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The Gonzaga women's tennis team have four newcomers joining in the fall.
Courtesy: Gonzaga Athletics

Women's Tennis Adds Four Players To 2012-13 Roster

Courtesy: Gonzaga Athletics
          Release: 05/16/2012
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SPOKANE, Wash. - Gonzaga University head women's tennis coach D.J. Gurule has announced the addition of four players to the 2012-13 squad Wednesday. Joining the Zags next year are Samantha Polayes of Morgan Hill, Calif., Melanie Yates of New Brighton, Minn., Franziska Koehler of Warstein, Germany and Isabell Klingert of Oberbalbach, Germany.

"I am very excited and proud of this year's recruiting class," Gurule said. "This marks the second year in a row that we have been able to bring in a top quality recruiting class. These four players will allow us to be more competitive within the West Coast Conference. More importantly, I had the privilege of meeting with and spending some time with each player and I can testify that they will be great teammates and additions to our university.  While it will be impossible to replace (graduating seniors) Sophie (Lantta), Madeline (Parker) and Kristina (Zauere), this year's incoming class will keep Gonzaga women's tennis headed in the right direction."

Samantha Polayes
Morgan Hill, Calif. Archbishop Mitty High

Samantha Polayes (pronounced Pole-lay-es) is currently ranked 118th in the country by TennisRecruiting.net and is ranked 189th in the United States Tennis Association rankings. Polayes has received all three letters in tennis at Archbishop Mitty High in nearby San Jose. As a freshman, she won the Central Coast Section doubles title and placed fourth in singles. Recently, Polayes compiled 16 victories in 10 tournaments last year. She was a finalist at the Solano BG18,16 Jr. Excellence tournament and has reached the consolation quarterfinal round at the UTSA Regional in Carmel, Calif.

"Samantha is an outstanding player and will be a great addition," Gurule said. "I was very impressed watching her play last summer and I am excited to have her on campus next year. Samantha has already bonded with our current players and I know she is excited to join the team in August." 

Melanie Yates
New Brighton, Minn. Mounds View High

Melanie Yates is currently ranked No. 210 in the nation by TennisRecruiting.net. The highest ranking she received in her career was No. 159 in 2010, the same year she won a UTSA National Open Doubles title. Yates earned six varsity letters at Mounds View High, which includes having played at No. 1 singles for four years. While at Mounds View, she led her team to five Minnesota State High School League Region 5AA championships and has won five section 5AA titles, four in singles play and one in doubles. She has been named to the All-Suburban East League team six times and was an All-State Academic team selection as a senior. In addition to being named team captain in her senior campaign, Yates was also awarded the Athena Award for the most outstanding female athlete in the entire high school.

"We were very fortunate to have Melanie coming to Gonzaga next year," Gurule said. "She is an excellent student and athlete. I believe that her best tennis is ahead of her and I cannot wait to work with her."


Franziska Koehler
Warstein, Germany

Franziska Koehler (pronounced Kole -Er) is currently ranked 266 among women in the Der Deutsche Tennis Bund, which is Germany's tennis federation. She has been named DTB Player of the Year in 2009 and has earned 15 German singles championships in nearly all age groups from 2002-10. This past February she played close battle with Katharina Hering, who was ranked No. 22 in the DTB Under-18 rankings and was one of the top 100 women in Germany. Koehler won the first set 7-5 but dropped the next two by the scores of 6-7, 3-6. Last year, she was a semifinalist at the Parkhaus Nachwuchs-Cup, an Under-21 national ranking tournament. She is also a member of the TC BW Soest club team in the Westfalenliga, the third highest league in Germany. During her time with TC BW Soest, she has helped the team reached as high as the State Championships.

"I am very excited for Franziska to play for us next year," Gurule said. "She is an outstanding player and a very dedicated athlete.  Franziska's work ethic is amazing. She will be a great addition to our team and university."

Isabell Klingert
Baden-Wurttemberg, Germany Deutschorden-Gymnasium

Isabell Klingert is currently ranked 115th in the DTB Under-21 rankings. She has been ranked as high as No. 111, which was in 2010. She was a finalist in three Under-21 tournaments last year, having reached the final rounds in the Pro Sport Travel Cup Masters, the Youth Cup of Fuerst Fugger Privatbank and the Pro Sport Travel Cup 3 tournaments. She was also a semifinalist at the Seventh Fluegelrader Youth Tournament. She was recently promoted to compete in the Regionaliga this summer, which is the best national amateur league in Germany.

"Isabell brings a lot of international experience to the team," Gurule said. "She will make an immediate impact on our team. She is very talented and can be aggressive from almost anywhere on the court."


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