COLLEGE STATION, Texas - Texas A&M women's tennis coach Howard Joffe announced the addition of two student-athletes during the early signing period, including blue chip recruit Jana McCord of San Diego.
In addition, Mason Strickland of The Hockaday School in Dallas has committed to A&M, and the two will begin playing for the Aggies next fall.
"I believe that in Jana and Mason we have made a good start with two players who have the ability to impact us right away," said A&M coach Howard Joffe, who loses seniors Cristina Sanchez-Quintanar, Nazari Urbina and Wen Sun following the 2013 season.
McCord is a blue chip, five-star recruit by TennisRecruiting.com who has been ranked as high as No. 17 in the nation. She was 27-0 last year at Rancho Bernardo High School, earning the school's Athlete of the Year honor. McCord, who chose Texas A&M over Notre Dame, also is a RBHS scholar athlete and was selected to the Union-Tribune All-Academic Team.
Earlier this year, McCord played on the So Cal Fed Cup Team that won gold at the USTA Girls' 18 National Team Championships in Claremont, Calif.
"Jana's signing is truly a huge step forward for the Aggie program," Joffe said. "She is a top-tier American player out of Southern California, and she is an exceptional student. Jan is a player who oozes talent and has a character that is as sound as anyone could wish for. These qualities are emblematic of the type of student-athlete Texas A&M deserves to have. I'm enormously grateful to Jana and her family for trusting us with her development. Also I know her future teammates are over the moon that she elected to join our group."
Strickland has been ranked in the top five in every age division in Texas prior to last year when she was sidelined following knee surgery. She has won several sportsmanship awards at both the national and state levels, and she is on The Hockaday School's highest honor roll. Strickland also is active in volunteer opportunities and has completed more than 100 hours of community service through the National Charity League.
"Mason is a top student and a player with great ability out of the Dallas area," Joffe said." I'm very confident that the ceiling on her tennis potential is high and that her best tennis is still ahead of her. We look forward to helping her achieve some of her goals on the court and in her studies as she follows her parents' footsteps to Aggieland."
Joffe is expected to announce the signing of a third recruit in the near future.