Women's tennis signs three to NLI

Nov. 16, 2009

NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Vanderbilt women’s tennis coach Geoff Macdonald announced the signing of Alex Leatu, Lauren Mira and Emily Gelber to National Letter of Intent on Monday. Both Leatu and Mira are tabbed as five-star recruits according to the tennisrecruiting.net recruiting service while Gelber is considered one of the top players in the northeast.

“We think we signed three excellent student-athletes who will make a huge contribution to our program,” head coach Geoff Macdonald said. “They all bring something to the table that will make an immediate impact to our team and they will all succeed in the classroom.”

Mira, a native of Baton Rouge, La., is ranked as the top player in state of Louisiana after being a among the nation’s top-25 players for her age level over the past three years. The St. Joseph Academy standout is currently ranked as the 35th ranked player in the class of 2010.

Mira recently advanced to the finals of the Bullfrog USTA Southern Designated Tournament in Mobile, Ala., on Nov. 7-9. This summer she advanced to the semifinals of the 2009 USTA Girls 18 National Clay Court Championships in Memphis, Tenn.

“We identified Lauren as one of the best combination singles and doubles players in the country,” Macdonald said. “She is one of the best players in the south and she is a superb athlete who has been well coached her entire life. We have been tracking Lauren’s progress for the last three or four years and we are thrilled she is coming to Vanderbilt.”

Leatu, a native of Littleton, Colo., is the state of Colorado’s top-ranked player and has been ranked as high as No. 33 nationally in the Girls 18 division. The Keystone National High School standout most recently advanced to the championship of the ITA Girls 18-12 Great Pumpkin Sectional in Las Vegas, Nev.

“Alexandra is a gifted student-athlete who is very accomplished in not only singles but doubles as well,” Macdonald said. “She is really coming on and improving at a rapid clip. We identified Alex as one of the most talented recruits in the country and we are thrilled to have her.”

Gelber, a native of Scarsdale, N.Y., is considered by many as one of the more talented players in the northeast region ever since she won the Girls 18 Winter National Championship as an unseeded, 14-year-old high school freshman. Gelber didn’t lose a single set during the tournament en route to the title.

Despite battling injuries the last couple of years the Vanderbilt coaching staff sees Gelber as a player who will make an immediate impact once she sets foot on campus.

“Emily is an excellent recruit for our program and she is an outstanding student in the classroom,” Macdonald said. “Emily suffered a couple of injuries over the last couple of years but she is now playing at full strength. We are very excited for her to join our team next fall and are anxious to see the impact she will make.”

All three of the Vanderbilt signees will join the team in the fall of 2010.



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