Nov. 15, 2011
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By Chris Jones
ORLANDO, Fla. (UCFAthletics.com) - UCF women's tennis head coach Stephanie Nickitas announced Tuesday that Caroline Eberhart (Mishawaka, Ind.) and Clare Mendell (Canton, Ga.) have signed National Letters of Intent to play for the Knights beginning with the 2012-13 campaign.
"We are thrilled to welcome Caroline and Clare to the UCF tennis family," said fifth-year head coach Stephanie Nickitas. "Caroline is a very solid, aggressive baseliner with a high-level of consistency. Clare is a bit more of an all-court player and likes coming in to the net to attack. Both bring a lot of national experience and depth to our program. They have contrasting styles which will add some diversity to our team, and they also are both exceptional people who will fit in very well with us."
Eberhart hails from Mishawaka, Ind., and has been atop the tennis rankings in her home state since entering Mishawaka Marian High School. She's been ranked No. 1 in Indiana on tennisrecruiting.net starting in 2008, staying in that spot all the way through her tenure in Indiana. Eberhart placed fourth in the IHSAA (Indiana High School Athletics Association) tournament as a freshman, while winning the state championship as a sophomore. She was named the Northern Indiana Conference and South Bend Tribune girls MVP.
Eberhart moved to the state of Florida during her junior year of high school, training at the Nick Saviano High Performance Tennis in Sunrise for the past two years. Located in Plantation, Fla., the Saviano High Performance Tennis School has graduated players and sent them to a wide range of colleges, including Duke, LSU, Northwestern, Ohio State and now, UCF.
Holding a 4.0 grade-point average in her junior and senior year of high school while elected as secretary of her school's student council as a freshman, Eberhart has one sister, Alayna, who attends Boston University, and parents Lisa and Brian.
Mendell, meanwhile, lives in Canton, Ga., after moving from Plantation, Fla. She is a part of the RCS (Racquet Club of the South) in Atlanta, Ga. The RCS is a USTA training site, with it being one of only five in the United States.
Ranked as high as No. 65 on tennisrecruiting.net while being in the top 15 in the Southern region, Mendell has most recently won the World Team Tennis tournament in San Diego, Ca. Mendell was one of three girls selected in the Southern part of the U.S., competing against teams from all around the country. The tournament was organized and ran by legendary female tennis player Billie Jean King.
Mendell's father graduated from UNC while playing tennis for the Tar Heels. Mendell currently has a 3.8 GPA and is involved with the Beta Club along with National Honors Society at her high school, King's Academy.