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Wednesday, December 16, 2020

More Division I College Signings; Stanford Out of ITA Team Indoor Championships; Add Birchmore to 1960s Women's Sports Pioneers

The Division I signings for 2021 have lessened in the past weeks, but they haven't stopped, and below are those that have been announced in the past 10 days. The only coaching major announcement I have seen since then is this one from Miami, where Darragh Glavin, who played for Miami head coach Aljosa Piric at Old Dominion, was named assistant coach.


Baylor has signed Sara Ziodato of Italy, who will join the team next month in Waco.

Central Florida has signed Marion Deloziere of France, who will join the team next month in Orlando.

Giulia Pairone, who played two years at Arkansas before transferring to Michigan, has joined Florida State as a graduate transfer.

Vanderbilt has signed Amy Stevens of Australia.


David Tesic of Germany has signed with Louisville and will join the team in January.

Michigan has signed Will Cooksey, Patorn Hanchaikul of Thailand and Alexander Zederbauer of Ecuador. Zederbauer is the nephew of former ATP Top 10 player Nicolas Lapentti, who has coached him during his junior career.

Cracked Racquets broke the news recently that Stanford would not be playing in the upcoming ITA Kickoff Weekend next month and the subsequent ITA Team Indoor Championships in February, due to the school's late start to the semester. The Stanford men were the first team to select a destination in last week's Kickoff draft, and they chose to travel to North Carolina State. But as this release from Ole Miss announces, Alabama, who had originally passed out of the event, will take Stanford's place in Raleigh, with the region reseeded.

According to this ITA update today, Pepperdine will now host in place of the Stanford women, and Wisconsin, the first alternate, will take Stanford's place.

Since I wrote my Tennis Recruiting Network article on Roberta Alison Baumgardner, who was the first woman to compete in an SEC varsity sport in the 1960s at Alabama, two other similar stories have been published. A short time after my article, the University of Virginia posted an article on Mary Slaughter, who played for the men's team in Charlottesville, even before women were admitted as students at Virginia.  And recently, the University of Georgia, inspired by the football pioneer Sarah Fuller of Vanderbilt, provided this history lesson on Becky Birchmore, who played for the Bulldogs shortly after Alison began competing for the Crimson Tide. None of the three were determined to break down the gender barriers in college sports, and it was years before women were provided with real opportunities to compete in college athletics, but these three, and doubtless many others, showed that it could be done.  Unlike Alison Baumgardner, Slaughter and Birchmore are still alive to tell their stories, and we are all fortunate that this part of collegiate tennis history has not been forgotten.