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Courtesy: John Walker

Women's Tennis Signs Two to NLI's

Courtesy: Sean Fagan, Assistant Director of Media Relations
Release: 04/18/2013
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KALAMAZOO, Mich. - It was announced today that Yuriko Ono and Barbare Eristavi have signed National Letters of Intent to attend Western Michigan and join the Bronco women's tennis team for the 2013-14 season.

Ono is a native of Nakatsugawa City in Japan, but has most recently attended the Van Der Meer Tennis Academy in Hilton Head Island, South Carolina.  Rated a three-star recruit by, Ono is rated the seventh-best recruit in the state of South Carolina, and has shown the ability to beat top prep talent in her young career; she has a 7-5 record against opponents rated three-star or better, including a 1-1 record against players rated as five-star recruits.  In November 2010, Ono was rated No. 2 on the Prince "Hot 100" list.  

Ono has excelled academically as well; she will be a recipient of the Diether H. Haenicke Scholarship, given annually by Western Michigan to an incoming international student who maintains a 3.0 GPA or better.

"Yuriko is the true student-athlete," said WMU head coach Betsy Kuhle.  "She has been in the United States working on her tennis and studying English for the last three years.  I expect her to make an immediate impact on the program."

Eristavi comes to the Broncos from the Republic of Georgia, joining fellow Georgian Nini Sujashvili on the squad.  Eristavi is ranked among the top three under-18 players in her country, and at one point was ranked the 21st-best under-16 player in Europe.  She won 25 tournaments in her under-14 and under-16 career, and has continued her strong play into her older years; she reached the round of eight in the 2012 Girls 18 President Cup G5, and the round of 16 in the 2012 Girls 18 European Junior Championships.

"We're excited to have Barbare come aboard for next season," said Kuhle.  "She has had great success in international competition in her career, and she's shown the attitude we want from our student-athletes at Western Michigan.  I feel she'll be a great fit for the program."