June 17, 2014
AMHERST, Mass. -
Ranked as the No. 23-ranked mid-major recruiting class in the country, head coach Judy Dixon announced Tuesday the addition of three incoming freshmen and two transfers to the UMass women's tennis team for the 2014-15 campaign. The talented group joins what will be a youthful squad in the upcoming year with just two seniors and one junior on the roster.
Despite the appearance of having a young roster overall, the Minutewomen have an experienced team with rising senior Chanel Glasper, rising junior Arielle Griffin and rising sophomores Aarzoo Malik and Anna Woosley having seen significant competition. The incoming class replaces a record-setting senior class of Sonia Bokhari, Bianca Drabek, Jessica Podlofsky and Yuliana Motyl who helped the Minutewomen reach the Atlantic 10 semifinals three times in the last four years finishing as league runner-ups in 2012-13.
The two incoming transfers include Brittany Collens from New Mexico State and Carol Benito from Tulsa. Collens will enter UMass as a sophomore, while Benito will be a junior. Incoming freshmen Ana Yrazusta Acosta, Isabel Balsavage, and Michelle Katzelnik provide a strong mix of international and local talent for the Minutewomen. The group will provide UMass with two juniors, five sophomores and three freshmen on the roster.
The Minutewomen finished the 2013-14 season with a 13-9 overall record including a 3-1 mark in Atlantic 10 play. UMass reached the A-10 Championship semifinals before falling to eventual league champion VCU.
Ana Yrazusta Acosta - Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, Spain
- Member of the Spanish team in the Winter Cup under-14 in 2010
- Champion of the Canary Islands Championship under-18 and over-18
- Quarterfinalist in the Spanish national championship under-16
- Best Spanish National Adult ranking 108
Coach Judy Dixon On Yrazusta Acosta:
Ana is a strong all-around player with a very consistent baseline game and ability to come to the net and finish. She is a very fit player and hard-worker that we expect to make an impact on the team in both singles and doubles.
Isabel Balsavage - Suwanee, Ga.
- 3 start recruit ranked as high as 340 nationally and 33 in Georgia for the class of 2014
- 2011-2012 Undefeated in Varsity Singles (13-0) for North Gwinnett High School
- 2011 USTA Jr. Team Tennis State Champions & Sectional Runner-up 18's Gold Division
- Accepted into the Commonwealth Honors College at UMass
Coach Judy Dixon On Balsavage:
Isabel is a strong player with an aggressive power game and great hands at the net. She is a very good doubles player with a good sense of the court and movement. She will add a lot of depth to our singles and doubles lineup as a freshman.
Carol Benito - New Delhi, India
- Transfer from Tulsa and will be a junior at UMass
- Ranked as high as 274 in the ITF World Junior Rankings
- Champion of two ITF tournaments in India in 2010 and 2011
- Singles record of 24-15 during her time at Tulsa
Coach Judy Dixon On Benito:
Carol comes in with a wealth of experience playing high level tennis internationally as a junior and for the past two years at a top 20 program in Tulsa. She is a crafty player with very good hands and strong forehand that can play with a lot of variety and mix up spins.
Brittany Collens - Manchester, Mass.
- Transfer from New Mexico State and will be a sophomore at UMass
- 4-star recruit ranked 101 Nationally and No. 3 in Massachusetts for the class of 2013
- Quarterfinalist in the New England Summer Championships in 2013 under-18
- Singles record of 20-9 freshman year at NMSU
Coach Judy Dixon On Collens:
Brittany is a great competitor with a winning attitude. She has a solid baseline game and is a smart player who recognizes when to step in and be aggressive. She is the kind of player that never gives up and always fights for every point.
Michelle Katzelnik - Lexington, Mass.
- 2 start recruit ranked as high as 532 nationally and 13 in Massachusetts for the class of 2014
- Semifinalist at the Weymouth Challenger under 18 event in 2014
- League All-Star all four years that she played for the Lexington high school varsity team with an overall record of 72-4 over her high school career
Coach Judy Dixon On Katzelnik:
Michelle is a very athletic player with a consistent ground game and very quick movement on the court that likes to play a counter-punch style.