Sept. 10, 2013
WEST POINT, N.Y. – After graduating only two seniors from the 2012-13 season, women’s tennis head coach Paul Peck has added six freshmen for the 2013-14 year. Recognized by TennisRecruiting.net as the 19th-ranked recruiting class among mid-major programs, Brenna Keller, Nan Porter, Allyson Hayley, Carolina Lorenzini, Taler Brazell and Molly Prins represent the Black Knights newcomers.
Keller, a native of Mandeville, La., is one of the three four-star recruits Peck brought in this year. As a member of the Celcius Tennis Academy, Keller was named the Louisana Player of the Year in 2012. In addition, Keller won G16’s doubles at the Copper Bowl tournament in 2010 with partner Ellen Jang-Milsten, whose older brothers are members of the Army men’s tennis team.
“Brenna is a highly ranked player who is extremely athletic,” said Peck of Keller. “She is very aware of where she needs to be on the court and will have an immediate impact on the team this season.”
Hayley is another four-star recruit who arrived at West Point from Houston, Texas, where she trained at the Houston Tennis Academy. Hayley had a highly decorated career in which she competed in high level tournaments. In 2011, she became the United States Tennis Academy National Regional Segment doubles champion. A year later, Hayley defined herself as the 2012 United States Tennis Academy National Regional Segment singles finalist. As the team captain of Woodland Prep school’s tennis team, Hayley led her team to a second-place finish for the region. Before graduating, Hayley became a TAPPS 2A singles state champion in 2013. Prior to joining the Army women’s tennis team, Hayley played doubles in the Texas USTA alongside fellow recruit Nan Porter. From 2012-13, Hayley was a member of her high school’s National Honor Society.
“Allyson is our only left-handed recruit of the season,” said Peck. “As a four-star athlete, she is quick, tenacious and understands what it means to be a great competitor. She is an experienced doubles player who will also be able to help us with singles.”
Brazell ascends from Las Vegas, Nev., and is one of the two three-star recruits from the Class of 2017. Brazell earned major accolades throughout her high school career including being her team’s Most Valuable Player from 2010-13. Brazell also recieved awards including the Nevada No Quit award and 2010 Nevada Scholar-Athlete of the Year. In 2010, she was a state doubles finalist, regional doubles champion, regional state champion and a member of the state championship team. In the 2011-12 seasons, Brazell became Nevada’s doubles state champion. Off the court she excelled academically receiving academic honors in addition to being an All-American scholar in 2009-10. Brazell graduated in both the National Honor and Cum Laude Societies.
“Taler is one of the fittest girls on the team, thus far,” said Peck. “She is quick, athletic and has a ton of potential. She has the ability to get to the next level of play and we expect big things from her.”
Lorenzini descends from Clarendon Hills, Ill., and was coached by Jack Sharpe at the Hinsdale Racquet Club. The three-star recruit was a member of the 2009-10 state champion team in addition to being a doubles state champion in the 2010-11 seasons. Lorenzini remained on the academic honor roll throughout her high school career.
“Caroline comes from a strong tennis area in Chicago,” Peck said. “She is a very strong athlete and has a lot of potential. She will be a key component in doubles this season.”
A four-star recruit out of Amarillo, Texas, Porter is a highly ranked player who was part of the T Bar M Racquet Club in Dallas, Texas. Porter was the Arlington Super Champ Major Zone winner for G16 bracket in 2012.She was a 2011 Texas SA VIL State Tournament bronze medalist, 2012 Texas 4AVIL doubles state champion and 2013 4A VIL team state champion.
“Nan is a four-star athlete who is in great physical condition,” said Peck on Porter. “She is quick, athletic and will have an immediate impact on the team. We expect big things from her.”
Prins, a two-star recruit who attended Haldane and Westfield High Schools, was a section I conference IV singles champion and was an all-league and all-conference player. While at Westfield in 2012-13, she was a district doubles champion, Patriot All-District first-team selection, singles and doubles Northern All-Region, first-team singles, second-team doubles semifinalist, Team Spartan Award, Patriot All-District (first-team singles and doubles) Patriot District doubles champion and member of the district championship team. Voted the team’s Most Valuable Player, Prins received the USTA Military Service Award and the National Zonal Sportsmanship Award.
“Molly grew up around West Point and is very familiar with the atmosphere,” Peck said. “She has a heavy ball and a big serve. She has great potential for this team.”
When asked about Army’s six new recruits, Peck was optimistic about the players’ impact this season.
“This is a very good recruiting class and I am looking forward to seeing what they bring this season. We only graduated one starter last year so we have a lot of depth on this team. We have a challenging schedule ahead of us and we will face higher levels of competition. Our practices have been more intense and our team is really focused. Both the coaching staff and the players are really excited to get this season under way.”
The six Army newcomers join a roster of four seniors led by team captains Jamila Paul and Margaret Iliev. The remaining roster includes four juniors and five sophomores for a total of 13 returning players from last year’s squad.
Army opens its fall tournament campaign on Sept. 14, in Hamden Conn., at the Quinnipiac Invitational, while half of the team will also compete at the Stony Brook Invitational in Stony Brook, N.Y.