Gamecock women’s tennis gets #1 ranked recruiting class
COLUMBIA, S.C. – The South Carolina women’s tennis team has landed the nation’s No. 1 recruiting class for the 2019-20 season as announced on Monday morning.
The Gamecocks bring in six newcomers, including Gemma Heath, Gabriela Martinez Asensi, Ana Luiza Cruz, Elise Mills, Emma Shelton and Kendall Couch. According to a recruiting service, Carolina’s new six totaled 343 points, taking the top spot by 19 points.
Heath, from Great Britain, is touted as the No. 1 recruit by said service and has an UTR of 11.18. So far in her career, Heath has 65 singles wins and 45 doubles wins. She won back-to-back doubles titles in Egypt on the ITF circuit, following a singles championship in Switzerland.
Asensi, heading to Carolina from Spain, holds an UTR of 11.24 and comes in as the No. 11 recruit. She brings 41 singles wins and 23 doubles wins with her to South Carolina. In February, Asensi advanced to the doubles semifinals of the J1 Lambare in Paraguay. The next week, she competed in the quarterfinals of the JA Porto Alegre in Brazil.
Coming from Brazil, Cruz is the No. 36 recruit and she has an UTR of 10.76. Cruz is ranked at No. 1 in her home country. She represented Brazil two times in the Junior Fed Cup in back-to-back years, 2016 and 2017. Cruz has tallied 77 singles wins and 60 doubles victories so far. In March, Cruz took home the singles and doubles titles of the JB1 Sao Paulo in Brazil.
Next on the list, Mills is a five-star player from Prosperity, S.C., and holds an UTR of 10.18 Mills is ranked as the No. 4 prospect in the state of South Carolina and No. 15 in the Southeast. Nationally, Mills currently ranks at No. 50 and has risen as high as No. 41 in 2018 (Feb. 28). She is a three-time state champion, taking the Class A/2A/3A title in straight sets.
Shelton comes to the Gamecocks from Gainesville, Fla., as a five-star recruit with an UTR of 10.39. Shelton, the daughter of Florida’s men’s tennis head coach, Bryan Shelton, has steadily moved up in the rankings throughout her high school years. Beginning in the 200s in 2015, Shelton moved to being ranked as high as No. 72 nationally (Oct. 24) during the 2018 season. In the state of Fla., Shelton sits at No. 7, while she’s ranked at No. 16 in the Southeast.
Wrapping up Carolina’s recruiting class, Couch is staying in her hometown of Columbia, S.C. Recently, Couch has been moving up the rankings, seeing only positive impacts on her play. In the state of South Carolina, she is the No. 10 recruit.