Head coach Brad Dancer will add three five-star recruits to next year's squad.
Nov. 16, 2010
CHAMPAIGN, Ill. - Three five-star recruits, according to TennisRecruiting.net, will join the Fighting Illini men's tennis team for the 2011-12 season, as head coach Brad Dancer announced the addition of Ross Guignon (Prairie Village, Kan./ Kansas City United Tennis), Tim Kopinski (Palos Hills, Ill./Amos Alonzo Stagg) and Andrew Scholnick (Winnetka, Ill./New Trier), who each signed a national letter of intent with Illinois. A five-star rating is second only to blue chip.
"We're excited to be bringing in this group of athletes and what they embody in terms of their tennis accomplishments," Dancer said. "They'll fill roles right away and are a diverse group in their talent and personality, which will be great for the rest of the team to see different game styles and tactics. Off the court, they're all good students that will have great educational opportunities here at Illinois."
Guignon currently ranks No. 29 nationally on TennisRecruiting.net and second in the state of Kansas. For 2010, Guignon has advanced to the semifinals in seven different tournaments and won the USTA Super 2 title in early June. He has an overall record of 68-24 since November 2009, with 10 coming against blue-chip recruits.
"Ross is someone we've been following for a while and we look forward to the character and leadership he'll bring to the team," Dancer said. "He's an intelligent player who understands the emotional and mental side of tennis very well. As he continues to work to develop his weapons, he'll be a major force for us on the court."
Kopinski checks in at No. 64 nationally and third in the state of Illinois. He has tallied 39 wins in 2010 and won the Western Michigan Indoor tournament in February, in addition to a third-place finish at the Midwest Indoor Open Championships earlier this month. Kopinski's twin sister Melissa will be joining him in Champaign-Urbana next fall as a member of the women's tennis team, as she has signed a national letter of intent with Illinois as well.
"I feel like Tim has barely scratched the surface of what he's capable of," Dancer said. "He's a very well-rounded athlete, having also been captain of his hockey team, so I think that will only help with the challenges he'll face on the tennis court. As he continues to grow in confidence, he'll be quite a force for the Illini."
Scholnick comes in at No. 55 in the country and second in Illinois. He has posted 38 victories on the year and finished runner-up at the St. Louis Junior Tennis Championships in July.
"As I've watched Andrew over the years, I've been impressed with his ability to have great balance in his transition game and soft hands at the net. He also locates his serve very well. As he gains strength in his forehand and improves his decision-making, he'll be able to use his assets more effectively."