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Head women's tennis coach Maria Malerba signs three for 2013-14 season.Courtesy: Cathy Kushner/JMU Athletics Communications
Women's Tennis Inks Three during Early Signing Period for 2013-14
Courtesy:JMUSports.com Release:12/04/2012

HARRISONBURG, Va. - The James Madison women's tennis team has signed three student-athletes to National Letters of Intent during the early signing period, head coach Maria Malerba announced today.  The Dukes add Rachel Nelson, Alexandra Huie and Emily Bradshaw to the roster for the 2013-14 season.

"This year, we have the biggest turnover that I have ever experienced during my time at JMU.  Replacing almost half of your team is a big challenge," Malerba says of losing three seniors to graduation in spring 2013.  "I am very excited about the level and quality of each of these athletes, both on and off the court.  I know that we are not rebuilding, but we are reloading for the 2013-14 school year.  This is definitely one of the strongest freshman classes we have recruited."

Rachel Nelson on Signing Day
Nelson is a four-star recruit from Big Prairie, Ohio, who is currently ranked fifth in the state and No. 130 in the nation.  The 5'4" right-hander won the Singles State championship in 2011 following a perfect 35-0 season.  She is a three-time District champion and three-time Sectional champion for West Holmes High School, where she is coached by Jason Otto. 

"Rachel's strength is her baseline game," Malerba highlighted.  "She should have no trouble adapting to tennis at the collegiate level."

Huie, a 5'7" right-hander out of Woodlands, Texas, is also a four-star recruit according to

       Alex Huie
the Tennis Recruiting Network.  She is the No. 17 player in Texas and is nationally ranked No. 178 following a season where she made it to the State 5A Doubles finals with teammate Catherine Wythe.  Huie helped lead Woodlands High School to the District 14-5A championships in 2010 as the No. 1 singles and doubles player for the Highlanders.

"Alex has an all-court game that will contribute to both the singles and doubles lineup.  Her game will definitely grow and mature throughout her college years," Malerba asserted.

  Emily Bradshaw
Bradshaw, the third recruit for Malerba's Class of 2013, hails from Ontario, Canada where she attended Blyth Academy.  She is currently ranked No. 21 in Canada among the 17-18 year old age group and, last summer, participated in the Under-18 Rogers Junior National Championships, a tournament that features 80 of the top players in Canada.  In 2011, Bradshaw took sixth in the girls' under-18 pool of the Wilson Ontario Junior Outdoor Tennis Championships. 

"Emily is known for her work ethic and ability to stay on the court until the job is done," Malerba said.  "She will definitely help strengthen our singles lineup next year."

JMU women's tennis returns to the courts for the spring dual season on Sunday, January 27.  The Dukes face Appalachian State and George Mason in White Sulphur Springs, W. Va.

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