PHILADELPHIA – Head coach of men’s tennis at the University of Pennsylvania Nik DeVoreannounced his recruiting class of 2009 on Thursday. Five men will enroll in Penn’s class of 2013 with hopes of winning an Ivy League championship.
“We are very excited about this year’s recruiting class,” DeVore said. “Not only are these five young men outstanding tennis players, they are strong students and fine individuals.”
The class was ranked 21st in the nation by ITA-endorsed website TennisRecruiting.net, which just released its final class rankings.
Lucas Andreika of Weston, Conn. was state champion in 2008 and his team won three state titles while he was a member. He was the No. 1 player in New England as a 16-year old and has been ranked as high as No. 3 in 18s. As a junior, he was ranked as high as No. 34 in the nation.
"Lucas is a hard worker who possesses a big serve and a solid ground game," Said DeVore. "He could challenge for spots in singles, and with his doubles skills I feel he could step in and contribute right away."
Joining Lucas at Penn will be Jason Magnes of Short Hills, N.J. He has been ranked in the Top 100 in the nation in his age bracket throughout his junior career and as high as No. 5 in his section. In addition to his tennis exploits, Magnes spends his time volunteering with the Justin Gimelstob Childrens Fund and with the Broadreach Summer Program in the Caribbean.
"Jason has a great all-around game and makes his opponents work when they play,” said DeVore. “There is no doubt he will come to Penn and pose a real challenge to many of our players. He is a gritty competitor and never gives up on a point.”
Mark Milbrandt will stay close to home to play collegiately, making the short trip from Media, Pa.to University City. He has been ranked No. 1 in the USTA Middle States Section throughout his junior career and featured in the Top 100 nationally. He won the 16s national doubles title in 2007 and was the top-ranked recruit in Pennsylvania. He affirmed his status as the top recruit in the state by recently winning the Pennsylvania State High School Singles state championship.
“Mark has a huge serve and forehand with good hands at the net,” DeVore said. “He will have a chance to step in right away and compete, especially in doubles.”
Robert Wong of Riverside, Conn. will join the Red and Blue after being ranked consistently at No. 1 and 2 in the USTA Eastern Section throughout his junior career. He has reached as high as No. 36 in the country in singles and No. 2 in doubles. He won 13 designated sectional tournaments throughout his career.
“Robert is a phenomenal athlete and has the talent to jump right into the lineup,” said DeVore. “He loves to play the serve-and-volley game and he has one of the best sets of hands for someone his age I have seen. He possesses phenomenal doubles skills which we will certainly take advantage of. He also should challenge for a spot in singles.”
The fifth member of the Class of 2013 is Gorkem Yurtseven of Izmir, Turkey. He has consistently been ranked in the top five in the country. He captained his high school team to a pair of championships and two berths in the national semifinals. Three times, Yurtseven has reached the national semifinals in singles competition as well. He has been ranked as high as No. 56 in the European junior rankings as well.
“Gorkem is very skilled, with a big serve and a good backhand to match,” said DeVore. “He has mainly played singles, but he has the tools to make contributions as a doubles player as well.”
The addition of these five young men to the program has DeVore excited for the 2009-2010 season.
"These are five quality recruits for our program," DeVore said when summarizing his recruiting class. "Our team will be deeper than ever, which will make for very challenging practices. If our guys work hard, and really push each other on a daily basis, we should see tremendous improvement and once again be in position to challenge for an Ivy League title."