April 24, 2013

Women's Tennis Adds to 2013 Signing Class

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AKRON, Ohio – University of Akron women's tennis head coach Brandon Padgett announced on Wednesday that Shannon Newnes has signed a national letter of intent to play for the Zips starting in the fall semester of 2013.

"We are extremely excited to have Shannon join our tennis family," Padgett said. "She brings with her an exceptional work ethic, and a desire to push herself as far as she can go. Her goal is to play professionally, and we will do everything we can to help her reach that goal. Shannon is a definite diamond in the rough, and the sky is the limit for her."

Newnes, who hails from Romford, London, has competed in the International Tennis Federation (ITF) Under 18 since age 16, and was ranked as high as No. 4 in the United Kingdom in August 2012. She attained her first ITF world ranking points in 2012, with her best result in ITF competition coming against Kenya's Nikita Dawda, who was ranked No. 220. Newnes was one of the UK's top-rated juniors and competed in Grade 1 tournaments as well as in the main draw at Nationals.

"Joining the Zips in Akron is a dream come true," Newnes said. "The team has been succesful, is young and has unbelievable potential. When I spoke to Coach Padgett his energy and enthusiasm won me over and I can't wait to get on campus."

Newnes joins Isabella Catelani, Caroline Harpaintner and Karalina Maksimava on UA's newcomers list for next season. All three signed an NLI in November 2012. Catelani is currently enrolled, but is sitting out this season due to NCAA guidelines.

The Zips women's tennis program is the two-time defending Mid-American Conference tournament champion. Third-seeded UA (17-9, 5-3 MAC) begins its title defense when it faces sixth-seeded Buffalo (13-4, 4-4 MAC) at 2 p.m. in Friday's quarterfinal round at Cardinal Creek Tennis Center in Muncie, Ind.