SMITHFIELD, R.I. – The Bryant University women's tennis program and head coach Barbara Cilli are pleased to announce the addition of four incoming freshman to the roster for the 2014-15 season.
Coming off its finest season at the Division I level in which the Bulldogs earned their first DI postseason victory and advanced all the way to the semifinals at the Northeast Conference Championships, the Black and Gold return a group of young, talented student athletes primed to make a push for the NEC crown.
Joining an already solid lineup will be the Bryant women's tennis Class of 2018, comprised of Stefanie Arroyo (Gurabo, Puerto Rico), Ashanti Campfield (Stratford, Conn.), Nina Luiggi (Nottingham, England), and Linnea Sjoberg (Stockholm, Sweden).
"This year's class is a mix in terms of local and global talent," said Cilli. "They are very strong in the classroom and they all bring something different to our program on the court.
"We are looking to add more strength, consistency and experience to our singles and doubles lineup and this year's class will help us do that. Our goals are to improve upon last year's finish and to win a conference championship and this is definitely a movement in the right direction."
Stefanie Arroyo | Gurabo, Puerto Rico
A Gurabo, Puerto Rico native … Helped lead Colegio Notre Dame to back-to-back Puerto Rico High School Athletic Alliance Tennis Championships (2013, 2014), the school's first in 100 years … Named Team MVP from 2008-2014 … Recognized by the Puerto Rico Tennis Association for being the #1 singles and doubles player in Puerto Rico at the same time … No. 1 ranked player in 10's, 12's, 14's in singles and 12's and 14's in doubles … Was a finalist at the Little Mo Regionals in Atlanta, Ga. And a quarterfinalist at Little Mo Nationals in Austin, Texas … Represented PR at the Jitic ITF tournament and made it into the main draw (14's- 2009 and 16's 2011).
"Stefanie has a lot of USTA experience behind her which she is excited to put to use this year," added Cilli. "She was sidelined a little bit last year due to illness, but with that now behind her we are looking forward to seeing how her skills will translate to the college game."
Ashanti Campfield | Stratford, Conn.
A Bunnell High School graduate and Stratford, Conn. native … Currently ranked the fourth best player in New England … Went a perfect 16-0 as a freshman at No. 1 singles for Bunnell High School … Ranked first in the Southwest Conference in 2014 … Received 2014 All-State and All-Conference recognition as a senior … Achieved her highest national ranking in 2014, reaching 252nd among her class.
"Ashanti is what I'd consider an up-and-comer," noted Cilli. "Her game keeps improving each year, attaining her highest National ranking yet this past year. She is just now coming into her game so we are excited to see what else she can do on the college circuit. She is very athletic, which bodes extremely well for her at the DI level."
Nina Luiggi | Nottingham, England
A native of Nottingham, United Kingdom … Achieved No. 6 overall national ranking U-16 … Consistently No. 1 ranked player in Nottinghamshire country through U-16-18 … Currently ranked No. 3 in country among her class … Reached the semifinals of the Grade 2 National Clay Tournament in Doncaster.
"Nina has an all court game that has served her well in both singles and doubles," added Cilli. "Coming from an athletic family, uses her athleticism to wear down her opponents and will definitely add some great depth to our lineup. She also comes here with the confidence of knowing she already has some strong wins over DI opponents from England that play here in the US."
Linnea Sjoberg | Stockholms län, Sweden
A native of Stockholm, Sweden … One of four players selected for Team Stockholm when she was 12 years of age … Won the Indoor and Outdoor Regional Championships for 18 year olds when she was just 17 … Plays for Trollbackens TK Sweden club team, where she helped them win a title in 2013 and advance to the National Championships which included only four teams in all of Sweden.
"At 6-1, Linnea comes to Bryant with height and power on her side which is an area we are happy to have some help with," said Cilli. "Linnea is very familiar with NEC tennis, as her older brother played for FDU and battled the Bryant men's team in last year's final match that went down to the wire. She is very much looking forward to helping the women's tennis program win a title of their own in 2015."