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June 20, 2014
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - Penn State interim head coach Chris Cagle announced the addition of five new Nittany Lions this afternoon. The incoming class includes two transfers, Victoria Kisialeva (Toronto, Canada) and Kimberley-Ann Surin (Montreal, Canada), as well as freshmen Liyin Xu (Chengdu, China), Hannah Kratky (Greenwich, Connecticut) and Kelly Mengel (Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania).
Kisialeva joins the Nittany Lions roster from Baylor where she played her previous two seasons of collegiate tennis. Last season with the Bears Kisialeva advanced to the quarterfinals of the NCAA Doubles Championships, earning her a spot on the ITA All-America Team for the second consecutive season.
"We are excited to welcome Victoria to our program," said Cagle. "She brings a wealth of experience and competition at a high level that will add to the existing strong base of talent that is on our current roster."
Kisialeva compiled a 55-20 record in doubles during her two years at Baylor including a 25-3 mark with Ema Burgic and 21-6 record with partner Blair Shankle. The incoming redshirt junior also brings a 29-31 career singles record with her to University Park.
Kisialeva began the 2013-14 season ranked No. 5 in the ITA Preseason Doubles Poll with Burgic but the duo only played two matches together during the season. Kisialeva finished the season ranked No. 22 with Shankle after their success in the NCAA Doubles Tournament.
Before enrolling at Baylor, Kisialeva spent one year at the Belorussian State University of Physical Culture while also playing for the Belorussian junior Fed Cup team from 2008-2011. She won the silver medal at the 2009 European Winter Cup and was a Belarus National Champion in the U-12 and U-16 tournaments.
"Victoria's time at Baylor and on the ITF Circuit will translate into being match tough in pressure situations," Cagle said. "Being a two time All-American shows she can compete against and beat the top players in the country."
Surin comes to Happy Valley having played her first two years of collegiate tennis at the University of Arkansas. Last season with the Razorbacks, Surin ranked as high as No. 38 in the ITA Doubles Rankings with partner Brittany Huxley.
"Kim brings some skills to the court that you cannot teach," said Cagle. "Her size and athleticism along with her tennis skills give her an advantage over almost any player that she will face this season. We look forward to working with Kim and continuing to develop her game to its maximum potential."
During the 2013 fall season, Surin teamed with Yang Pang in the USTA/ITA Central Regional Championship where the advanced to the final before bowing out against Whitney Ritchie and Mia Lancaster of Oklahoma.
Surin earned her revenge in the spring when she, along with Huxley, knocked off the Ritchie and Lancaster who were ranked No. 38 nationally at the time. Two days later the duo topped No. 51 Mara Schmidt and Krisztina Kapitany of Purdue. The pair of wins boosted the unranked Razorbacks duo to No. 38 in the nation.
Surin brings an 18-27 record in singles play where she competed as high as No. 2 in the lineup. Prior to her time in Fayetteville, Ark., Surin was a national junior Champion in Canada winning one U-16 singles and two U-18 doubles tournaments in 2010.
"Kelly, Liyin and Hannah will add depth to our team this year. I know that their games will continue to develop during their first year with increased training both on and off the court. I look forward to watching their progress and seeing their impact on our team."
Mengel has consistently been one of the top players in South Carolina and the Southern section during her time training at Smith Stearns Tennis Academy in Hilton Head, SC. She has competed nationally throughout her junior career with impressive results from a young age including a top 100 ranking in the US. Before training in South Carolina, Mengel was a standout Middle State player.
Xu has had recent success as she is currently rated No. 35 on the Prince Hot 100 of tournament players in the United States. Kratky is fresh off of leading her high school team into the Connecticut state tournament where they advanced to the quarterfinals. Kratky is ranked No. 1 in the ATPA Junior Doubles Rankings after winning the Girls 18 & Under Doubles ATPA Junior National Championship in February. The victory was her second ATPA Junior Title having won the same event in the Girls 14 & Under division in 2011.
"Adding Victoria, Kim, Kelly, Liyin and Hannah to an already talented lineup should improve our results this season," said Cagle. "Now it will be up to the student athletes and the coaching staff to work as hard as possible to see just how good we can be. This should be an exciting season for our team and program!"