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Recruiting Feature
Top Women's Classes - 2014 Winter Rankings
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The Spring Signing Period is only two months away, and many senior girls have already made their college decisions. Over 400 girls - including 85 of our Top 100 - either signed Letters of Intent in the fall or have announced verbal commitments.

So... how is your favorite school doing? Last week, we took a look at the men. Today, the Tennis Recruiting Network and Solfire show you where things stand with the ladies... with our Winter Rankings of the Top 25 Women's Recruiting Classes for the Class of 2014.

 

Media Poll

TennisRecruiting.net and Solfire have enlisted the aid of junior tennis experts from around the country to vote for the top classes. We list the panelists for this voting period below.

Each of our panelists submitted his/her take on the Top 25 recruiting classes. Schools received 25 points for each first-place vote, 24 points for each second-place vote, on down to 1 point for each 25th-place vote. The panelists did not consider incoming transfer students in their voting - and also did not consider players that started college in January.

 

Top 25 Women's Recruiting Classes (through January 4)

Here are the Winter Rankings of the top women's college recruiting classes, presented by Solfire. Point totals are shown in the right-most column - with the number of first-place votes in parentheses. All commitments reported through January 4, 2014 are included.

 
Rank School Rating  Name State Points 
1 Florida Brooke Austin IN 650 (26)
    Peggy Porter TX
    Josie Kuhlman FL
2 UCLA Kristin Wiley FL 603
    Maia Magill CA
3 Georgia Mariana Gould ID 568
    Laura Patterson GA
    Ansley Bridges GA
    Hannah King GA
4 North Carolina Cassandra Vazquez TX 561
    Marika Akkerman CAN
5 Notre Dame Brooke Broda OH 522
    Allison Miller GA
6 USC Gabrielle Smith NV 498
    Madison Westby OK
7 Harvard Nikki Kallenberg FL 495
    Annika Ringblom CA
    Ellen Jang Milsten GA
8 Northwestern Alexandria Chatt IL 434
    Rheeya Doshi SIN
    Erin Larner OR
9 Rice Lindsey Hodge GA 409
    Savannah Durkin FL
10 Duke Christina Makarova CA 380
11 Alabama Bennett Dunn FL 351
    Aryn Greene GA
12 Texas Tech Sarah Dvorak HI 333
    Katelyn Jackson AR
13 Columbia Alexandra Solovyev IL 307
    Rima Asatrian NJ
    Adi Milstein FL
    Laura Macmullin CAN
14 Virginia Tech Elena Cerezo Codina ESP 258
    Katherine Butler NC
    Lena Pacholski FRA
15 Ohio State Anna Sanford OH 254
16 Louisville Ariana Rodriguez NY 239
    Aleksandra Mally NY
    Jessie-Lynn Paul NC
    Caroline Walter KY
17 Michigan Alexandria Najarian MI 204
    Kathryn Hall CO
18 Baylor Eliza Long AUS 191
    Kelley Anderson TX
19 Wake Forest Courtney Meredith AL 169
    Sara Swift FL
20 Princeton Katrine Steffensen NY 141
21 Yale Valerie Shklover NJ 126
    Elizabeth Zordani IL
    Carol Finke IL
    Lauren Sapienza NY
22 Florida State Gabriella Castaneda FL 124
23 St. Mary's (CA) Emma Critser CA 121
    Kareena Manji CA
24 Houston Mina Markovic SCG 111
    Angela Lorenzo Garrido ESP
    Carolina Costamagna ARG
25 South Carolina Megen Cochran GA 82
    Hadley Berg CA
 

Also Receiving Votes

Other women's programs receiving votes are: Kansas (76), Indiana (44), Georgia Tech (38), Minnesota (38), California (22), Clemson (12), Elon (12), Wesleyan (CT) (11), Nebraska (10), Air Force (9), Dartmouth (9), Miami (OH) (8), William & Mary (8), Georgia State (7), Washington (6), Virginia (4), Oklahoma (3), Stetson (1), and Utah (1).

 

Gators Pack a Tough Bite

In our men's rankings that we published last week, our panel had a tough time coming up with a No. 1 recruiting class. There was no such issue with the women. We had a record number of panelists - twenty-six in all - for these rankings, and all 26 first-place votes were cast for the Florida Gators.

Over the past four years, head coach Roland Thornqvist and his Florida program have been one of the two top squads in the nation. The Gators have reached the Final Four each of the past four seasons, winning back-to-back national titles in 2011 and 2012. Despite the loss of all-everything Lauren Embree, there are lofty expectations for this year's team, ranked No. 2 in the latest ITA rankings.

With this year's recruiting haul, there will be lofty expectations for future Florida programs as well. Thornqvist is bringing in three elite-level recruits next year in Brooke Austin, Peggy Porter, and Josie Kuhlman. All three young woman hold WTA rankings in the Top 1,000, with Austin, Porter and Kuhlman ranked No. 590, 766 and 914, respectively as of January 2014. The trio was a force at the highest level of U.S. junior tennis last August, posting sixteen singles victories at the Girls' 18 Nationals in San Diego. One of those singles victories saw Austin oust Porter in the round of 16 before she went on to win the Bronze Ball. All three are ranked among the Top 10 on the Babolat Recruiting Lists,

"We are really excited about all three of them," said Thornqvist in a school release. "They are replacing three of the most accomplished players we've ever had on this campus, as far as women's tennis is concerned. So, they certainly have big shoes to fill."

