CHARLOTTESVILLE - The Virginia women's tennis team announced the signing of two recruits during the fall signing period. Julia Elbaba (Oyster Bay, N.Y.) and Maci Epstein (Winter Park, Fla.), both ranked among the top 15 recruits in the nation, will join the program in the fall of 2012.
"Julia and Maci will bring an extraordinary amount of ability, experience, competitive spirit and the highest level of desire for success to this program," said head coach Mark Guilbeau. "They have shown themselves to be extremely tough and determined throughout their junior careers, and have also expressed a clear commitment to continuing to compete and train at a high level until they arrive here. Along with their parents, both have been a tremendous pleasure to recruit and were very thorough and focused in making their decisions. We are fortunate to have them joining our program. Their genuine desire to be at UVa for all of the right reasons, along with the career goals they have both on and off the courts, will allow them to be great leaders and have an immediate and positive impact within this team and university."
Elbaba is a blue chip recruit, ranked No. 9 in the class of 2012 by tennisrecruiting.net. This year, she advanced from qualifying to reach the main draw of the US Open juniors. She won ITF junior singles and doubles titles in Costa Rica and Mexico in 2011.
"Julia has impressed this staff at Virginia for a long, long time," said Guilbeau. "She is an extremely fit and versatile player who always competes with a very high energy level. Julia has the unique ability to play a very aggressive, attacking style, and also understands and performs well with incredible defensive skills, hustle, court-coverage and a willingness to extend points. This combination is a sign of the work and commitment Julia has already made to her game. We are excited to help her on and off the courts and will do everything we can to further her success both athletically and academically. We are fortunate to have such a great person, student and athlete joining our program. Julia's energy, enthusiasm and personality is contagious and will be a great part of her immediate impact at the University of Virginia."
Epstein also is a blue chip recruit, ranked No. 14 in the class of 2012 by tennisrecruiting.net. Last month she advanced from qualifying and reached the round of 32 of the main draw of the ITF Pan-American Championships.
"Maci is a very mature, down-to-earth, and gracious type person," said Guilbeau. "It has been a pleasure communicating with her throughout the recruitment process. We are very excited that Maci will be joining the UVa program. She brings a clear focus and a very intelligent, powerful game to the courts. Maci already executes a number of skills on the court at a level as high or higher than any prospects in the entire nation. Maci has also proven herself to be an extremely solid student and has shown the desire and ability to handle all of the challenges that both athletics and academics present in a great way. This staff and her fellow teammates are anxious to have her here and look forward to working together to further her achievements on and off the courts.
"Along with Julia and Maci, we are also very optimistic and excited about the inclusion of an additional prospect within their 2012 class," added Guilbeau. "All of these players will bring extremely well-rounded games and very mature, positive attitudes to this program."
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A 1985 graduate of UVA, White worked at the Richmond Times-Dispatch until July 2009. He was honored six times as the state's Sportswriter of the Year.
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