Nov. 20, 2014
“We’re really happy with this class. These were the top two for us. Both Paige and Rachel are going to be pretty solid and contribute right away.”Head Coach Kevin Epley
COLUMBIA, S.C. — South Carolina women’s tennis head coach Kevin Epley announced the addition of Paige Cline and Rachel Rohrabacher to the Gamecocks’ squad for the 2015-16 season.
“We’re really happy with this class,” Epley said. “These were our top two choices. We had a lot of girls that we were looking at, but these were the top two for us.”
TennisRecruiting.net ranks Cline (Kentfield, Calif.) as a five-star recruit who is rated the No. 51 recruit in the nation. Her IMG TennisRPI is listed at No. 51 as well and she is considered the 16th-best prospect for the entire Southwest Region. As a freshman in 2011-12, Cline ascended as high as No. 44 in the country, she peaked at No. 30 the following year and was ranked as high as No. 41 in the nation as a junior. In the past year, Cline owns five victories against blue chip recruits, 11 versus five-star prospects and is a perfect 21-0 against recruits with four stars or less.
“Paige has more of a fast-paced game, looking to come in and hits a flatter ball, which fits well with our system for singles and doubles,” Epley said. “I think she has a lot of upside. She’s really untapped. While she’s ranked high, I think she’s going to develop quickly. She has a lot of talent, is very strong and she’s a very feisty competitor, and that’s something we’re really starting to shift our focus toward is trying to get some feisty competitors, some SEC-type kids.”
Rohrabacher (Tampa, Fla.) is the No. 26-rated recruit in the country by TennisRecruiting.net. As a freshman, sophomore and junior, Rohrabacher remained steady in the national recruiting ranks, peaking at No. 54 in 2011, No. 53 in 2012 and No. 56 in 2013. She is considered the eighth-best prospect for the Southeast Region and the No. 4 recruit in Florida. Rohrabacher’s ascension up the recruiting ranks this year began in February when she won the USTA Girls’ 18 Closed Regional singles and doubles title. In May, she finished as the singles runner-up at the USTA Girls’ 18 National Selection Tournament in Fort Myers, Fla. She garnered the sportsmanship award for the tournament as well.
“Rachel is like Paige in that she hits a flat ball, she’s a feisty competitor, and a great young lady as well,” Epley said. “So, it’s a good balance when you can get someone that’s very feisty, who’s out there to compete, out there to win, will lay it all out there, but off the court is just a really solid young lady. She has a big forehand and she’s also been doing very well in doubles.
“So, across the board, both Paige and Rachel are going to be pretty solid and contribute right away.”