COLLEGE STATION—Texas A&M men’s tennis head coach Steve Denton announced the signing of a Top 25 National Blue Chip tennis player in A.J. Catanzariti (pronounced ca-TAN-za-ree-tee) from College Park, Maryland, that should help continue to build upon the Aggies’ current streak of 20 NCAA Championship appearances.
“We are very pleased to sign one of the top players in the country in A.J. Cantanzariti,” Denton said. “He will really help us. He is a great athlete, a hard worker and has a tremendous upside. I think he will fit in really well with the guys on the team and will help us next year.”
Catanzariti grew up in Pittsburgh but left after his high school freshman year to train at the Junior Tennis Champions Center in College Park, Maryland.
“Some of the top players in the country train at the Junior Tennis Champions Center including top 100 pro Dennis Kudla as well as Mitchell Frank,” Denton explained. “Frank is a junior at Virginia who has been ranked No. 1 in the ITA rankings. Our own senior All-American Junior Ore has also trained there and they have produced some outstanding tennis players.”
“A.J. is a big physical athlete with great ball striking skills,” Denton added. “We know we are getting a potential great player and a great competitor. He has the work ethic needed to become a difference maker. He has had success in the U.S. as well as in the international arenas. We couldn’t be more excited about A.J. joining our team next season.”
Several factors played into Cantanzariti signing with Texas A&M.
“I really like the coaching combination of Steve Denton and Bob McKinley and I think they can help my game,” Catanzariti said. “I also felt comfortable with the guys on the team and they play a really good and tough schedule. One of my goals is to help Texas A&M win championships. I was also impressed with the academics at Texas A&M.”
A.J. Catazariti is the son of Alan and Tami Catanzariti of Pittsburgh and he has an older sister, Gabrielle, who played collegiate tennis at Pittsburgh from 2009-13.