Samara Signs Three to 2013-14 Roster
- By Brian Kuppelweiser
- May 24, 2013 11:32 AM
MORGANTOWN, W.Va. – West Virginia University women’s tennis coach Tina Samara has announced the signing of three players to the 2013-14 roster.
Sophie Allen-Fisher (Perth, Australia/Presbyterian Ladies College), Kaja Mrgole (Jesenice, Slovenia/ Gimnazija Franceta Prešerna) and Oana Manole (Andover, Great Britain/Peter Symonds Sixth Form) join Sydney Rider (Annapolis, Md./ Laurel Springs School) to fill out Samara’s recruiting class.
“We are extremely excited to get this group of girls here and playing tennis,” said coach Tina Samara. “For the first time since we arrived at WVU, we will have a team comprised entirely of our girls, and that is great feeling. Each of these girls will have the opportunity to contribute immediately, as we have spots in our lineup that need to be filled following the departures that we’ve had.”
Allen-Fisher joins the Mountaineers with rankings of No. 111 overall in Australia, No. 11 in Western Australia and No. 3 overall as a 17-year old in Western Australia.
On the court, Allen-Fisher was a finalist in doubles play at the 2013 Victoria Tennis Championships, a finalist in singles play at the 2012 Western Australian State Hard Court Championships and a finalist in doubles play at the 2012 Western Australian State Autumn & Winter Opens. In addition, Allen-Fisher was a two-time captain of her Open State League team and won the 2009 under 14 national doubles title. Allen-Fisher also won a state pennant in April.
“Sophie comes to us as a very hard-working individual,” Samara said. “I have a level of familiarity with her coach, so Sophie will come to us representing not only herself and her country, but also her coach. We know that she has a great attitude, and we look forward to coaching her because she is player that already has very good fundamentals.”
Mrgole comes to WVU as the No. 17 overall player in the Slovenian Open Division and the fifth-best player in the Slovenian 18 and under division. In addition, Mrgole was a semifinalist in the girl’s national indoors championship, finalist in outdoor doubles for 18 & under and semifinalist in indoor doubles for 18 & under.
“Coming from Slovenia, Kaja is very excited about the opportunity to study and play at West Virginia,” Samara said. “She is a tall player that plays a big game with big serve and big groundstrokes. She knows what we are expecting from each of the players in this class, and her level of commitment is very high. When you combine her attitude with her big game, she has a tremendous amount of potential.”
The final spring signee, Manole, currently holds a ranking of No. 67 in the United Kingdom in the girl’s 18 & under division and a ranking of No. 126 in the United Kingdom Open Division.
During her prep competition, Manole recorded victories over four opponents that are ranked in the top 25 of the United Kingdom, including Kansas State commit Tegan Louw. Furthermore, Manole was the winner of five tournaments in singles play, including the 2011 Windsor Junior Open and one doubles tournament, the Natwest Junior Open.
“Oana is girl that is originally from Romania and is now living in the United Kingdom,” Samara said. “During her time in the UK, she has been very successful, as she has earned victories over multiple top 20 opponents. Oana isn’t a player that is very flashy, but she is very consistent. When she plays her opponents, they will have to work hard for a victory because she will push them throughout the match.”
Rider, who signed with the Mountaineers in November, is a four-star prospect according to TennisRecruiting.net and holds a national ranking of No. 110, a Middle Atlantic region ranking of No. 17 and a ranking of No. 3 in Maryland. Rider also holds an IMG Tennis RPI of No. 137.
During her prep career, Rider was ranked in the top 15 of each age group in the Mid-Atlantic, represented the USA in the 2010 Junior Federation Cup in India and was a full-time player at the Junior Tennis Champions Center in College Park, Md.
“Sydney has a tremendous amount of upside,” Samara said. “She has a really good kick serve and a really big forehand. She has a chance to immediately impact our doubles play. Sydney’s experience at the Junior Tennis Champions Center should make the transition to the college game a little bit easier. She has familiarity of what is necessary at the collegiate level and will probably come in a little more prepared for the collegiate level. Also very helpful to her is her experience at the Junior Federation Cup.”
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