Nov. 22, 2005
CHAPEL HILL, N.C. - North Carolina men's tennis head coach Sam Paul announced the signing of four prospective student-athletes to national letter of intents. All four players are ranked among the top 50 players in the nation in the Boys' 18's and they represent one of the top recruiting classes signed for the school year that will begin in August 2006.
The group include Kyle Baker, Andrew Crone, Stefan Hardy and Chris Kearney.
"We are really excited about this class," Paul remarked. "We have recruited four players who have outstanding junior results. The character and hard work they have demonstrated on and off the tennis courts is a great fit for our program. We look forward to having them be a part of the Tar Heel tennis family."
Kyle Baker, from Acworth, Ga., is currently ranked 12th in the nation in the Boys' 18's and the number one blue chip recruit from the state of Georgia. Baker has posted an impressive 52-10 singles record. This past summer, Baker finished third at the Southern Closed Championships in Little Rock, Ark. Last spring, Baker captured two Bullfrog Southern Designated Championships by defeating Andy Orban and Jay Weineker in the finals.
Andrew Crone is currently ranked number one in the state of North Carolina and in the top 50 in the nation according to tennisrecruiting.net. Crone attends Hickory High School where he led the Tornadoes to the 2004 state 3A prep championship. Individually, Crone's junior titles include the North Carolina State Closed Championships in the 14-year-old and 16-year-old age divisions and the Southern Closed Championships in the 18's age group. Crone reached the third round in singles at Kalamazoo (Mich.) national championships last summer.
Stefan Hardy is currently ranked 24th in the nation. Hardy led his Southern California team to the Junior Davis Cup title this past summer in Columbia, S.C. by winning all four of his singles matches. Hardy reached the quarterfinals of the prestigious ITF Easter Bowl in spring 2005. Hardy also earned a silver ball at the Kalamazoo nationals in 2003 by reaching the doubles finals with partner Shan Sondhu. Hardy was a top 32 singles seed at ITA national age group nationals in Kalamazoo in 2005.
Chris Kearney hails from Irvine, Calif. and attends Mater Dei High School. He won five singles matches and advanced to the doubles quarterfinals this year at the Boys' 18's National Championships at Kalamazoo, Mich. He also won five singles matches at the National Clay Court Championships in Rockville, Md. Kearney is currently ranked 27th in the nation.
Coach Sam Paul