UCLA Lands Phenomenal Recruiting Class
LOS ANGELES - The UCLA men's tennis team signed one of its strongest classes in recent history on Wednesday, as head coach Billy Martin landed three Blue Chip recruits who will all join the team in the fall of 2013. All three signees hail from the state of California and are ranked among the top 15 players in America. This year's class includes U.S. standouts Mackenzie McDonald (Piedmont, Calif.), Gage Brymer (Irvine, Calif.) and Joseph DiGiulio (Newport Beach, Calif.).
"I think it's one of the best recruiting classes that we've had in my 25 years of being associated with the UCLA men's tennis team," said Martin. "We've got three really solid players who I expect to step in right away and help this team contend for an NCAA Championship. They are all California boys. It's just a really great day for our program."
Piedmont, Calif. / K-12 International Academy
Blue Chip recruit (No. 2 in the nation) in the class of 2013 according to TennisRecruiting.net ... Has competed in all four of the Junior Grand Slams (Australian Open, Roland Garros, Wimbledon, U.S. Open) ... Semifinalist in singles at the Australian Open (2012) ... Achieved a career-high combined world ranking of No. 12 (4/16/2012) ... Has captured 11 USTA National Championship Balls (6 gold, 2 silver and 3 bronze) ... Won the 18s title at the 2012 Easter Bowl as a 16-year old ... Doubles finalist at the USTA Boys' 18s National Championships in Kalamazoo, Mich. ... Took home the 16s title at the 2009 Winter Nationals at the age of 14 ... 2009 Easter Bowl champion in both singles and doubles (14s division) ... Qualified for the U.S. Open Junior Championships at the age of 14 ... Singles finalist at the Orange Bowl (14s division) ... Has been a member of the U.S. Junior Davis Cup Team ... Sister, Dana, is a sophomore on the UCLA gymnastics team.
"Mackie is a young man who has a great deal of international experience and is one of the top junior players in the world," said Martin. He has played in all of the top tournaments and has a ton of experience. He's going to be able to go out there and compete for us and not be overwhelmed with the experience of college tennis, and that's something that's very important when you're a freshman. He's someone we've had our sights on for a long time and we're thrilled that he's going to be a Bruin."
Irvine, Calif. / University HS
Blue Chip recruit (No. 5 in the nation) in the class of 2013 according to TennisRecruiting.net ... Has been ranked as high as No. 1 in the nation in the 14s and 16s ... Ranked No. 1 in the Southern California Section in the 16s and 18s ... Two-time CIF Southern Section Boys singles champion (2011 & 2012) ... Two-time Ojai Boys CIF Champion (2011 & 2012) ... Led University High School to three-consecutive CIF Championships ... Has won National Open titles in the 14s, 16s and 18s ... Competed in the main draw at the 2011 U.S. Open Junior Championships ... Easter Bowl singles champion (16s division) ... Quarterfinalist in singles at the Eddie Herr International Junior Championships (16s division) ... Has won a number of Sportsmanship Awards at various USTA events.
"Gage is a top U.S. junior and a player who has really dominated the Southern California Section the last couple of years," said Martin. He doesn't have quite the same level of international experience as a player like Mackie, but that's really been his choice. Gage chose more of a traditional school environment and was able to play high school tennis, which I think was a great choice for him. He's a guy who I see really blossoming in college and at a program like UCLA. His best tennis is yet to come in my opinion."
Newport Beach, Calif. / K-12 International Academy
Blue Chip recruit (No. 12 in the nation) in the class of 2013 according to TennisRecruiting.net ... Ranked as high as No. 1 in the nation in the 14s and 16s age divisions ... 2012 Southern California Sectional Doubles Champion in the Boys 18s (w/Robbie Bellamy) ... Recently won five-straight matches to claim the 18s singles title at the 2012 USTA Regional Championships in Las Vegas, Nev. ... Won seven-consecutive matches, all in straight sets, to claim the 18s singles title at the 2012 J.P. Yamasaki Open in Orange County ... Has represented the U.S. at Junior Davis Cup in the Czech Republic ... Won the 16s title at the 2012 Easter Bowl ... Has been a semifinalist at the Eddie Herr International Junior Championships and came in third at the USTA National Clay Courts (14s) ... Featured in the junior tennis movie "50,000 Balls" as a 12-year old.
"Joseph is a guy who has been a top player from a very young age and was even ranked No. 1 in the nation in some of the younger age groups." said Martin. He's had some success at a number of ITF events on the junior circuit. I just see him stepping in and improving everyday in a program like ours. When you've played the type of tournaments that he's played, nothing is going to get to him. I see college tennis being an easy transition and great place for him to develop into a top player."