Lions Welcome Junior-College Transfer
SAINT LEO, Fla. – Tennis Coach James Bryce has announced the signing of Laredo Community College transfer Antoine Raffaelli to a National Letter of Intent to play tennis for the Lions' men's team.
Raffaelli is the Lions' lone men's signee for 2011.
Coming off one of the most successful seasons in program history, and collecting the most wins (14) of any Lions' men's team since 1988 (16), the Lions return all but two players from their 2010-11 NCAA Tournament squad.
The addition of Raffaelli will only bolster the team's chances at improving in a very difficult Sunshine State Conference and south region.
5'9" | Jr.
Epinay sur orge, France
Institut Dechamps/Laredo Community College
Raffaelli comes to the Lions as the 46th-ranked singles player in the country at the junior college level according to the ITA (Intercollegiate Tennis Association).
Helping his squad to the 2010 NJCAA National Championship, the incoming junior ranked as high as 17th as a singles player in 2011.
In two years he amassed 32 singles victories and 21 doubles wins. His best season, however, came as a sophomore as he went 14-5 playing out of three flight singles.
In addition, Raffaelli registered a 12-4 doubles mark playing the majority of his season out of the No.3 position.
Bryce's Perspective: "Antoine has been a huge part of the recent success at Laredo over the last two years. His JUCO experience and mental toughness will add to our lineup as we look to build off of last year's successes. Being from France, he will have an easier transition as we have two other French players on the squad. He was a tremendous player at the JUCO level and I believe his talents will improve our squad for this year."
The 2011-12 fall campaign is set to begin in October.