Aug. 1, 2011
CONWAY - After losing four players and having only one senior for the upcoming season, Coastal Carolina head men's tennis coach Chris Powers announced his 2011-12 signing class, which includes Mo Hookaylo, Matias Di Pasquale, Sam Barr and Garik Yedigarian.
"I am really excited about the future of the tennis program," Powers said. "It has been a long time since I had such a young team, but there is certainly the talent here to do special things for years to come. We have a lot of work to do, but I believe this another special group of student-athletes to represent Coastal Carolina."
Hookaylo (Orangeburg, S.C./ Hilton Head Prep) helped lead Hilton Head Prep to the Class 3-A SCISAA state title in 2010. He ranked as high as seventh in the state and 123rd in the Southeast. Hookaylo, who enters as a freshman this coming season, was tabbed the 2009 Beaufort Gazette/Island Packet Tennis Player of the Year.
"Mo is such a likable guy and I am really happy that he is going to be on the team this year," Powers said. "He is a tricky left-handed player who has beaten some very good players in South Carolina. I know he is very excited to become a Division I College player and I am looking forward to see if he is up for challenge in our tennis program."
Di Pasquale (Buenos Aires, Argentina/ Instituto Fejeral Nicolas Avellaveja ) is a transfer from USC-Upstate and will have two years eligibility with the Chanticleers. He earned second team All-Atlantic Sun honors at No.3 singles after wrapping up 2011 with a 14-7 mark overall and an 8-1 ledger in league play. Di Pasquale opened the season with a 1-4 record, with the victory coming at the ITA Kick-off against Clemson's Cal Hilsman (2-6, 6-4, 7-5), but lost just twice over the final fifteen matches of the season.
"Matias' results from last season speak for themselves," Powers said. "I had the pleasure of watching him battle and defeat one of my seniors last year, and I was impressed with his determination and skill. He is very good on both sides of the ball and he is going to make an immediate impact in singles and doubles for this program."
Barr (Whakatane, New Zealand/Hutt Valley HS) comes to Coastal Carolina after one season at Arizona, giving him three years of eligibility remaining. He went 1-1 with the Wildcats in dual match competition in 2011. He was ranked as high a 292 in the world as a junior by the International Tennis Federation. Also as a junior, Barr won the New Zealand under-16 doubles championship in 2008 and finished third in the under-16 singles championship. In addition, he won an under-18 international doubles championship in 2008 and was on the New Zealand under-18 team in 2008-09.
"I am really excited that we were able to sign Sam," Powers said. "After an injury as a junior player, he was on the comeback trail last semester at Arizona. I know he is ready to define himself as a college player at Coastal Carolina. I am looking forward to him settling into his game this fall and finding his best game by the spring. He certainly has the ability to have an immediate impact in our program and I really like the fact that he has extensive doubles experience at a high level."
Yedigarian (New York, N.Y./IMG (Fla.) Academy) joins Hookaylo as an incoming freshman, but will not join the team until January 2012. He was listed as a four-star recruit (out of five) by the Tennis Recruiting Network. He also reached as high as #352 in the world junior rankings by the International Tennis Federation with wins against players ranked as high as #149. In addition, Yedigarian ranked as high #48 nationally (2008) by tennisrecruiting.net and finished his junior career ranked #61 nationally.
"Garik is a welcome addition to our tennis program," Powers said. "He has a very solid game and I think he will do very well at the college level. He had some very respectable wins as a junior and he is also a very good student. He is a very likable young man who will mesh well with our team."
Coastal Carolina finished 11-8 last season and placed third in the Big South Conference.