April 24, 2012

Tennis Signs Two Players for 2012 Season

AKRON, Ohio – University of Akron head tennis coach Brandon Padgett announced on Tuesday that Madison Cohen and Signe Lazdina have each signed a national letter of intent to play for the Zips starting in the fall.

"We could not be happier with the signing of Madison and Signe," Padgett said. "They are both wonderful young women, who will add excellent depth and amazing personality to our tennis family."

Cohen, who attends Lower Moreland High School in Huntingdon Valley, Pa., boasts a personal best U.S. ranking of No. 23 via TennisRecruiting.net. As a freshman, she took home the Pennsylvania Interscholastic Athletic Association Class AA title and placed third in the state tournament as a sophomore. Cohen sat out her junior season due to injury, but upon her return to the court as a senior finished second in the District One Class AA singles tournament.

Lazdina is a native of Latvia, but attends American Heritage School in Plantation, Fla. Currently listed No. 4 in the Latvian rankings and rated as high as 74th in the U.S. by Tennisrecruiting.net, her school won the Florida High School Athletic Association 2A team championship in 2011 and 2012, and she claimed the FHSAA singles and doubles championship in 2010.

Lazdina's international competition resume includes a high ranking of 867th in the International Tennis Federation (ITF) and a 2011 ranking of 149th in the European Tennis Association (ETA). She was a semifinalist at the 2012 Latvia indoor and outdoor championships, and reached singles semifinals in the ETA in events in Norway, Finland, Armenia, Estonia and Belgium.

"Madison and Signe are also good students, and will excel in the classroom, as well as on the court. Their athletic accomplishments are numerous, but more importantly, who they are as people is what has drawn (assistant coach) Brian (Peters) and me to them. This program continues to evolve under our leadership, and we are extremely excited about the direction it is headed with these two new additions."

Second-seeded Akron takes on seventh-seeded Northern Illinois on Friday at 3 p.m. ET (2 p.m. ET) in the quarterfinal round of the Mid-American Conference Tournament in DeKalb, Ill. The Zips are defending MAC tournament champions.