As we do with most highly-rated players, Tennis Recruiting actually ran feature articles on all three girls when they committed. You can access commitment announcement articles on Austin, Porter and Kuhlman from our archives.

 

Give Me Five

While Florida was an obvious choice for the top position, there was also a clear-cut No. 2. UCLA secured the second spot with 603 points - 35 points more than No. 3 Georgia. The Bruins - who reached the Final Four last year after ending the season as national runner up in 2012 - have a pair of Blue Chip recruits coming in next Fall in Kristin Wiley and Maia Magill. They might have given Florida a run for its money if top recruit Mayo Hibi had decided to attend UCLA rather than turn professional.

Rounding out the Top 5 are Georgia (No. 3), North Carolina (4), and Notre Dame (5).

 

Conference Call

A look at the rankings shows that the fifteen programs in the Atlantic Coast Conference hold down seven of the 25 spots in the rankings. Almost half of the recruiting classes from the ACC appear in our rankings.

Three ACC squads appear in the Top 10 on our list, starting with the North Carolina Tar Heels at No. 4. They are joined at the top by Notre Dame (No. 5) and Duke (10). Other ACC programs in the rankings include Virginia Tech (11), Louisville (16), Wake Forest (19), and Florida State (22).

The only conference that proportionately outperformed the larger ACC was the Ivy League, which placed half of its programs - four in all - in the rankings. Other conferences with multiple teams in the rankings are the SEC (5 programs), PAC-12 (3), and Big Ten (2).

 

Beyond the Power Conferences

Three squads in our rankings came from outside the so-called "power conferences" in college tennis that consist of the NCAA's big five football conferences and the Ivy League.

The Rice Owls of Conference USA lead the way with the No. 9 recruiting class. Blue Chip recruit Lindsey Hodge of Roswell, Ga. and 5-Star senior Savannah Durkin of Miramar, Fla. are heading to Houston this fall. We carried an article about Hodge's decision during our Fall Signing Week article series.

Other programs outside the power conferences in our rankings are the St. Mary's Gaels of the West Coast Conference at No. 23 and the No. 24 Houston Cougars from the American Conference.

 

Drop Shots

Scattershooting through the rankings...

  • Still Perfect: 2013 marks the ninth year of recruiting class rankings, and two programs have perfect attendance records. The Princeton Tigers and UCLA Bruins have all appeared in the recruiting class rankings each year from 2006-2014.

  • Welcome aboard: Three teams are making their first-ever appearance in our recruiting class rankings: Louisville (No. 16), St. Mary's (23), and South Carolina (25).

  • Clearing the Bar: In addition to our newcomers, four other programs have achieved their highest-ever ranking in our poll: top-ranked Florida (No. 1), UCLA (2), Rice (9), and Texas Tech (12).

  • Welcome Back: The Rice Owls have had the longest hiatus from our rankings. The last time Rice appeared was back in 2006.

  • Getting It Done: Houston Head Coach Patrick Sullivan can certainly recruit. After attracting the top-ranked mid-major class at Stephen F. Austin in 2011, Sullivan has the Cougars in the rankings for the second straight year - and only the second time in school history.

  • Home Cooking: Two programs in our rankings have recruiting classes that consist only of recruits from their home states: Ohio State (No. 15) and St. Mary's (CA) (23).

  • Going Big: Why do the Gators have the top-ranked class? Probably because they have both of highest-ranked girls who have made college commitments. Brooke Austin and Peggy Porter are ranked No. 2 and No. 3, respectively, on this week's Babolat College Recruiting List.
 

Panelists for January 2014

The panelists for this voting period are shown below alphabetically. Please join us in thanking them for donating their time and talents to this effort.

 

Signing Day, Then More Rankings

With this list, the Tennis Recruiting Network concludes its Winter Recruiting Class Rankings. But we will be back in the spring - shortly after the Spring Signing Day - with updated rankings. During that time, we will also post rankings featuring schools outside the high major conferences.

Also, keep in mind that there is a lot of time left in the recruiting season. Look for teams to rise - and fall - in the rankings once more commitments are in.

 

About Solfire

Solfire is proud to sponsor Recruiting Class Rankings at TennisRecruiting.net.

Solfire embodies the powerful force within us to pursue our dreams. By merging original designs with high-performance materials, each product becomes Art In Motion.

We begin in the artist studio, then we travel the world to find the best materials. In each step of the development process we apply the most advanced technology, equipment and techniques. Our design lab in Brooklyn, N.Y. allows us to immerse ourselves in every detail, from initial inspiration to the last stitch.

We are a diverse crew of creative individuals who are passionate about testing our limits, exploring the world and designing great clothes.

Connect with Solfire on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and YouTube - or on their website.

 

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More Recruiting Class Rankings

27-Jan-2014
Top Men's Classes - 2014 Winter Rankings
The senior class has been busy. More than 850 seniors in the Class of 2014 have made commitments to college tennis programs so far, with dozens more making verbal commitments each and every week. The decision-making will continue, but the end of January is a great time to see where things stand. Today, the Tennis Recruiting Network and Solfire are excited to bring you its poll of the Top 25 Men's College Tennis Recruiting Classes.

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Page updated on Sunday, April 13, 2014
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