Women’s Tennis Inks Two During November Signing Period 11/18/02
Stephens and Fish Bring Junior National Rankings to Vanderbilt

NASHVILLE, Tenn. - Vanderbilt women’s tennis head coach Geoff Macdonald announced the signings of Amanda Fish (Scituate, Mass.) and Helene Stephens (Hilton Head, S.C.) for the 2003-04 season.

Fish, who is a senior at Thayer Academy in Braintree, Mass., has compiled an impressive list of tennis accomplishments throughout her junior career. Fish is presently ranked No. 31 nationally in the 18-and-under division by the United States Tennis Association (USTA), while also being ranked No. 1 by the New England Tennis Association.

This year’s accolades for Fish include finishing runner-up at National Gateway Tournament this month in St. Louis, Mo. She also made it to the round of 16 at the prestigious Easter Bowl Championships in Palm Springs, Calif. Fish was also a semifinalist at the USTA National Open back in February.

Her highest national ranking came in 2001 when she finished the year ranked No. 13 by the USTA in the 16-and-under division. Fish won four New England Tennis Association tournaments in 2001, which helped solidify her national ranking.

Some of Fish’s high school accomplishments include being crowned Independent School League champion in 2001 and 2002. Fish was also recognized for her accomplishments in the classroom, as she was named all-scholastic by the Boston Globe and the Patriot Ledger in 2002.

“Of all the players I saw play last summer, Amanda stood out as a great competitor with tremendous potential,” Macdonald said. “I expect her to contribute to our program immediately.”

Fish selected Vanderbilt over Notre Dame, William & Mary and Wake Forest.

Stephens, who is a senior at Hilton Head Preparatory School, will be a solid addition to the Commodores’ roster next year. In singles, she is one of the top players in the South Carolina and also in the South. Stephens is the No. 2 ranked player in South Carolina and No. 19 in the South.

She has also excelled in doubles action, which is an area she will be able to contribute immediately in for the Vanderbilt. At the USTA National Open in July, Stephens and her partner Lingda Yang were victorious in the doubles competition. In February, at an earlier USTA National Open, she teamed up with Emily Applegate to make the semifinals. She is coming off a quarterfinal doubles result with Isabel Jarosz of Canada in an International Tennis Federation tournament (ITF). ITF tournaments consist of the top junior players from around the world.

Her strongest year of junior tennis came in 2001 when she finished the year ranked No. 45 nationally in the girls 16-and-under division, while finishing the year No. 1 in South Carolina. Stephens’ 2001 season included two singles titles, two runner-up finishes and a semifinal result.

Along with her junior tournament schedule, she also played for Hilton Head Preparatory School for her first three years. Stephens sat out her senior season because of her constant college visits. Over her three seasons, she won a team state championship in 1999, while earning all-region honors her freshman, sophomore and junior seasons. As a sophomore, she was named South Carolina Player of the Year.

“I think Helene will emerge this year as one of the best players in the country,” Macdonald said. “Her determination and persistence complement her great technique and athletic ability.”

Stephens selected Vanderbilt over Southeastern Conference rivals Alabama and Auburn.




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