TALLAHASSEE, Fla. - Gabriella Castaneda signed her National Letter of Intent on November 13 to play for the Florida State women's tennis team starting in the 2014-15 academic year.
A senior at the Broward Virtual School and training at the Tier One Academy, Castaneda has developed the skills to be one of the best junior players in the country. Tennisrecruiting.net lists her as a five-star Blue Chip recruit and Babolat's recruiting ranks her as the No. 21 recruit in the United States.
"I'm looking forward to being a part of a prestigious school like Florida State," said Castaneda. "I can't wait to start working with Coach Jen, Coach Fodor and all the girls to be able to compete and travel with them. Also, I'm excited to get the great education that they offer at Florida State."
Castaneda recently won the USTA Copa Badia Regional at The Biltmore Tennis Center in Coral Gables, Fla., on Oct. 28. She won all five matches in straight sets and never surrendered more than four games during the tournament. She defeated Jaclyn Switkes in the final by a score of 6-0, 6-1.
"We are so excited to have Gabby join our program next fall," said head coach Jennifer Hyde. "From the very beginning of the recruiting process with Gabby and her family, it all just seemed right, on both sides.
"She's got the right mind, mentality and game to be a great college player, and she aspires to play beyond the college setting as well. She is a very genuine and solid person, and she will bring some great character to this program. I am thrilled as we look ahead to next year's class."
At Everglades High School in Miramar, Fla., Castaneda dominated FHSAA tennis and won the state singles and doubles title her freshman year and repeated the feat by winning both titles again as a sophomore.
Castaneda has also won an ITF Juniors event in Honduras. She competed in the IV Arabe Internacional Cup in September of 2012 and defeated El Salvador's Jennifer Paola Artiga Henriquez 4-6, 6-1, 7-6 (3) to take the championship. Castaneda also reached the semifinals of the doubles draw at that tournament.
When asked about goals for her time at FSU, Castenda said plainly, "I definitely want to win a national title."
The spring season for the 2014 Florida State women's tennis team gets underway with a pair of dual matches at the Scott Speicher Tennis Center on January 19 against Stetson (9:30 a.m.) and UAB (3:30 p.m.).
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