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Tennis Signs Three for 2011-12



Nov. 23, 2010


By Donnie Conley, Media Relations Student Assistant


Caitlyn Williams


Sarah Toti


Joanna Henderson

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. - The University of Tennessee Lady Vol tennis team has signed a trio of players for the 2011-12 season, UT Co-head coach Mike Patrick announced on Tuesday. Knoxville native Caitlyn Williams will be joining the program, as will Sarah Toti from Las Vegas, Nev., and Joanna Henderson from Edinburgh, Scotland.

All three players will be joining the program in August 2011. Co-head coach Mike Patrick said that he and co-head coach Sonia Hahn-Patrick are very pleased with the signing class.

"We're both really excited," Patrick said. "They are not only good players but good kids. They fit in really well with our entire program. The sky is the limit for all of them and we're looking forward to them to improve upon the foundation we've laid here."

The sister of current UT men's tennis player Rhyne Williams, Caitlyn Williams is the highest-rated player in the signing class. She is a five-star, blue chip recruit and the No. 15-ranked player in the nation according to TennisRecruiting.net. She has been ranked as high as No. 68 in the world in the ITF Girls' 18s singles rankings and she was the top-rated player in the nation in girls' 16s.

Tennis runs pretty deeply in the Williams family. Her grandfather, Mike DePalmer, was the head men's tennis coach at UT from 1981-94 and is a member of the ITA Hall of Fame. Williams' mother, Michelle DePalmer-Williams, played for the Lady Vols from 1980-84 and was an All-American.

"Caitlyn has grown up a Tennessee fan and has that blood running through her family," Patrick said. "She understands the tradition and will add a lot to it. There just haven't been that many Tennessee girls of her caliber during my time here that can do what she's able to do. We're excited to have her."

Toti, currently a senior at Bishop Gorman High School in Las Vegas, is also a five-star recruit according to TennisRecruiting.net. More than just her talent, Patrick said he and Coach Hahn-Patrick were blown away by Toti's personality.

"Sarah made an incredible impression when we first went and visited her and her mother," Patrick said. "We decided right after that meeting that she was somebody we needed in the program and we did everything we could to get her. She has a great intellect and personality that's going to do wonders for our team chemistry."

Henderson is one of the best players in Great Britain in her age group and has won three British national titles. She also competed in the Under-14 World Junior Team Event, where she reached the finals. At 5-11, Patrick thinks Henderson's height could be a huge advantage for her.

"She's tall and can play a big game and is a great doubles player," Patrick said. "She has a lot of potential and we were lucky that she decided on us. We're excited about having her and I think she'll bring some experience."

As for the current Lady Vols, the team has one final tournament--the Wolverine Invitational from Jan. 15-17--before beginning dual match play on Jan. 22 at Illinois.

Fans are reminded to follow the Lady Vols on Twitter at www.twitter.com/UTLadyVols.

 

 

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