Nov. 16, 2011
COLUMBIA, Mo. – University of Missouri Head Tennis Coach Sasha Schmid announced today the signing of two recruits to National Letters of Intent and the addition of another transfer to play for the Tigers. Nina Pantic will join the Tigers this spring while Elisha Gabb and Madison Rhyner will compete for Mizzou starting in the 2012-13 season.
A native of Lake Worth, Fla., Pantic joins the Tigers after competing at UCLA the last three seasons. She will graduate from UCLA in December and will continue her studies at the Missouri School of Journalism. Pantic joined the Bruins in 2007 as the fourth-ranked recruit in the nation. She posted a 20-12 singles record as a freshman and earned ITA rankings of #82 in doubles and #90 in singles. Pantic claimed a Pac-10 Conference singles title her sophomore campaign and had an ITA doubles ranking as high as #77. This past season, Pantic helped the Bruins to the NCAA Final Four and was ranked as high as #38 in ITA doubles.
“We are thrilled to announce the addition of Nina Pantic to our team this spring,” Schmid said. “She is a tremendous player with experience at the highest levels of junior and collegiate tennis. She brings the experience of playing on a NCAA Final Four team to the University of Missouri, and we know her leadership and experience will make a positive impact on our team in many ways. In addition to being an elite tennis player, Nina is an outstanding student. She is so excited about continuing her education at Missouri’s prestigious Graduate School of Journalism. Our team is looking forward to welcoming Nina to our tennis family in January, and beginning an exciting journey together this season.”
Elisha Gabb comes to the Tigers from Lee Junior College in Baytown, Texas. The London, England, native is one of the top junior players in England and has competed at elite junior tournaments worldwide, including Junior Wimbledon in 2009 and 2010. Gabb has reached an ITF singles ranking of #132 and reached the quarterfinals in two Grade 1 ITF tournaments and finals and semifinals of numerous Grade 2 ITF tournaments. Additionally, she claimed an England National Doubles Championship.
“I am very excited to announce the signing of Elisha Gabb,” Schmid said. “She is a tremendous tennis talent, a tough competitor and a lefty with a huge athletic tennis game. Elisha is a tremendous addition to our team. She has the invaluable experience of competing in junior tennis at the highest level and will immediately impact our team in practice and in our singles and doubles line-up. I am looking forward to coaching her for the next three years and watching her achieve great things in NCAA tennis as a Missouri Tiger.”
Leawood, Kan., native Madison Rhyner is a top-100 recruit and four-star athlete by TennisRecruiting.net. An honor roll student at Blue Valley North High School, she was a 6A Kansas state singles finalist in 2009 and 2010 and a doubles finalist in 2008. She also earned Athlete of the Week honors from the Kansas City Star this season. Rhyner is a top USTA Missouri Valley Junior player and made it to the round of 64 the last three years at USTA Nationals.
“Madison Rhyner is a wonderful addition to our Mizzou tennis team,” Schmid said. “She comes from a family of Missouri Tigers, as both her mom and dad graduated from the University of Missouri. I am proud to have a top Missouri Valley player stay close to home and choose to play tennis for Mizzou. Madison is a talented athlete with tremendous upside to all aspects of her tennis game. She has a solid baseline game that is complimented by her ability to move forward with her court positioning and finish points at the net. Her game-style will allow her to impact our team in singles and doubles. Madison’s athleticism, coachabilty and great attitude will make her a joy to coach, and I am very excited to work with her over the course of the next four years.”