July 14, 2011
By Tim McCaughan
CARBONDALE, Ill. - Twins from Spain, Ariadna and Gisela Cairo Baza, headline the four-person incoming recruiting class for Saluki women's tennis coach Audra Nothwehr. Ariadna is currently ranked No. 64 in Women's Open Singles in Spain, while her sister, Gisela, is No. 105.
"Ariadna has an excellent tennis mentality and hustles for every ball," Nothwehr said. "Gisela is a player with a great forehand winner, and she is a fighter, which makes it hard to beat her."
Also joining the class is Natasha Tomishima from Campo Grande, Brazil, who held a top-5 junior ranking.
"Natasha can really place the ball well, and she is a smart player," Nothwehr said. "She won't overpower her opponents, but she will play smart and become a winner."
The fourth newcomer is walk-on Siera Hastler of Morton, Ill. She played No. 1 singles during her junior and senior year at Morton High School and was named First-Team All-Conference.
"Siera has desire and motivation," according to Nothwehr. "She hasn't developed completely yet, but with her passion for the game, she will get better and help our team win."
The Salukis return No. 1 singles player Melanie Delsart off last year's squad that finished fifth in the Missouri Valley Conference, as well as Jennifer Dien, Anita Lee, Korey Love and Anastacia Simons.
"There will be plenty of competition for spots in our lineup," Nothwehr said. "I think the newcomers are going to give us the depth that we need and create a better practice environment. Everyone will practice harder and try to get better if they know that someone else is working to take their spot."