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AKRON, Ohio – University of Akron women's tennis head coach Brandon Padgett announced on Thursday that Isabella Catelani, Caroline Harpaintner and Karalina Maksimava have each signed a national letter of intent to compete for the Zips. All three will be on scholarship with the program starting in the fall semester of 2013.
"As coaches it is always exciting to sign new recruits, and this year is no exception," Padgett said. "We look for players that are under the radar, so to speak, just like (sophomore-to-be) Olga Shkundina. We love finding, working with, and developing such phenomenal young talent."
A native of Sao Paulo, Brazil, Catelani currently attends the IMG Academy Bollettieri tennis program in Bradenton, Fla. She brings with her the experience of having competed on the Women's Tennis Association (WTA), International Tennis Federation (ITF) and United States Tennis Association (USTA) circuits.
"Isabella has the perfect combination of a fun attitude and personality, along with a dedication to her craft that truly excites us as coaches," Padgett said. "We're very happy that she is joining our tennis family."
Harpaintner comes to UA from Essenbach, Germany. Recent highlights of her tennis career include winning the title of the Munich Under 16 Championship, placing first in the Under 16 Junior Masters in Sparkasse, Austria, and a second-place finish in the Niederbayerische Women's Championship.
"We knew right away that Caroline was someone that we wanted on our team after watching her train in Munich this past summer," Padgett said. "She hits a very big ball, and has exceptional hands at the net. Her ability to handle extreme pace is what drew us in first. As excited as we are about her game, we are even happier with her personality. 'Lin is exactly the type of young lady that we are always looking for; hard working, caring, fun and dedicated."
Maksimava, who hails from Mogilev, Belarus, is ranked 20th among women in the Belarussian Tennis Federation and has competed in the sport for nine years.
"We came across Karalina very recently, but were enthralled by what we saw," Padgett said. "Her strength is exceptional, as is the pace and heaviness of her ball. We could not be more excited about having her join our team."
The Zips women's tennis program is the two-time defending Mid-American Conference Tournament champion. The squad begins the spring component of the 2012-13 season at home on Friday, Jan. 18 versus Middle Tennessee State.