MARTIN, Tenn. – University of Tennessee at Martin head tennis coach Dennis Taylor welcomes in Jule Streif, Mizuki Sakurai and Amelia Campbell to the Skyhawk program. All three will join the UT Martin tennis squad as freshmen in the fall of 2017.
“I have been worried about the talent we were losing with the upcoming graduation of our top three seniors in Sarah Candeloro, Hitomi Naito and Burcu Tari,” said Taylor, who has been named Ohio Valley Conference Coach of the Year on seven different occasions. “These three recruits will help fill that gap. They will need a few matches to adjust to the level of play in our conference but I am certain that all three will quickly become some of the best players in the conference.”
A native of Oberkirch, Germany, Streif has made a name for herself as one of Germany’s top junior players. She is currently wrapping up her senior campaign at Hans-Furler Gymnasium School and competed in the prestigious Sparkassen-Renchtalcup and the International Baden Championship during her amateur career.
“Jule has a huge forehand and plays an aggressive style of tennis that matches our style here at UT Martin,” Taylor said. “She is a big time player with all the shots. She has a resume of a strong, experienced international player that will have an immediate impact on our program. I believe she will begin winning tournaments right out of the gate next fall.”
Sakurai hails from Tokyo, Japan but attends Mill Hill School in London, England. She boasts a wealth of international experience against top junior competition throughout England. She was part of a Cumberland Tennis Club Under-18 Team that won the national AEGON Tema Tennis Premier Final event in 2015.
“Mizuki is not only a great tennis player but she is also extremely strong academically,” Taylor said. “I believe that she will shock many coaches in the OVC with her talent. By the end of her first semester, I think she will be among the top players in the conference.”
Campbell is from London, England and currently attends John F. Kennedy School in Hemel Hempstead, Herftordshire. Like Sakurai, she has also faced off against some of the best competition that England has to offer throughout her prep career, competing for the Langley Tennis Club.
Both Sakurai and Campbell joined forces in doubles and picked up a victory in the prestigious HSBC Road to Wimbledon National Challenge Finals.
“Amelia’s tennis talent and quickness around the court will make her an All-OVC player in her first year in the conference,” Taylor said. “But it was her energy and enthusiasm that drew me to her. She has a passion for tennis and for training that will push our team to the next level and she has the kind of energy that can change the momentum of a match.”
The Skyhawks, who won the sixth OVC championship in school history in 2015-16, open their spring season on Saturday, Jan. 21 when they travel to the University of Louisville.