The inaugural matches at the new Texas Tennis Center were held January 19-21, 2018. [RALPH BARRERA / AMERICAN-STATESMAN]

BEVO BEAT

Texas signs Cedar Park tennis player Malaika Rapolu a year ahead of schedule

Posted April 21st, 2020

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Malaika Rapolu has signed with Texas and will play tennis during the 2020-21 school year, the school announced on Monday.

In a press release about the newest addition to its roster, Texas also revealed that Rapolu will skip her senior year of high school. A Cedar Park resident, Rapolu is homeschooled.

For the Class of 2021, Rapolu was ranked second in the state and eighth nationally by the Tennis Recruiting Network. Earlier this year, Rapolu advanced to the quarterfinals at the ITF 15k pro circuit event in Mexico. Rapolu beat both Mel Krywoj and Anna Baranovski, who respectively played at Baylor and Nebraska this spring, at a tournament in November.

“In Malaika Rapolu, we are not only getting an elite athlete with exceptional tennis prowess, but our Longhorns program is adding someone who cares deeply about her craft,” Longhorn coach Howard Joffe said in a statement. “In this regard, I expect Malaika to flourish on the 40 Acres and be a name that is remembered here long after her collegiate career ends.

Texas had previously added Charlotte Chavatipon and Peyton Stearns to its 2020 recruiting class. UT was 11-3 and ranked fourth in the Oracle/ITA national rankings when its season was cancelled because of coronavirus concerns. The only two seniors on UT’s eight-player roster were Anna and Bianca Turati, who are eligible to return in 2021 due to a recent NCAA ruling.

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