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    Illini Add Talent with Three Signees
    Michelle Dasso announced the signing of three athletes on Thursday.

    Michelle Dasso announced the signing of three athletes on Thursday.

    Dec. 20, 2012

    CHAMPAIGN, Ill. - Fighting Illini head coach Michelle Dasso announced the signing of three student-athletes to letters of intent on Thursday. Emily Barretta, a four-star recruit from Winnetka, Ill., will join the women's tennis team in January 2013, while a pair of five-star prospects, Jerricka Boone and Alexis Casati, will join the squad for the 2013-14 season.

    "I pride myself on recruiting tirelessly across the country," Dasso said. "Sometimes you are fortunate enough to land solid players and people right in your home state. That is exactly what happened with this trio. I am very much looking forward to working with all three of these players during their college years and feel their mixtures of personalities will create a fun atmosphere."

    Emily Barretta
    Hometown: Winnetka, Ill.
    High School: New Trier

    Barretta is listed as a four-star recruit on She will graduate this December and will help solidify the 2012-13 Illini throughout the spring season.

    Dasso: "Emily Baretta made a huge effort to graduate early and will join our Illini family this January. Her competitive nature and strong desire to improve are the key qualities that stand out to me."

    Jerricka Boone
    Hometown: Country Club Hills, Ill.
    High School: Morgan Park Academy

    Boone, a five-star recruit by, is currently ranked 29th in the nation and second in Illinois. She is 35-20 over the past year with nine wins over blue-chip prospects and 12 against fellow five-stars. She won the IHSA state tournament in singles as a freshman (2009-10) and junior (2011-12).

    Dasso: "Jerricka Boone is a physically strong all-court player who will continue to grow and excel in an intense training environment and against top-notch competition in the Big Ten. Throughout the recruiting process, the more I interacted with Jerricka, the more I learned how passionate she is in regard to her tennis and overall success in college."

    Alexis Casati
    Hometown: Deerfield, Ill.
    High School: Deerfield

    Casati, another five-star by, is currently the 64th-ranked prospect in the nation and fourth in Illinois and has reached as high as 49th nationally. She boasts a 34-21 record over the past year, including five wins over fellow five-star athletes and an 18-2 mark against four-star prospects.

    Dasso: "Alexis Casati is a player who possesses extremely sound groundstrokes and fundamentals. She comes from a family with tremendous tennis heritage and has a clear vision to drive the Illini to a Big Ten title during her career."

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