Written by: NMSU Athletic Dept.
LAS CRUCES, N.M. - New Mexico State head women's tennis coach Don Ball announced Monday, Apr. 21 that he has signed Laura Boguet and Isabela Kulaif to Grant in Aid's and Natalia Salum Soto to a National Letter of Intent. All three student-athletes will attend New Mexico State University and play tennis for the Aggies beginning in the fall of 2008.
Head coach Don Ball stated that he is extremely happy with this group of players that he inked in his 2008 recruiting class.
"These three players will make us better as a team and they will be able to get us back into the national rankings," Ball said. "They are very accomplished players and will help us replace our two seniors that we will lose after this year."
Boguet, a native of France, currently has a French rating of -2/6, which is comparable to the high ratings that current men's tennis players Gustave Diep and Jim Brouleau had in their junior careers in France. She has won over 20 singles matches this season.
"First of all Laura is on paper the best French player that we've recruited and that's saying something because we have had some great, great players from France. We're projecting her to be one of our top players."
Salum Soto is currently ranked the No. 1 junior in all of Mexico. She rose to her top national ranking after her singles and doubles titles at the Mexican National Championships, where only the top 16 players in the nation competed.
She was the individual National Champion at the Mexico Team Championships, regional doubles champion and a finalist at sectionals. She represented Mexico and was a doubles finalist at the International Games of Central America and the Caribbean. Salum Soto finished in third place at the Mexican National Hard Courts in San Luis Potosi, was a finalist in singles action and got third place in doubles at the Nationals in Queretaro.
"We saw Natalia play this year when we played an exhibition match against Monterrey Tech at the beginning of this season and she has a lot of talent," Ball said. "We knew then that she had one more year that she could grow as a player and all her accolades speak for themselves."
Kulaif comes to NMSU as a sophomore. She played the 2006-07 season for the UTEP Miners and received a medical redshirt this year. As a freshman for the Miners, Kulaif compiled a 9-14 overall singles record and a 12-9 doubles mark. She went 9-11 at No. 2 singles in the spring dual match season and was 12-6 in doubles play. In Conference USA matches, she was 3-1 in both singles and doubles action.
Originally from Sao, Paulo, Brazil, Kulaif won the prestigious ITF-Porto Seguro Tournament in 2005. She was ranked No. 1 in Brazil in 2003 in both singles and doubles and was also ranked No. 1 in 2001 in singles and doubles.
"We've seen Isabela first hand from playing against UTEP and she is a very excellent doubles player and that is something we wanted to get better at," Ball added. "We got the blessing from the Miners to sign her, which was important for us to have that. She played No. 2 for them as a freshman and that shows just how talented she is."
The Aggies (11-9) are currently gearing up for the 2008 WAC Championships that is being played in New Mexico State's own back yard at the NMSU Tennis Center. NMSU, a four seed, faces fifth-seeded Hawai'i in the quarterfinals Thursday at 9:00 a.m.