May 3, 2007
SANTA BARBARA, Calif. - The UC Santa Barbara women's tennis program has added three California high school stars for the 2007-08 season, head coach Pete Kirkwood announced Thursday. Two of the three players are sisters of former Gauchos.
Jill Damion, a native of Newport Beach and a senior at Corona del Mar High School, is the sister of former UCSB player Leslie Damion. The younger Damion is joined by Miki Fukushima, a Monterey, Calif., native who attends St. Stephen's High School. She is the sister of former Gauchos, Shiho and Mio Fukushima. The third player to commit to UCSB is Mia Giovanetti, a native of Saratoga, Calif., and a senior at Monte Vista High School.
Damion is a highly competitive nationally-ranked junior player who should vie for playing time near the top of the lineup in 2007-08.
"Jill has tons of great experience playing at the national level," Kirkwood said. "Her big serve and huge forehand are her primary weapons and she figures to play very high in the lineup as a freshman."
Fukushima and Giovanetti are each ranked juniors in Northern California and both are expected to add depth for the Gauchos.
"Neither Miki or Mia figure to be starters right away but they will be a very important part of our future success," Kirkwood stated. "With the addition of these three quality student-athletes and 11 of 12 players returning, we are hoping for big things next year."
Not only does UCSB return 11 of its 12 players from the 2006-07 team, it returns all six regular starters.