Nov. 21, 2003

Columbus, Ohio – Caitlin O’Keefe, a senior at Troy High School in Troy, Mich., and Silvia Prajescu of Canada signed NCAA National Letters of Intent to attend Ohio State and join the Buckeyes tennis team for the 2004 fall season.

“I am very excited to announce the signing of Caitlin O’Keefe and Silvia Prajescu to The Ohio State University,” Merzbacher said. “I have high expectations for this recruiting class. These two should make quite an impact on our line-up. Caitlin and Silvia are proven winners on and off the tennis court, excelling in tennis and in the classroom. I have been impressed with these two student-athletes, not only by their character, but by their tennis ability as well.”

O’Keefe recently won her third straight Division I singles championship while leading her team to their first state team title. For her career, O’Keefe was undefeated in conference play and sported an overall high school record of 136-2. She enjoyed undefeated seasons during both her junior and senior years. She was also recognized as an all-state selection four times and an All-American three times. Along with her success on the court, O’Keefe was an Academic All-American in 2003 and received the 2003 Hoxie Award, given by the Southeast Michigan Tennis Association board of directors for the high school athlete who best demonstrates sportsmanship and contributes to the game of tennis in a positive way.

“Caitlin has ‘all court’ game and a proven record, winning at every level,” Merzbacher said. “She has a tremendous work ethic and exceptional leadership capabilities. I am confident that she will be competing for the Buckeyes in singles and doubles. Caitlin was a highly recruited player out of the Midwest and we are glad she chose to be a Buckeye.”

Prajescu was ranked No. 5 in Canada for Under-16 in 2002 and finished in the Top 10 at the Under-16 Singles National Indoor Championships. She advanced to the semifinals in doubles of the same tournament. In 2001 she was ranked among the Top 8 in singles at the Under-16 Outdoor National Championships and advanced to the quarterfinals in doubles. “Silvia has an aggressive ‘all court’ game that will serve her well in collegiate tennis. She has had an outstanding record in Canadian junior tennis. Silvia is a tenacious competitor and works very hard on her tennis game. I know that her enthusiasm for getting better, combined with her strong spirit to compete, will make her a tough out as we play a challenging schedule. As one of the top players in Canada, we are glad that Silvia decided to join us here at The Ohio State University.”

Ohio State begins its 2004 spring season Jan. 25 at home against the Tennessee Volunteers.