COLLEGE STATION - Ashley Turpin of New Braunfels, Texas, and Sheri Olivier of Topeka, Kan., have signed national letters of intent to play tennis at Texas A&M, Aggie head coach Bobby Kleinecke announced.
“I am very excited about the start of our recruiting class this year,” Kleinecke said. “Not only have we added great players, but these two young ladies will be great ambassadors of Texas A&M and our program. They are very hard workers, and their goals are very high.”
Turpin, a two-time National High School Tennis All-American, was ranked No. 1 in Texas and in the Top 20 in the nation in 14s and 16s and ranked No. 7 in Texas and as high as No. 27 in the nation in 18s. She has captured three Texas 4A state titles at New Braunfels High School, winning the singles championship in 2006 and teaming with her brother, Rusty, to win the 2007 mixed doubles state title. In addition, she helped lead the Unicorns to the ‘07 team tennis state title.
Turpin also has received numerous prestigious sportsmanship awards, including the 2006 Bill Talbert National Sportsmanship Award, presented annually by the Board of Directors of the International Tennis Hall of Fame. She also was the recipient of the 2006 Molden Family Sportsmanship Award, presented at the G16s National Hardcourts, and is a two-time recipient of the USTA Texas Section Maureen Connolly Brinker Sportsmanship Award. Turpin also was honored with the USTA Texas Section G16s Elite Player Sportsmanship Award in 2005.
“Ashley is a consistent baseliner who is known for breaking down her opponents,” Kleinecke said. “She is one of the smartest players that I have seen, and she reminds me a lot of Nicki Mechem (former A&M standout and the school¹s all-time leader in singles and doubles victories) with her knowledge of the game and where to place the ball. She has played deep in the national tournaments and knows how to win. All of the sportsmanship awards that she has won tells a lot about the character of this young lady.”
Olivier, who has been ranked as high as No. 27 in the nation in doubles, was the winner of the 2004 Texas Open Championships. She was ranked No. 2 in the Missouri Valley Section in 16s singles and No. 1 in doubles and reached the round of 16 at the National 16 Clay Courts in singles and the quarterfinals in doubles.
In 18s, Olivier was ranked No. 7 in 18s singles in the Missouri Valley Section and No. 82 in the national rankings. She was the singles runner-up at both the Sweet 16 Missouri Valley Section tournament and at the Kansas State Tournament.
“Sheri is a left-handed big hitter who loves to dictate play with big shots and a big serve,” Kleinecke said. “One of the qualities that I liked most about Sheri is that she is not afraid to go for her shots no matter what the score is. I look for her to be a player that excels in the college game. With her size and power, she is going to have the opportunity to play a big role in our lineup of the future.
“Ashley and Sheri complement each other in styles of play and will be great additions to our team.”
Kleinecke expects to announce additional commitments in the near future.