Spring Signing Week '13: National Roundup
by Dallas Oliver, 16 April 2013
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Signing Week is underway, and tomorrow, senior tennis players will begin signing their National Letters of Intent with Division I and Division II schools. We have been tracking verbal commitments since the beginning of the academic year (boys, girls), and throughout the remainder of the week, we will be featuring commitment announcements and comments from a variety of boys and girls.
Today, we hear comments from diverse tennis players across the country in our National Roundup. We talked with several recruits who have made their college selection. We asked them about their college choices - and how they reached their decisions.
Here is a whirlwind tour around the country to review these verbal commitments. Check out what they have to say...
Aaron Jumonville (Nashville, Tenn.) to Middle Tennessee
5-Star senior Aaron Jumonville has posted many accomplishments over the past year. Last spring, he helped Montgomery Bell Academy to its third straight state championship. He followed that up with some strong results on the USTA circuit, reaching the semifinals at the Southern Championships and winning the singles title at the Fall Southern Closed in November. This coming fall, Jumoville will be joining the Blue Raiders at nearby Middle Tennessee.
What do you like about Middle Tennessee?
Middle Tennessee definitely caught my eye with the facilities they have. I had no idea how nice everything was there until I took my visit. They have amazing courts, great workout rooms, and the classroom building are very nice as well. Aside from the facilities, they have a really solid team, and I know I'll get a lot better training with their players everyday.
You mentioned your campus visit. What was that like?
I ended up taking an unofficial visit since it wasn't far from my house, but I was very impressed. I hung out with the guys the whole day and saw their classes, workouts, and practice. I was impressed with the fitness training they did, and next year when I do the workouts with them it will for sure help my tennis.
Nothing I saw at MT looks easy, so I know I'm going to have to work really hard - which I'm looking forward to. If it wasn't challenging, then there wouldn't be a point.
Could you talk about the coaches?
One of the things that really caught my eye was the unbelievable coaching I saw at MTSU. Coach Borendame was the most persistent of the coaches who were interested in me. He emailed me the first day he was allowed to and called me the first day he was able as well. Coach Borendame let me know early on that he wanted me at MTSU, and it didn't take me very long to figure out that's where I wanted to go.
The coaches showed me everything I needed to see on my visit. He and Coach Stump handle their players well, and I know they'll help me a ton next year.
What did you think of the players on the team?
I felt really comfortable with the team. Off the court it wasn't a super-serious environment, and I was glad to see that the guys like to joke around a lot and have fun. They are all good guys on and off the court - and they are incredible tennis players.
What goals do you have for your freshman year?
My biggest goal for my freshman year is just to improve as much as possible - and work as hard as I can. Obviously I want to try my best to start in the lineup. Hopefully I will, but if not, I'll just work harder the next year.
Princess Gbadamosi (Houston, Texas) to Cleveland State
4-Star senior Princess Gbadamosi has shined in both high school and USTA tennis. The standout from Klein High School, who turns 18 this month, placed third at the 5A Texas State tournament in doubles the past two seasons. Gbadamosi and her partner - New Mexico recruit Emily Olivier - hope to win the state title this month. She has posted a 12-7 record in USTA tournaments, taking advantage of the strong competition available in Texas. Next year, Gbadamosi will take her game to Ohio, where she will compete for Cleveland State. She chose the Vikings over Boise State, Southern Illinois, and Toledo.
What were the primary factors that went into your decision?
I considered schools with really good women's tennis teams and nationally-recognized engineering programs. I also paid attention to the teams' cumulative GPAs - which were really high for all the schools I considered - because I wanted to make sure I picked a school where I thought the girls were able to balance school with tennis efficiently.
From there, the primary factors in my decision were the coaching staff of the school, if the school provided a chemical engineering major, campus atmosphere, and if I was a good fit with the girls already on the team.
What do you like most about Cleveland State?
I love a lot of things! The coach, Brian Etzkin, is a nice genuine coach, and he works his girls really hard to be smart players on and off the court. He really helps his girls get mentally tougher - which I think is a huge part of adjusting to college tennis and can lead to quick improvement.
The Engineering Department at Cleveland State is also a big part of why I am choosing to go there. Everyone is so friendly, and they really strive to prepare you for the workforce after college.
You mention Coach Etzkin right off the bat. Talk a little more about him.
On my official visit to Cleveland State, I got to tour the school with Coach Etzkin. I also got to watch a practice, and I was really impressed by his coaching style.
Coach Etzkin is the head coach for both the women's and men's teams at Cleveland state so he alternates between them every other match with the assistant coach. I actually really like that because I get a fresh perspective on my strokes and matches every other week.
Did you get to spend time with the team?
I got to meet all of my future teammates, and I also got to meet Lauren Golick, who will also be a freshman next year. I really felt like I bonded with the girls right off the back. I was only there for a couple of days, but I really enjoyed being with them. I also really like how the team is so close - they attend a lot of activities together.
Do you have any goals for your freshman year?
My goal for my freshman year is to play well enough to be recognized with all-conference honors. It would be a dream come true if I made first team all-conference or Rookie of the Year. I'd love for my team and school to be able to rely on me to win singles and doubles matches wherever coach puts me to play.