Duke University women's tennis head coach Jamie Ashworth announced today that the nation's top 2009 recruit Mallory Cecil has signed to be a Blue Devil starting immediately. Cecil graduated from high school in December and enrolled at Duke for the spring semester.
"First [the addition of Mallory] helps our depth and that is the number one thing," Ashworth said. "She's going to be a great addition in singles and doubles, but more importantly she adds a lot of depth and she adds a great personality to our team."
"I think she's going to be a great fit for Duke as a whole, not just our tennis program but the entire community. A lot of people will benefit from having the opportunity to spend time with her."
Hailing from Spartanburg, S.C., Cecil joins the Blue Devils after a stellar career on the junior circuit. She attended the Bollettieri Tennis Academy in Bradenton, Fla., earning countless awards during her time there. She is a two-time Bollettieri Student of the Year and captured the Best In Group Award in 2005-06 and 2007-08. Cecil garnered the IMG Mental Conditioning Award and IMG Most Determined Strategist Award in 2006-07.
"It was a really tough decision, but I finished high school early and I decided I wanted to get going with my college career," Cecil said. "I fell in love with the campus and the girls when I came here. I could see myself on this campus when I came. I'm looking forward to the Duke experience and being on a team. Tennis outside of college is really individual so I'm definitely excited to play for a team."
Cecil captured six titles over the course of the past four years and advanced to the finals in numerous other events. She most recently captured the Palmetto Pro Open singles title in June and advanced to the semifinals of the doubles event. She also captured top honors at the Kaelin Diadora USTA Championship in June. In August, Cecil qualified for Tier 2 at the Women's Tennis Association (WTA) Pilot Pen after being the 40th-ranked player in the world at the time.
This past year she competed in the French Open, Wimbledon, and U.S. Open junior tournaments in 2008. A graduate of the IMG Academy School, Cecil was the runner-up in the Girls 18's National Clay Court Championships in 2006 and won the Girls 18 Southern Closed Championships. A year later, she traveled to Ecuador to bring home both the singles and doubles titles in the Copa Graiman event and was a quarterfinalist in the Copa Gerdeau in Brazil.
The Duke women's tennis team kicks off the 2009 season this weekend, Jan. 17-18 at the Michigan Invitational. The Blue Devils open against Tennessee at 10 a.m., on Jan. 17.