published Thursday, November 14th, 2013

Samantha Caswell to play tennis for UTC

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    Baylor's Samantha Caswell plays in a doubles match against GPS.
    Photo by Angela Lewis.
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Baylor senior Samantha Caswell signed Wednesday to continue her tennis career at the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga.

Caswell is a two-time defending Division II-AA state singles champion, and has played No. 1 singles for the Lady Red Raiders for the previous four seasons -- the last three of which ended with the team winning the state team championship as well. During her career, she has also been named Most Valuable Player of the Decoturf National Championships for three straight seasons, all of which ended with the Lady Red Raiders winning the championship.

She chose UTC over offers from East Carolina and College of Charleston.

"I'm really excited to continue my tennis career in Chattanooga," Caswell said. "I'm excited to take what I've accomplished at Baylor and build on it at UTC. I love Chattanooga and although I had offers at other schools I really felt like I wanted to stay here. I immediately felt comfortable with Coach [Jeff] Clark and the girls on the team. I look forwards to the opportunities both academically and athletically that UTC has to offer me."

The UTC women's basketball team will announce its signing class today. UTC has commitments from four players: guard Anna Claire Noblit of Covenant Christian School in Tuscumbia, Ala.; Ashlyn Wert, a 6-foot-5 center from Lancaster (Pa.) County Day Schools; guard A'Queen Hayes of Southaven (Miss) High School and wing Keiana Gilbert, from Columbia (Tenn.) Central High School.

Gilbert is the sister of current UTC freshman Aryanna Gilbert and Hayes played at Southaven with another freshman, forward Jasmine Joyner. Noblit was the Class 1A player of the year in Alabama last season after averaging 23 points a game.

UTC has six seniors on this season's squad, but one, forward Destiny Bramblett, is redshirting. Also sitting out this season is freshman Ansley Chilton of Trenton, Ga. There are five active freshmen on the roster.

UTC men's basketball coach Will Wade is expected to announce the signing of four players -- three guards and a forward -- later this week.

Shaquille Preston is a 6-2 shooting guard from East Jefferson High School in Metarie, La. Brandon Maxwell is a 6-1 guard from Orlando Christian Prep and the son of former NBA guard Vernon Maxwell. Jacolby Mobley is a 6-foot guard from East Mississippi Community College, and Anthony Etheridge is a 6-5 forward from South Georgia Technical College.

"We don't have interchangeable parts right now," Wade said of his team's current depth. "We have to acquire that and build that."

UTC softball coach Frank Reed added five signees on Wednesday, with a primarily local focus. Pitcher Cori Jennings (Gordonsville, Tenn.) catcher/outfileder Taylor Parker (Richland [Tenn.]), and infielders Jordyn Hamill (Gordon Lee) and Ashley Conner (Northwest Whitfield) are all from the South and have played together on travel ball teams.

Rounding out the softball signing class is Kailey Palazzola, a pitcher from Don Lugo High in Chino, Calif., who can also play outfield and middle infield.

Women's golf coach Colette Murray is expected to announce the signing of three players including two from Spain.

Megan Woods is an incoming freshman from Smithson Valley (Texas) High School with a 1.9 handicap, according to a recruiting profile. Maria Isabel Bascuas and Cristina Perez Iguaran round out the class.

"We'll have more depth than we've ever had," Murray said. "This is probably my strongest signing class in a while. We're going to be good in the spring and really good next year."

Men's golf coach Mark Guhne is not expected to sign any incoming players this week.

The volleyball team did not announce any signees, but Lauren Greenspoon of Jersey Village High School in Houston said via Twitter that she had "officially signed" to join coach Trave Filar's team next fall.

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