Dawna Prevette and the rest of the Penn State women's tennis team don't compete again until January, but Prevette is already adding to next year's squad with two new recruits.
Prevette announced Wednesday that Amy Simidian and Sarah Henderson have signed on to her 2009 recruiting class and will join the team for the 2009-10 season.
Simidian, from Carlstadt, N.J., comes to State College as a five-star recruit and the No. 34 senior in the country, according to tennisrecruiting.net. She also comes in as the New Jersey State Singles champion after winning the title in October.
"I got to know Amy really well when she came in on her recruiting trip," junior Lauren McCarthy said. "I spent a lot of individual time with her. I think she's really motivated and driven individual who really loves tennis."
Simidian won a state title in New Jersey, but is originally from Miami, Fla., where she competed against fellow Floridian and current Nittany Lion Denisa Zobeideh in amateur tournaments.
"She's definitely a very tough opponent," Zobeideh said of Simidian. "I played her in the later rounds of tournaments. It definitely took a full match for me to win. I think she actually beat me. I know she's really good."
Henderson also will arrive at Penn State with a solid pedigree but a much different background. A native of New Zealand, Henderson will join the Lions next year being a member of the New Zealand Junior Federation Cup team in 2006 and the 20th ranked player in the New Zealand 18 and under rankings in 2007.
Henderson comes from a program -- St. Cuthbert's College -- that has won national championships in each of the last three seasons. News of her scholarship has already been posted on the school's Web site.
Henderson will also be one of at least four international players on Prevette's roster next year. Sarah Lotto, Monika Mical and Maria Prishlyak were born outside the United States, and Prevette said international recruiting is something that is essential in tennis.
"You have to understand tennis, and tennis is an international sport," Prevette said. "You're going to have some players that aren't from the United States, and that's just kind of the nature of our sport."
Both Simidian and Henderson will have to deal with being freshmen in college. But for players like Henderson, it's also an adjustment to a new country. Mical had to deal with it last year and Lotto did it when she came to Penn State two years ago.
"It's hard at first because it's a very different atmosphere, it's a very different country," Lotto said. "So, just basically have to keep your head up and stay strong. When I first came here, Canada's pretty close to the United States, but it's still different from home."