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Ohio State class of Steele, Manashirov and Cecil help lead Big Ten to strong finish in rankings

COLUMBUS, Ohio – The Ohio State women’s tennis team’s 2010 recruiting class of Fidan Manashirov, Kara Cecil and Gabby Steele has been ranked as the 12th-best in the nation, according to the Tennis Recruiting Network.

The Big Ten as a whole enjoyed recruiting success, as the Buckeyes are one of four teams ranked in the Top 15. Northwestern had the fourth-ranked class, Illinois the fifth-highest class, and Michigan the nation’s eighth-ranked class. The four Top 15 teams for the Big Ten was tied for the most by a conference with the SEC.

Steele hails from Cincinnati and Summit Country Day High School. A four-time OHSAA state tournament participant, Steele was the Ohio State Division II champion as a junior in 2007, defeating current Buckeye freshman Kelsey Haviland in the championship match.

Cecil, a native of Plant City, Fla., is ranked as the No. 57 player in the class of 2009 by tennisrecruiting.net. In 2008, she reached the quarterfinals of the USTA national Open Girls 18’s National Open in Naples and Tallahassee was ranked among the Top 10 in the state of Florida.

Manashirov comes to Ohio State after a distinguished prep career that saw her ranked as the No. 29 player in the class of 2009 by tennisrecruiting.net. The Elk Grove, Calif., native was ranked in the Northern California Girls 14’s, Girls 16’s and Girls 18’s and defeated eight blue chip prospects over the course of her career. The Gorwin Tennis Academy product has been equally stellar in doubles play, reaching the finals of multiple International Tennis Federation events.

The Tennis Recruiting Network rankings were based on votes from a panel of junior tennis experts.  Each panelist submitted their list of the Top 25 recruiting classes. Schools received 25 points for each first-place vote, 24 points for each second-place vote, on down to one point for each 25th-place vote.