SAINT LEO, Fla. – Saint Leo University Acting Women's Tennis Coach Sarah Summerfield has announced the addition of Gabrielle Paul and Isabella Robbiani, two very talented international tennis standouts, to the squad as the team prepares for the 2014 season and eyes another appearance in the NCAA Tournament.
Gabrielle Paul 5-4 Kent, England
Coming to Saint Leo from Kent, England, Paul is an accomplished tennis player and the sixth ranked player in the United Kingdom in 2012. The captain of the Under-16 team at the Finals of the National Premier Club League she was also the first reserve for Junior Wimbledon in 2012. Named 'The Doubles Specialist' by Tim Henman, she was a member of the Under-14 doubles winning team at the All England Club and also represented Great Britain at the Under-18 Sri Lanka ITF Grade 4 where she reached the quarterfinals at the age of 13. Well-traveled entering Saint Leo, Paul has represented Great Britain in Sweden, Denmark, Slovenia, France and Sri Lanka during her time on the courts. When asked why she selected Saint Leo she said she felt it was in a great part of the United States and was she right at home in a place where it felt everyone was like a family.
Coach Summerfield's Thoughts: "Gabrielle brings a lot of talent and passion to the program and has excelled as a top junior both nationally and internationally. I look forward to having her be a part of this program and expect great things from her."
Making the nearly 11-hour flight and joining the Lions from Paraguay, Robbiani began playing tennis at six years of age and has worked her way up to being ranked as high as 162 in the International Tennis Federation in Juniors. Playing in the Fed Cup three consecutive times, she earned a 486 Women's Tennis Association ranking in singles and a 494 WTA ranking in doubles. Coming to Saint Leo looking to improve her tennis talents every day and become a better team player, Robbiani is not only talented on the hard courts but also in the classroom, where she held a perfect 4.0 GPA in high school.
Coach Summerfield's Thoughts: "I am very excited that Isabella will be joining our program. She has seen great success at the highest levels of competition and I believe that she will have a significant impact on the programs future success."
Both Paul and Robbiani round out a very successful recruiting class for the Lions' nationally ranked tennis program and they will join a Saint Leo squad looking to make another trip to the NCAA Tournament as a team which finished second the Sunshine State Conference in 2013. The veteran squad, along with a few newcomers, will begin the season on February 2, 2014 when they host Coastal Georgia at the Saint Leo Tennis Center.