FAYETTEVILLEUniversity of Arkansas women’s tennis coach Michael Hegarty rounds out the biggest recruiting year for Lady Razorback tennis in history with the signing of Rachel Wilhelm last Wednesday.
“I am delighted that Rachel has chosen to become a Lady’Back next fall,” said head coach Michael Hegarty. “She impressed me a lot this summer and I believe she is going to make an impact immediately.”
Wilhelm joins the Lady’Backs in the fall of 2005 from Coppell, TX, where she was ranked 198th nationally as a high school freshman. Also as a freshman, she finished fifth at the Texas Regional Tennis Tournament; while anchoring her high school team at the No. 1 doubles spot.
As a sophomore, Wilhelm again took fifth place honors at the Texas Regional Tennis Tournament, and was also one half of the No. 8 doubles team in the Lone Star State. 2002 was a big year for the Columbia, Missouri native, who captured the Mother/Daughter Doubles National Championship with her mother Helen that same year. She continued her strong high school career by leading her high school team at the No. 1 singles and doubles position. On a statewide level, Wilhelm has also been ranked as high as No. 13.
With her signing, Wilhelm becomes the second Coppell, TX native to join the Lady Razorbacks behind senior Iliana Pacheco. In fact, Wilhelm trains at the Brookhaven Country Club, the same tennis academy where Pacheco received tutelage in high school. She is also the second Texan to sign with the Lady’Backs in 2004 after freshman Allie Linden.
This year’s signees have already made their mark on Arkansas women’s tennis history. Freshman phenom Maryori Franco led the Lady Razorbacks this fall with a singles record of 9-2, with first-year Lady Razorback Karina Ledaja not far behind her with a record of 12-5.
“2004 has been a very fruitful signing year for our program. The five players we signed in April, along with Rachel, will have an impact for years to come,” Hegarty said.
For more information about Arkansas tennis or Lady Razorback athletics, please visit www.ladybacks.com