U.S. AIR FORCE ACADEMY, Colo. - The Air Force women's tennis team added the largest recruiting class in recent years with the addition of five members of the class of 2021, including two international athletes, a first-ever for the program.
TJ Fumagalli and Elizabeth Barnickel return as a first-team Mountain West All-Conference doubles team and are the Falcons' first-ever nationally ranked doubles team. The duo is expected to compete together this fall and qualify for the All-American tournament.
"Overall, I am very excited about what this young team can do and how they will develop over the course of the year," said head coach Kim Gidley. "Our returning upperclassmen were extremely solid last year and had a taste of success and know the direction that Air Force Tennis can continue to move in."
The Falcons return four players from last season (Nadeen Lieberman, Meredith Laskey, Fumagalli & Barnickel) from a team that posted the first-ever 20-win season at the Division I level, a feat that only 12% of the teams in the country accomplished. The Falcons broke 35 USAFA Division I records and a first-ever birth into the semi-finals of the Mountain West Conference tournament.
"I know the upperclassmen want to continue to be known as the `best tennis' the Academy has seen, so I will look for big things from them," continued Gidley. "All four returning upperclassmen each won 20 matches in either singles or doubles and I expect them to set the bar high for our freshmen. The future looks bright, exciting times are ahead for all."
A brief description of the Falcon newcomers is listed below.
Camryn Deames, Charleston, SC (Bishop England)
Camryn joins Air Force out of Charleston, South Carolina, where she was a four-year letterman in tennis at Bishop England High School. She was the AA LSCHS Player of the Year as a junior. Camryn served as the team captain from her sophomore year to her senior year. She earned all-state honors on three occasions and registered four state championships. Her father, Dave, was a 1991 USAFA graduate.
Ash Harvey, Cambridge, New Zealand (St. Peter's School)
Ash comes to the Academy out of Cambridge, New Zealand, where she was a four-time tennis letterman at St. Peter's School. Her team placed second for two consecutive years and third for two consecutive years. Ash served as the team captain as a senior and placed third in New Zealand. She earned the Sportsman of the Year award as a senior.
Clarissa Jolley, Snellville, GA (Brookwood)
Clarissa comes to the Academy out of Snellville, Georgia, where she was a four-time letterman in tennis at Brookwood High School. Clarissa earned first-team all-county honors as a sophomore and junior. She served as a captain of the squad during her junior and senior year. Clarissa was honored as the Gwinnett County Super-Six Tennis Athlete of the Year as a senior.
Meredith Jones, Dhahran, Saudi Arabia (IMG Academy)
Meredith joins the Falcons out of Dhahran, Saudi Arabia, where she attended the IMG Academy. She was on the Philippine national team where she competed in the World Juniors and the ITF Development Championship. Meredith was ranked first in the Philippines for 12's, 14's and 16's. She was No. 3 in Asia in the 14 and under division.
Jamie Martin, Foley, Alabama
Jamie is a three-star recruit out of Foley, Alabama. She was dubbed the 2016 Alabama Tennis Player of the Year. In 2017 Jamie won the Alabama Sportsmanship Award. She was recruited by service academy rivals Army and Navy.
The Falcons will see the first action of the season at the Air Force Invitational, Sept. 15-16, at the Academy. Matches are slated to begin at 8:00 a.m. MT on both days.