MARIETTA, Ga. -- Virginia Wesleyan College's tennis program is making some noise!
For the first time in program history, the Marlins will enter the new season with incoming classes ranked among the best in the nation. TennisRecruiting.net has released its Top 25 Division III Recruiting Classes through May 2012 and VWC popped up in both the women's and men's listings.
Virginia Wesleyan's women took the spotlight however, with a class of newcomers that is ranked No. 25 nationally. VWC is the lone member of the Old Dominion Athletic Conference in the listing and is one of eight programs to make a first-ever appearance in the group.
The Marlin men just missed cracking the Top 25, but received enough consider to be included. VWC is in a solid group that includes Indiana's Earlham College, California's Pomona-Pitzer College, the University of Rochester, Skidmore College, and Texas' Trinity University.
VWC head tennis coach Tom Drabczyk, who begins his second season in 2012-13, and assistant Ben Hoskyn, both former VWC student-athletes, put in countless hours of effort to draw some of the best tennis players ever to commit to Virginia Wesleyan.
On the women's side,Lauren Brooker, a three-star athlete in a five-star ranking system, tops the list of Marlin newcomers. A native of Wakeforest, North Carolina (Raleigh Cardinal Gibbons), Brooker is currently ranked No. 19 in North Carolina. She won the 2008 North Carolina 2-A singles state singles championship, was part of the 3-A state title in doubles in 2011, and helped guide Cardinal Gibbons to the 3-A state team title in 2011. Her team finished 25-5.
Fellow North Carolinian Sara Yousif (Waxhaw, N.C./Charlotte Manus Academy), ranked No. 14 in North Carolina, is also among the newest Marlins, along with Victoria Ryherd (El Paso, Texas/Loretto Academy), Victoria Torres (Pembroke Pines, Fla./West Broward), Mia Proctor (Arnold, Md./Broadneck), Hannah Parent (Indian Head, Md./Henry E. Lackey), Molly Fanney (Virginia Beach/Frank W. Cox), and Ally Holbrook (Portsmouth, Va./Groveport Madison, Ohio) for starters.
The list of newcomers to the VWC men's program is just as impressive, as at least 10 individuals have decided to compete for the Marlins, including five starred players. The large contingent is led by Keegan Barkley (Madison, Miss./Central),Drew Tomajczyk (Chesterfield, Va./Home schooled), a pair of two-starred tennis aces, and Graham Wilson (Newport News, Va./Menchville), who won four consecutive Peninsula District singles championships.
Keegan, who selected VWC over Samford University, Millsaps College, and Birmingham Southern University, is currently ranked No. 3 in Mississippi. Barkley led his team to the runner-up finish in Mississippi this season. Tomajczyk is currently ranked No. 13 in Virginia, where Wilson is No. 6 with an impressive 47-18 record, including 19-0 against two-starred players. He was a two-time Daily Press Player of the Year in tennis
Tyler Chang (Hvre De Grace, Md./Oak Meadow), ranked No. 13 in Maryland, Spenser Bullock (Lorton, Va./South County), ranked No. 24 in the state, Adam Owen (Bellevue, Wash./Newport), ranked 30th in the state, Zach Bowman (White Haven, Pa./Mining Mechanical Institute), Lawrence Hunter (Fredericksburg, Va./Chancellor), Holden Branham (Lexington, Va./Rockbridge County), Gary George (Winchester, Va./John Hanley), Tyler Searcy (Virginia Beach/Frank W. Cox), and Juhan Washington (Fredericksburg, Va./James Monroe) are all headed to VWC.
TennisRecruiting.net's Top 25 DIII women's recruiting classes are as follows:
1. Williams (Mass.); 2. Emory (Ga.); 3. Middleburg (Vt.); 4. Amherst (Mass.); 5. Bowdoin (Maine); 6. Massachusetts Institute of Technology; 7. Johns Hopkins (Md.); 8. Claremont-Mudd-Scripps (Calif.); 9. Carnegie Mellon (Pa.); 10. Washington (Mo.); 11. Pomona-Pitzer (Calif.); 12. Texas-Dallas; 13. Chicago; 14. Trinity (Conn.); 15. Lewis & Clark (Ore.); 16. Carleton (Minn.); 17. Sewanee (Tenn.); 18. Denison (Ohio); 19. New York; 20. Vassar (N.Y.); 21. Trinity (Texas); 22. Mary Washington (Va.); 23. Case Western (Ohio); 24. Redlands (Calif.); 25. VIRGINIA WESLEYAN. Others receiving consideration: Allegheny (Pa.), LaVerne (Calif.), Ohio Northern, Swarthmore (Pa.), Texas Lutheran, Washington and Lee (Va.) and Wellesley (Mass.).
The top 25 DIII men's recruiting classes are:
1. Amherst (Mass.); 2. Emory (Ga.); 3. Williams (Mass.); 4. Middlebury (Vt.); 5. Carnegie Mellon (Pa.); 6. Johns Hopkins (Md.); 7. Washington (Mo.); 8. Tufts (Mass.); 9. Chicago; 10. Claremont-Mudd-Scripps (Calif.); 11. Massachusetts Institute of Technology; 12. Kenyon (Ohio); 13. Bowdoin (Maine); 14. Haverford (Pa.); 15. Stevens (N.J.); 16. Whittier (Calif.); 17. Case Western (Ohio); 18. Coast Guard (Conn.); 19. Sewanee (Tenn.); 20. Wesleyan (Conn.); 21. Washington and Lee (Va.); 22. Trinity (Conn.); 23. DePauw (Ind.); 24. Swarthmore (Pa.); 25. Whitman (Wash.). Others receiving consideration: Earlham (Ind.), Pomona-Pitzer (Calif.), Rochester (N.Y.), Skidmore (N.Y.), Trinity (Texas) and VIRGINIA WESLEYAN.