CULLOWHEE, N.C. - Western Carolina women’s tennis head coach Michaela Kissell-Eddins announced the signing of Jacy Smith and Julia Pezzuco for the 2018-19 incoming class. Smith and Pezzuco inked their National Letters of Intent with Western Carolina University Wednesday morning.
"The wealth of knowledge and experience that Jacy and Julia will bring to our team next year is invaluable,” said Kissell-Eddins. “They both have proven they compete at a very high level in both singles and doubles nationally and I expect them both to be very big keys to our future success as a program. To top it all off both have a team first mentality and I know have the desire to be awesome teammates. As a coach that is a win-win combination and I am so excited to be adding them to the Catamount family."
Smith, a native of Bryan, Texas, was an ITA Summer Circuit Texas A&M Singles finalist. She finished third in the Texas 5A High School Singles Tournament while competing for Bryan High School. She is a two-time National Open doubles champion and was the National Hard Court Doubles Consolation winner. She has also been recognized for her sportsmanship twice at the Texas Section and twice by the USTA.
She is currently a 4-star recruit according to tennisrecruiting.net and has been ranked as high as 106 in the class of 2018. She has consistently been ranked among the top-10 in the state of Texas in her age group.
Smith is an honor roll student and plans on majoring in biology with the goal of pursuing a career in the medical profession.
“When I first got to see Jacy play, I was very impressed with her all-around game,” said associate head coach Jacob Eddins. “She sees the court very well and plays with discipline. To have weapons off both sides makes her a very tough opponent and I know she will come in and work hard to keep developing!”
Pezzuco calls Johnston, R.I. home and is a student at The Wheeler School in Providence, R.I. She was named the 2017 Rhode Island Girl’s Tennis Player of the Year. She was the 2016 Rhode Island High School State Individual Champion as a junior before not competing as a senior to focus on the junior tournaments. She earned a Silver Ball as a finalist at the USTA National Women’s Open Grass Court tournament and a Bronze Ball after placing third at the USTA National Mixed Open Grass Court. She has been named Player of the Year three-straight times at the Providence Tennis Academy. She has also won several USTA junior tournament sportsmanship awards.
She is currently a 4-star recruit according to tennisrecruiting.net and has been ranked as high as 120 in the class of 2018. She is ranked number one in the state of Rhode Island and has been consistently ranked in the top-10 in her age group in the USTA New England Section.
Pezzuco plans to pursue a degree in sports psychology at Western Carolina.
“Julia is very athletic and is a real competitor,” said associate head coach Jacob Eddins. “One thing that stuck out while watching her compete was her mentality to fight for every point and never give up. Her all-court game style allows her to wait for her opportunities and use her strengths to take control of the points.”