player in the Southwest section as a 10-year old, reaching No.16 in the Southern California section and after relocating to the Middle Atlantic section. She reached No. 5. Heitzner was also ranked as high as No. 114 in USTA national rankings while maintaining membership of the National Honor Society at Winston Churchill High School.
"Kendall has a strong and aggressive all-court game," said Messick. "She can be effective at both the baseline and the net. She has the ability to use her serve as a weapon to set up points. Kendall's style of play will thrive playing at altitude and should be a challenge right away for a spot in our lineup."
Four-star recruit Mollie Cooper of Shawnee Mission, Kan., was the state high school 6A doubles champion three times, in 2009, 2010 and 2011 (the high school record for the state of Kansas).
"Mollie is a versatile left-hander that has had great success as a doubles player in high school," said Messick. "She is a fighter on the court and will bring a good variety of shot making to the Rams team next year."
Cooper was also a member of state high school champion teams in 2008 and 2011. In addition to that, Cooper was ranked as high as No. 155 in USTA national rankings with her highest rankings at No. 2 in Kansas and No. 4 in the Missouri Valley Section. Shining in academics as well, Cooper was a member of the National Honor Society at Shawnee Mission East High School, while earning the Leadership Award in 2010.
Final recruit, Jennifer Weissmann of Loveland, Colo. was a three-star recruit according to Tennis Recruiting Network. Weissmann was Colorado's 2011 5A state high school champion and was ranked No. 3 in Colorado and No. 5 in the intermountain section last season as well as achieving the No. 243 ranking in USTA national rankings. Weissmann was also named the 2011 Outstanding Colorado high school female tennis player by the Colorado Tennis Association as well as the Denver Post Female Tennis Player of the Year. Academically, Weissmann is an Honor Roll student at Loveland High School.
"Jennifer has a powerful game built around a strong serve and a dominating forehand," said Messick. "With her style of play she has the potential to play at a very high level in college."
With the new additions to the team, Colorado State has more a lot to look forward to in the years to come.
"It is a privilege to be able to attract as many high school state champions as we have this year, with high regional and national rankings as well," said Messick.