Jan. 9, 2012
The Vols added a fifth freshman to its tennis roster with the arrival of Norwegian ace Trym Nagelstad.
Nagelstad was the top-ranked junior player in Norway in both the 16- and 18-year-old divisions. The freshman from Olso comes to Tennessee having won multiple national titles and an ITF doubles title in Moldova.
"Trym has a real desire to be a great tennis player," Tennessee head coach Sam Winterbotham said. "He has a real eagerness to learn. In talking to him, you know he cannot wait for this opportunity. And that's a wonderful thing. It's a wonderful characteristic for a recruit. We really expect him to do great things."
Winterbotham said Nagelstad has flown under the recruiting radar while battling injuries the last two or three years but has arrived to Knoxville in shape and ready to play.
"He was the No. 1 player in Norway and has been a strong competitor throughout Europe," Winterbotham said. "He has the potential to be a very good tennis player. Like a lot of players in his situation, he's a little underplayed. We're very excited about him coming in and developing in our program."
Nagelstad joins four freshmen already on the Tennessee squad: Brandon Fickey (Knoxville), Mikelis Libietis (Priekuli, Latvia), Peter Nagovnak (Kraubath, Austria) and Hunter Reese (Kennesaw, Ga.). Reese redshirted last spring after graduating high school a semester early.
Three of those freshmen are already ranked with Nagovnak coming in at No. 117 in singles and Reese two spot later at No. 119. Reese and Libietis are ranked 33rd as a doubles team.
The Tennessee roster certainly features players from near and far. Five are from the United States -- including three from Tennessee -- and five hail from five different countries. Returning starter Edward Jones is from Wales and sophomore Jarryd Chaplin is from Australia.
"Again what makes our program great is that we bring in players from all different kinds of backgrounds and different experiences and they come together and become an incredibly close team," Winterbotham said. "They share all their differences and it helps them to grow and their worldviews grow with their experiences together. The fact that we work them so hard and the program is so structured that they rely on each other, that's what brings them closer."
The Vols, ranked No. 13 nationally, open their 2012 schedule Jan. 20 with a doubleheader against Memphis at 1 p.m. and Eastern Kentucky at 6 p.m. Admission is free at Goodfriend Tennis Center on campus.