Nov. 29, 2012
Cassie Pough of Miramar, Florida and Gabrielle Paul of London, England have signed National Letters of Intent to continue their tennis careers at the University of Louisville.
" I am very excited to announce the addition of Cassie Pough and Gabrielle Paul to the women's tennis program," said U of L head coach Mark Beckham. "These are two very good players that will make an immediate impact to our team in both singles and doubles. As crazy as it sounds to me, I have to start thinking about who is going to replace our current top players, Julia Fellerhoff and Rebecca Shine, in the future as my #1 and #2 players on the team and I think both of these girls have the ability and confidence to potentially do that. One thing I preach to all the girls on the team about being a really good player, is self-belief, and both Gaby and Cassie have a lot of belief in what they can do on a tennis court. Both of these girls are bringing a lot of talent to our team and they will raise the overall level of the team without question."
Pough has been ranked top ten in the state of Florida in 18s for most of her junior year and so far into senior year. She won 3 18s designates and got 3rd in an 18s sectional. She lost in the quarters of 16s clay courts singles and made it to the round of 32 in girls 18s clay courts. Her best tournament was spring nationals where she played the second ranked player in the nation in 18s and lost 4 and 5, then won the next six consolation matches. Academically, she is ranked in the top 10 percent of her graduating class of 650 students. She received athletic scholar of the year for Miami Dade and received all-Dade for high school tennis as a freshman through junior year. She won state championships in her freshman and junior year of high school tennis and is slated to play playing No. 1 this spring.
" Cassie is a 5-Star recruit that has a lot more development left in her game," said Beckham. "She is unique in that she is fundamentally sound everywhere in her game which is very hard to find but she also hasn't fully utilized her 6-1 height. She plays quite a bit from the baseline, which is fine, but she has not started using her volleys as much as she can and that is where she can make herself a special player. If we can get her comfortable moving forward and using her volleys more than she does now, women's college tennis is going to have a major problem on their hands in trying to deal with Cassie Pough. I can't wait to get her into our system and start working with her game."
Gaby Paul is she currently ranked 13 in UK for U18 Girls singles at the age of 16. Her highest ranking was number 12 U18 and she has a British Women's ranking of 120 after 8 events. She is currently training at the ISP Tennis Academy in Nice, France until June 2013. She ended up ranked No. 6 this summer, 2012 on the U16 National Leader Board and as a result of this, she is on the Aegon Futurestars program for 2012/2013. She was the British Junior Nationals 2012 Consolation Singles Winner and reached the British Junior Nationals U16 doubles semi finals. She was U16 National Club League Winners 2011/ Runners up 2012 and she and her partner were winners of Kent County Division 1 mixed doubles in 2012. She is ranked No. 2 in Kent County U18 UK and was runner up Grade 2 Under 18 National Tour in Sutton, Surrey in 2012. She is a nominee for a Gold Award Youth Sporting Achievements 2010 and a U14 Road to Wimbledon Doubles Winner 2010.
"Gaby is one of the better players from England coming to the U.S. next year to play. If she was from the U.S. she would be rated a 5-Star recruit," said Beckham. "Gaby will only be 17 years old when she gets to us next year and that was one of the things that really attracted me to her. She is already a very good player and able to handle the college level but she is nowhere near what her potential is because of her age. She is currently training at ISP Tennis Academy in Nice, France. She went there specifically to get herself ready for the transition to college tennis. So she is obviously dedicated to her tennis and she is very confident in what she can do on the court. The greatest compliment I could give her is that she reminds me a lot of Becca Shine, but she is actually better than Becca was at 17 years old. So my excitement for her ability to help us is off the charts!"