HOUGHTON, Mi. The Michigan Tech women's tennis program and Head Coach Kevin Kalinec are pleased to announce the addition of Jessica Brown and Samantha Johnson to the 2018-19 recruiting class. Brown (Midland, Michigan) and Johnson (Boksburg, South Africa) have both signed National Letters of Intent to join the Huskies next season.
"Jessica and Samantha both have very athletic styles of play and will compete for spots at or near the top of our lineup in both singles and doubles," Coach Kalinec said. "They will be joining an experienced group of players who have all contributed to our continued success both on and off the court over the past few years.
"I'm already looking forward to next year and the prospect of working with a group of student athletes who give everything they have both on the court and in the classroom. Both players will be great additions academically and athletically and we're all very excited to have the opportunity of working with them over the next four years."
Brown has excelled both on the court and in the classroom at H.H. Dow High School. In 2015, she was a State Finalist in number two singles after posting an impressive 24-2 record. During the 2016 and 2017 campaigns, she moved up into the No. 1 spot and posted 21 and 22 win seasons on her way to the State Quarterfinals. Brown was named All-State First Team along with Saginaw Valley First Team in 2015. In both 2016 and 2017, she earned Saginaw Valley First Team and Player of the Year honors.
Brown helped guide her team to Saginaw Valley League and Regional Championships in 2015, 2016, and 2017. The team was a Division I State Finalist in 2015 while securing back to back State Championships in 2016 and 2017. Off the court, Brown is a member of the National Honors Society.
"Jessica has a very solid all-around game," Kalinec said. "She holds the baseline very well and consistently takes the ball on the rise on both sides which takes time and distance away from her opponent. She generates a lot of power on her ground strokes and can attack from both sides but especially from the forehand side. She also has the ability to come in and finish points at the net if needed.
"In addition, she has a good serve especially considering her small frame and being left handed is always a bonus in tennis. Jessica is a Tennis Recruiting Network 4-star recruit and currently ranked #2 in Michigan and 16th in the Great Lakes Region (Michigan, Illinois, Indiana, Ohio, Wisconsin).
Johnson prepped at St. Dominic's Catholic School for Girls in Boksburg, South Africa and helped guide her team to a Gauteng East League Championship in 2017. She was selected as the Player of the Tournament at the Sun City High School tournament for three consecutive seasons. In addition, she was the Team Captain and Player of the Year for five straight seasons.
"Samantha has a very good ground game and likes to play an attacking style, but she also covers the court well which allows her to run balls down and play defense when needed," Kalinec said. "She also makes good decisions and uses great shot patterns that consistently puts her in positive positions during the point. Her serve and net game will benefit her in doubles as well."
The Huskies recently closed the fall portion of the 2017-18 schedule with an overall record of 8-7 and 5-5 in the Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference. Tech will be back on the court March 9-17 in Hilton Head S.C. at the Spring Tennis Fest.