SAINT LEO, Fla. – Coming off his first full season as the head tennis coach, James Bryce has announced the addition of three new players to his women’s roster, as the trio of student-athletes inked National Letters of Intent during the final signing period. The group, consisting of one freshman and a pair of transfers, will bring depth and versatility to the squad, as well as experience to the top of the lineup.

Despite an overall record of 8-15, the women’s squad saw flashes of brilliance in their first season under the leadership of Bryce. Of the team’s eight wins, four came during a season-high four match winning streak that spanned from late February into early March.  They also posted conference wins against Tampa and Eckerd, while concluding just two SSC wins short of a top-five regular season finish. In the end, the Lions claimed seventh-place at the Sunshine State Conference Championships by upending Eckerd for the second time in a year.

With his first season now in the books, Bryce’s most recent signings look to shape the future of Saint Leo women’s tennis. He seeks continued excellence in the classroom, while building a tradition of winning at SLU.

2010-2011 Saint Leo Women’s Tennis New Additions

Laura Kemkes
5-6 - Berlin, Germany - Ulrich-von-Hutten HS
Class of 2014

Coach Bryce’s Thoughts: “A top German recruit, Laura is a very talented tennis player. Germany is one of the leaders in developing solid recruits outside of the U.S. and Laura is a benefactor of the tremendous tutelage. She is the No. 233-ranked senior in Germany and I look forward to seeing how she adapts to our team atmosphere. If all goes according to plan, she will probably see a lot of playing time during the season.”

Bethania Souza van der Laan
Pelotas-Rio Grande do Sol, Brazil - Central Florida Community College
Class of 2012

Coach Bryce’s Thoughts: “Laan is a transfer from a top-10 JUCO where she finished her career ranked 18th individually in the country, while helping lead her squad to an eighth-place national finish. Bethania’s athleticism is her biggest asset and her experience of competing and succeeding at the highest JUCO level will only improve our team chemistry and production. I expect her to use her JUCO experience and leadership abilities to help guide our team.”

Phoebe Di Leo
5-7 - Mandeville, La. - Florida State College (Jacksonville)
Class of 2013

Coach Bryce’s Thoughts: “Di Leo brings an extensive playing background to the Lions. Despite injuries over the past year, Phoebe has the work ethic and ability, both on and off the court, to potentially become a top Division II player. She also has a tremendous leadership ability which is crucial with an emerging group. That, combined with a will to win, has me eager for the upcoming season.”

The Lions return all by two players from last year’s team, including Jeannette McDonald who played at the No. 1 spot in 2009-10. In addition, experience will not be a problem for Saint Leo as they see two seniors, two juniors, and a sophomore make-up the returning roster.