GREENWOOD – Lander women's tennis head coach Samantha Pinchoff announced the addition of six players as part of the 2019 class on Wednesday. The incoming Bearcats hail from three different states and two countries.
"I am very intentional throughout my recruiting process," said Pinchoff, "making sure to welcome into our program the right young ladies who will not only model, but will enhance our program ideals. I look for athletes who are going to make Lander better both on and off the tennis court. Each one of these young ladies has been hand selected for their talent, character, determination, and energy. I know that as our program continues to grow each one of these ladies will serve as a huge asset to that development. The future of Lander tennis is very bright."
Raquel Acco, a native of Columbia, S.C., attended A.C. Flora H.S. and was a three-time region Player of the Year. She was selected for the North-South competition. and won a 4A state title with the Falcons.
"Raquel is a very determined, hard working, and competitive player," Pinchoff said. "She is coming to Lander from A.C. Flora High School where her team had an undefeated season and won the SC state championship. She knows what it is like to be on a winning team and wants to continue to be be on a winning team. We are very excited for her to bring that competitive edge to Lander."
Guiliana Gibson was the No. 1 singles player for four seasons at Harrison H.S. in Acworth, Ga. A two-time region champion, Gibson received the Carl Harrison Leadership Award for tennis at Harrison.
"From the first time she stepped on campus, Giuliana has had a great energy and attitude about her," said Pinchoff. "During her recruiting process, she made it clear that she wanted to be on a program that made her feel like family. Coming from Georgia, Giuliana has been exposed to high level junior tennis. With an aggressive forehand, her game has a lot of potential and we are so excited to welcome her to our Bearcat family."
Kayleigh Hahn spent the last two seasons at Georgia Mason, recording 29 victores for the Patriots. A native of Dacula, Ga., Hahn was a two-time team captain at Mill Creek H.S.
"Coming from George Mason, Kayleigh has had exposure to high level NCAA DI tennis," Pinchoff said. "Ironically, I had the opportunity to coach against her during my time at Mount St. Mary's. She is an aggressive lefty, with a big serve and forehand mix. I know that she will bring experience and high level tennis to our program. I am beyond thrilled to now have the opportunity to coach her as she competes for Lander."
Polina Radchenko, a three-star recruit according to tennisrecruiting.net and the No. 24-ranked player in the state of Texas, competed for a doubles state champioship in 2017 and was a two-time all-conference selection for Cypress Falls H.S. in Houston.
"Hailing from Texas and a tennis family, Polina is no stranger to competitive tennis," said Pinchoff. "She is very determined and disciplined both on the court and in her studies. She has a very solid all-around game and is always looking for ways to get better. I know she will be a great asset to our program over the next four years."
Kylee Ramsey was a mixed doubles district champion and a girls singles regional qualifier for Cedar Park H.S. in Cedar Park, Texas. She finished as the district runner-up in girls singles during the 2017-18 season.
"Kylee has a very positive energy about her," Pinchoff said, "which I know is going to enhance our team. Kylee is also coming to Lander from Texas and is no stranger to competitive tennis. With a solid baseline game, she has immense potential. We are very excited for her to be competing as a Bearcat for the next four years."
Maria Ray is a transfer from Harford Community College, where she played in the No. 1 position. A native of Bogata, Colombia, Ray received the ITA All-Academic award during her time at Hartford.
"Maria is coming to us after two years of playing number one singles and doubles at Harford Community College," said Pinchoff. "She is bringing with her college tennis experience, leadership, and a strong passion for the game of tennis. She has a high tennis IQ and is excited to take her game to the next level here as a Bearcat."
The Bearcats qualified for the Peach Belt Conference Tournament in Pinchoff's first season, marking the program's first appearance in the tournament since 2015.