MORAGA, Calif. -- Saint Mary's women's tennis coach Lisa Alipaz announced Monday that highly touted recruits Emma Critser and Kareena Manji will join the Gaels for the 2014-15 season after each signed a national letter of intent last week.
Critser is a Bay Area native who hails from Mountain View, Calif. and attends Mountain View High School. Manji is a native of Simi Valley, Calif. who attends Thousand Oaks High School. Both players are rated as five-star recruits by TennisRecruiting.net and should bring instant talent to the already strong Gaels tennis program.
"We are fired up. They will each bring in a unique skill set, and will be impact players," Alipaz said. "Emma is an aggressive baseliner who has the ability to hit big out of both corners, and from anywhere on the court. Kareena has a very high tennis IQ, and will outsmart her opponents using her crafty all court game. Both are extremely accomplished competitors, great doubles players and have wonderful sportsmanship on the court. We are very excited to have them as part of the family."
Critser has built an impressive list of accolades even before finishing high school, and signs with the Gaels as the No. 44 ranked recruit in the country according to TennisRecruiting.net. Over the summer, she competed in the National Open in Lakewood, Calif., winning the Girls 18s doubles title while paired with her new Gaels teammate Manji. She owns several doubles championships since 2011, and in May 2012 won the Elk Grove Girls 16s singles title.
Manji brings her own impressive resume to Moraga. She has been ranked as high as No. 75 in the nation in Girls 18s, and is currently ranked as the No. 72 recruit in the country by TennisRecruiting.net. She is a Top 25 Girls 18s player in Southern California, and She has been ranked in the Top 20 of Women's Open play in the region. At Thousand Oaks High, Manji won the Marmonte League doubles title in both her sophomore and junior years and earned first-team singles honors both seasons as well.
This season's Gaels will return to action on Jan. 17 when they take part in the Cal Winter Invitational in Berkeley, Calif. Dual matches begin on Jan. 24 in Los Angeles when Saint Mary's faces Utah as part of the ITA National Indoors.