The Tennis Recruiting Network has ranked UC Santa Barbara's 2011 men's recruiting class as the 24th best in the nation and first among all mid-major programs. The overall national ranking was announced Wednesday while the mid-major ratings were unveiled Friday.
"It's the most exciting recruiting class we've had in over a decade," said Gaucho coach Marty Davis. "This is really great for our program."
The No. 24 ranking actually takes into account just three of the program's four signees. Mbonisi Ndimande, the National Junior College Player of the Year, is a transfer from Seminole State Community College in Oklahoma and the Tennis Recruiting Network does not factor in transfers when it ranks recruiting classes.
The three recruits taken into account by Tennis Recruiting Network are: Greg Scott of Manhattan Beach, Calif., Ziad Sultan of Kuwait and Mons Knudzton of Norway.
Scott, who just completed his senior year at Mira Costa High School, is ranked 21st nationally and second in the section in Boy's 18s. He was the National Open champion in the Boy's 18s and a National Open finalist in the Boy's 16s. Scott was also a quarterfinalist in the Winter Nationals both in 16s and 18s and a quarterfinalist in the Spring Nationals in Mobile, Ala., in the 18s. As a sophomore at Mira Costa, Scott trained with the USTA High Performance Camp in Carson, Calif., and as a freshman, he attended the Advantage Tennis Academy.
Sultan is a powerful 6-foot-3 native of Kuwait. He has a serve that reaches 130 miles per hour and is ranked No. 1 in the Gulf Cooperation Council, which includes Kuwait, Bahrain, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates. In addition, he has an ITF ranking of 390 and won the GCC U18 and U16 championships. Sultan has also won three ITF doubles titles and reached the semifinals in singles of two ITF events.
Knudtzon, a native of Oslo, Norway, attends the Norwegian College of Elite Sport. He currently holds a junior ranking of second in Norway and a men's ranking of 10th. Knudtzon is also ranked 97th in Europe. In 2009 and 2010, he won Norwegian national championships in doubles and he has also won four ITF doubles tournaments, two in his native Oslo and one apiece in Finland and Moldova.
Ndiamande, a native of Zimbabwe, is completing his second year at Seminole State Community College in Oklahoma. At one point, he reached a World Junior ITF ranking of 52 and he is this year he was ranked No. 1 in the national junior college ranks in singles. As a freshman in 2009-10, Ndiamande hit No. 1 in the doubles rankings. He has played in both the Wimbledon and Australian Open junior singles championships and in 2009, he represented Zimbabwe in Davis Cup competition. He was also a finalist in the African Junior Championships in 2008.