BRISTOL, Tenn. – King University head tennis coach Mariia Ilina announced the signing of three student-athletes that will help the Tornado in the upcoming season. Lennard Neumann, Emily Smith and Charles Jabaley will all join the Tornado this fall ready for the season to start.
Smith doesn't have far to go, making her way to King from Weber, Va., starring at Gate City High School. Playing for head coach Delonda Spivey, Smith helped Gate City to four conference championships, three Region 2A West championships and 2A State championships in each of the last three years. Individually, Smith was a 2A doubles state champion in 2015 as well as runner-up in 2013 and 2014. She won four Region 2A doubles championships and three doubles conference titles in her career at Gate City.
"I am very excited to have Emily join the team," Ilina said. "She is a very talented local player, who will bring energy and excitement to the women's team."
Neumann makes his way to King from Bad Honnef, Germany where he played both tennis and soccer. During his career, Neumann was a six-time Regional Federations champion in Germany and won numerous junior German tournaments playing for head coach Rolf Krupa.
Ilina also adds some college experience with Jabaley who played at Lee University a season ago, helping the Flames to a 12-11 record. Individually, he posted a record of 22-17 combined in both singles and doubles play. Prior to Lee, Jabaley attended Notre Dame High School in Chattanooga where he was a 2014 A/AA doubles state champion in 2014. He also won district and regional championships in doubles all four years he was in high school.
"The Addition of two strong players will help the men¹s team reach new milestones," stated Ilina. "Charles is a great player from Chattanooga area with collegiate experience, an amazing attitude and determination, and Lennard is a very talented international player with a lot of potential."