AKRON, Ohio – University of Akron women's tennis head coach Brandon Padgett announced on Monday that Maria Bessmertnaya has signed a National Letter of Intent to play for the Zips for the 2014-15 academic year.
"I am extremely excited that Maria has decided to join our tennis family," said Padgett. "She is a wonderful young lady and an exceptional player who will add immediate depth to our team, and will contribute right away."
Bessmertnaya hails from Pyatigorsk, Russia, and was ranked among the top-50 tennis players nationally. She has established herself as the top-ranked player in her region for the last seven years. Bessmertnaya has won five regional championships in addition to competing in several Russian national tournaments over the past few years.
"I decided to choose the University of Akron because it provides a high level of education," Bessmertnaya said. "It was clear to me that Akron cares greatly about its student-athletes, and I am sure that will help me improve my skills in the classroom and on the tennis court. I am planning to major in business, and I was pleasantly surprised that the University of Akron offers a wide variety of programs within my major."
Bessmertnaya joins newcomers Ariadna Blinova (Latvia), Kati Mdzinarishvili (Hudson, Ohio) and Sophia Geier (Burgebrach, Germany) to make up the 2014 signing class for the Zips.