Colombian Jorge Andres Azuero (left) and Wayne Harrell of Connecticut (right) have signed to join the Flames tennis team for the upcoming academic year.
The Liberty Men's Tennis recruiting class for the upcoming 2011-12 academic year has earned the Flames a spot on The Tennis Recruiting Network's Top-25 Mid-Major recruiting classes.
This year's listing, which is based on recruiting classes through May 20, ranks head coach Chris Johnson's incoming class 19th in its top 25 classes. Aside from Dillon Segur, whose signing was announced in the fall, the Flames will welcome Colombia native Jorge Andres Azuero and Wayne Harrell of Connecticut to Liberty for the upcoming academic year.
Tennisrecruiting.net ranks Harrell as one of the top-100 players in the country and the No. 5 player in the New England region. Segur currently holds a ranking of 187 nationally and No. 7 in his home state of North Carolina. Both are four-star recruits according to the site. Meanwhile, Azuero, who hails from Cali, Colombia, has been ranked as one of the top 10 juniors in his country.
The mid-major rankings include all colleges in all divisions except for those in the "high-major conferences". The high-major conferences for tennis include schools affiliated with Bowl Championship Series conferences - the ACC, Big East, Big 10, Big 12, Pac 12, and SEC - as well as the Ivy League.
The 25 schools on the list represent 16 states and the District of Columbia. Fourteen different conferences are represented in addition to one school being independent. UC Santa Barbara took the No. 1 spot in being the first of five different schools from California, giving the state the most schools on the list. Liberty is the lone representative from Virginia and the Big South.
Coach Johnson has now had a ranked recruiting class for both the men's and women's programs. The Lady Flames' 2007-08 recruiting class, which featured Jordan Jenkins and Hannah Fick, was ranked 17th among the Top-25 listing.
"We are very excited about our recruiting class for 2011-2012. It is the strongest recruiting class to date for Liberty tennis and the first to get national recognition. It goes without saying that these young men will make an immediate impact in our roster," commented Johnson.
The Flames are coming off their third consecutive season with at least 10 wins and expect the core of the team returning next season. The men also advanced to the semifinals of the 2011 Big South Championship after defeating Coastal Carolina in the opening round.
Tennis Recruiting Network Top-25 Mid-Major Recruiting Classes
1. UC Santa Barbara 2. Navy 3. George Washington 4. New Mexico 5. Fordham 6. Charlotte 7. CMS 8. Johns Hopkins 9. UC Irvine 10. Elon 11. San Diego 12. Furman 13. Boise State 14. Florida Atlantic 15. Lipscomb 16. Southern Miss 17. Butler 18. Army 19. Liberty 20. Emory 21. Carnegie Mellon 22. Rice 23. Toledo 24. UCSD 25. Georgia Southern
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