Nov. 30, 2011
CHICAGO – DePaul head women’s tennis coach Mark Ardizzone announced on Wednesday that Matea Cutura, Zaina Sufi, and Ana Vladutu have all signed a National Letter of Intent. The trio is expected to join the Blue Demon program in the Fall of 2012.
"We are so excited to add these student-athletes to our team next year,” Ardizzone said of his standout class. “All three are great students, players and great kids. We are so fortunate to sign all three of these student-athletes early. Each will help get us back to where we want to be over their careers at DePaul."
Cutura comes to DePaul from Zagreb, Croatia where she won the Croatian National Championships at the both the 16 and 18 under tournaments. At the juniors level (16 and under), Cutura finished sixth at the Fed Cup in Mexico, played for the Winter Cup in Switzerland and the Summer Cup in Italy.
“Matea is a very solid all court player who has great experience playing big-time tennis,” Ardizzone added of Cutura who has ranked as high was 841 in the WTA doubles rankings and has two singles points.. “She comes from a great tradition of Croatian student-athletes we have had in our program and we expect that she will make a big impact.”
Sufi makes her way to Lincoln Park from Tucson, Arizona where she was ranked No. 1 in the southwest in girls 14’s, 16’s and 18’s. She helped Catalina Foothills to three State Championships and finished second in singles as a freshman and sophomore. As a junior, Sufi took home the singles State Championship while she also claimed the doubles title. Following the 2011 state championships, Sufi was named the All-Southern Co-Player of the Year by Tucson Citizen.
“Zaina is a great player and student as well,” Ardizzone said of Sufi, who was awarded her school’s scholar-athlete award and to the honor roll the last three years. “Zaina played some great tennis this summer even while battling an injury. She is a very good doubles player and will be a great addition. She is another warm weather girl who wants to continue her tennis in the midwest like fellow Arizonian Kelsey Lawson.
Ardizzone’s class is rounded out by Vladutu who is a native of Craiova, Romania and has ranked as high as No. 848 in the WTA doubles rankings. Vkadutu is ranked No. 48 in the Romania and reached as high as No. 32 in 2010. Won three tournaments at the juniors level and was a doubles finalist at the ITF 10,000 Pirot Open in Serbia.
At Colegiul National Carol High School, Vladutu is ranked in the Top 10 of her class and finished in second place at the National Olympiad of Mathematics and was third in the National Olympiad of Romanian Language and Literature.
“Ana has a huge game. She has had great results already but her game is more suited to hard court tennis, Ardizzone said of his final signee. “She has big shots and a big serve which will be great in our hard hitting program.”
DePaul returns to the courts in January at the Northwestern Invitational, Jan. 13-15.