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Tuesday, November 19, 2013

UCLA Signs Mayo Hibi to National Letter of Intent; More NLI Signings; USTA Announces Four Australian Wild Card Playoff Participants

Mayo Hibi at the 2013 US Open Junior Championships 
UCLA announced today that it has signed Mayo Hibi, with a current WTA ranking of 228, to a National Letter of Intent for the 2014-15 school year. Hibi, who won the International Spring Championships and Easter Bowl and reached the semifinals of the US Open Junior Championships, while also winning a $25,000 Challenger in New Mexico and A $50,000 Challenger in California this year. A resident of Irvine, California, Hibi plays under the Japanese flag in ITF events. She is the Tennis Recruiting Network's No. 1 recruit in the class of 2014.

UCLA also announced the signings of Kristen Wiley and Kelly Shaffer.

I've been collecting official announcements over the past four or five days, since my initial post on the early signings last week. If there is just one announcement on the school's athletic website, the link will be the school's name. If there is more than one, each article will be linked by the player's name.

The IMG Bollettieri Academy announced the signings of four of its players here. The Junior Tennis Champions Center announced the signings of eight of its players here.

Clemson: Hampton Drake
Fresno State: Adam Glynn, Youssef Hassan, Eric Komati
Georgia Tech: Christopher Eubanks, Michael Kay, Daniel Yun
Kentucky: Jerry Lopez, Trey Yates, William Bushamuka, Jake Stefanik
Louisville: Augie Ge
Ohio State: Herkko Pollanen, Riley Reist, Matt Mendez
South Carolina: Wood Benton, Thomas Mayronne, Gabriel Friedrich
TCU: Trevor Johnson
Texas: John Mee
Texas A&M: A.J. Catanzariti
Toledo: Stephen Miller
UCLA: Austin Rapp

Alabama: Bennett Dunn, Aryn Greene
Georgia: Caroline Brinson, Mariana Gould, Hannah King
Michigan: Alex Najarian
Nebraska: Spurti Shivalingaiah, Macarena Olivares
Oklahoma: Christiana Brigante, Malene Stripp
Penn State:  Taylor Shukow, Dasha Sapogova
Purdue: Deborah Suarez (transfer from Miami)
Rice: Savannah Durkin, Lindsey Hodge
South Carolina: Hadley Berg, Megen Cochran
Southern Cal: Gabrielle Smith, Madison Westby
Virginia: Cassie Mercer
Washington: Miki Kobayashi
Western Michigan: Olivia Myers, Labina Petrovska

The USTA announced four of the women who will be participating in its annual Australian Open Wild Card playoff next month in Norcross, Georgia. Madison Brengle, Vicky Duval, Grace Min and Shelby Rogers have accepted invitations to compete in the tournament.  There are eight spots for both men and women, so stay tuned for more announcements in the coming weeks.  For additional information about attending the tournament, which runs from Friday December 20, through Sunday December 22, see the tournament website.


Tennis guru said...

Why is Hibi going to college with 228 ranking? Maybe she will learn to come over backhand in college?

JD said...

Colette, do you know why Maia Magill wasn't mentioned in uclas's signing class on their site? Is she going there early or did she decommit?

Colette Lewis said...

I don't know Magill's situation specifically. but as you can see by a couple of these links, not all signings are announced in the same release.

What? said...

Agree with tennis guru. What kind of competition will Hibi see in college, especially seeing Loeb's success this year? Congrats to UCLA. But it'll be a surprise if Hibi is there next fall.

College Fan said...

It seems like the USTA Men's Wildcard should be just 4 players only this year: Kudla, Williams, Johnson and Sandgren. All the other young guys are in the main draw or outside the top 200. Realistically, would any other young guy, besides these 4, have a chance winning some main draw matches in Melbourne? Any of these guys would be deserving. With 4, a nice round number for tennis, Why even worry about including others?

Playoff Madness said...

College Fan

You know the usta will not do the logical thing.

I agree with you except I would include Jarmere Jenkins and Alex Kuznetsov. Jarmere has only played 7 months and already ranked 338. Alex Kuznetsov earned his highest year end ranking at 141. That leaves the number at 6.

The usta will make an excuse and going to include a couple of their own. Bjorn Frantangelo and Mitchell Krueger. I disagree as they have not played or ready for the ATP Tour level, as they barely have done anything at the Challenger level. That is 8 players. Christian Harrison may get a shot but all those 3 players do not deserve to be there.

If any of those players are injured or cannot play, do not be surprised with a Chase Buchanan or a junior like Stefan Kozlov.

I would stop the list at 6 players. I would have 2 groups of 3 players. The winner of each group plays for the wildcard. Or the top 2 ranked players receive first round byes.

Playoff Rule #1 said...

Playoff Rule #1

If your prize money for the year is not more than the Australian Open first round prize money, you SHOULD NOT be invited to play in the playoff.

UCLA fan said...

I expect Maia to still go to UCLA. She will likely be a walk on is my guess.

A good plan really said...

My guess (and it is only a guess) is that Hibi is hedging her bets. If the next year goes well, she can look toward the pros at anytime. If she gets injured or something else goes sideways between now and then, she is bound to UCLA with the NLI. It is a good plan B to have in her pocket. Or perhaps she doesn't want to give up that first year college experience. We know tennis is a long tough road, being at the top in one level of it can be pretty sweet.

tennisfan said...

Heard Hibi is not going to UCLA after all and is now turning pro. Big loss for UCLA.