CLARKSVILLE, Tenn. – Austin Peay State University women’s tennis team already has begun building on its 2010 Ohio Valley Conference Championship as head coach Malik Tabet announced that Cassie Hochwalt, of Scottsdale, Ariz., has signed a National Letter of Intent.
The upcoming recruiting class will be looked upon to strengthen a lineup that will lose four seniors from its first OVC championship team since 1989. Returning for the Lady Govs, however, are OVC Player of the Year Vanja Tomic and OVC Freshman of the Year Carolin Weikard.
Hochwalt is no stranger to competitive tennis, having played in United States Tennis Association (USTA) events since she was 14 years old. Hailing from a tennis family, her brother, Tyler, played at University of Florida while her dad, Bill, played at Mississippi State. That type of pedigree, Tabet believes, has provided her the tools necessary to help further the Lady Govs recent success.
“She’s got very good technique and very good hands,” Tabet said. “Her footwork is good and we will work into her foundation in order to get the ball a little heavier. She will be an asset for us in whatever spot we need her. The fact that she loves competing is a major factor for us. She grew up into tennis with her father and brother showing her the way. Now, it’s a matter of getting her into the right type of atmosphere and mentality of what we want to do.”
Hochwalt, an aggressive baseline player with the ability to put away long points, played at Desert Mountain High School, as well as in several (USTA) events. She last played in the USTA Girls 18 National Championships, held in Berkeley, Calif. She is rated as a three-star recruit by TennisRecruting.net. Hochwalt currently is ranked No. 5 in Arizona, and No. 588 nationally.