Student-Athletes Announce Intentions To Join Bulldog Program In 2003-04

Head Coach Dave Ramos
Head Coach Dave Ramos has added four student-athletes to the Bulldog women's tennis program
Fourth-year Ferris State University women’s tennis head coach Dave Ramos has announced the names of four prep student-athletes who have committed to attend and play tennis at FSU, starting with the 2003-04 academic year.

The group includes Amal Basha (Eau Claire, Wis./Regis), Allison Halbert (Battle Creek/Pennfield), Marissa Muchow (Green Bay, Wis./Ashwaubenon) and Jenna O’Dell (Escanaba).

“These four individuals represent the best recruiting class I’ve had at Ferris State,” Ramos said. “As a group, they’ll allow us to remain extremely competitive. They have a vested interest in tennis and the fact they’ve shown they really want to be a Bulldog excites me.”

A native of Cairo, Egypt, Basha was ranked 216th in singles play and 309th in doubles action among the International Tennis Federation’s (ITF) August 2001 World Rankings leaders prior to competing for Regis High School in Eau Claire, Wis. The 5-7 Basha reached the quarterfinals or higher in seven ITF singles tournaments and 10 doubles events during her international playing career. Basha, a two-time team captain for the Egyptian Girls National Team, recorded a 12-1 overall singles record and was an all-state performer for Regis in 2002. She reached the semifinal round of the 2002 Wisconsin Interscholastic Athletic Association (WIAA) Division II State Tournament (Oct. 10-12) before being eliminated by eventual champion Kaylan Caiati (6-2, 6-2).

Halbert, a three-time (2000-02) team Most Valuable Player Award winner, compiled a 81-25 career singles mark which included a 27-3 record during her senior campaign (2002) at Pennfield High School. A four-time (1999-02) All-Kalamazoo Valley Association selection, Halbert twice (2001-02) earned all-state recognition and was a four-time academic all-state award honoree. She guided the Panthers to a regional title and state tournament berth her final campaign under head coach John Corcoran while attaining individual regional championship and state semifinalist honors. The 5-7 Halbert, who was Battle Creek’s 2002 All-City Champion, twice (2001-02) served as team captain.

A four-year (1999-02) varsity prep letterwinner, Muchow registered a 27-5 overall singles mark in 2002 at Ashwaubenon High School. The two-time (2001-02) state qualifier was a four-time All-Bay Conference pick and earned all-metro accolades three consecutive (2000-02) seasons. She received first-team all-state laurels as a senior after leading AHS to a 10-0 overall record and its third-straight conference championship. The 5-7 Muchow also garnered individual conference and sectional championship recognition. She was invited to participate in the United States Tennis Association’s (USTA) Junior Wightman Cup Competition, a prestigious team event comprised of the best 18-and-under girls in the five-state Midwest Region.

O’Dell, a four-time (1999-02) Great Northern Conference Champion, posted a 74-6 career singles mark. The three-time (1999, 2001-02) Michigan High School Athletic Association (MHSAA) Upper Peninsula Division I State Finals Champion tallied a 19-1 overall record as a senior in 2002 at Escanaba High School after finishing her junior campaign with a 20-0 ledger. A three-time (2000-02) All-Upper Peninsula selection, the 5-7 O’Dell led the Eskymos to both conference and Upper Peninsula championship titles three times during her career under head coach Karen Flynn. The 2001 honorable mention all-state honoree was a two-year USTA Junior Wightman Cup Team member. Her older sisters, Kari and Kristie, participate in women’s tennis at Michigan Tech and women’s track and field/cross country at Grand Valley State, respectively.

“Amal is the first student-athlete I’ve brought in with a prior world ranking while both Marissa and Allison are solid Midwest Sectional players who are anxious to compete,” said Ramos. “Jenna will be a great role player for us and is someone with the ability to develop into a top six player in our lineup.”

Ferris State claimed a share of its 18th league title in the last 19 years at the 2002 Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (GLIAC) Tournament with a 5-2 championship match win over Northern Michigan (10/26) at the Midland (Mich.) Community Tennis Center. The Bulldogs, who concluded the 2002-03 campaign with a 16-10 overall record, registered their eighth consecutive regional tournament appearance and 13th overall NCAA Division II Tournament bid.

FSU is tentatively slated to host Grand Valley State in its 2003-04 season and conference opener Saturday, Sept. 6. The match is scheduled for a 10 a.m. (EDT) start at Ferris’ Racquet and Fitness Center in Big Rapids, Mich.

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