Francis Marion inks two tennis players

Francis Marion inks two tennis players

Francis Marion University men's tennis head coach Garth Thomson as announced the signing of Hayden Faulkenbury of Salisbury, N.C., and Andy Mashhadi of Torrance, Calif., to national letters of intent during the recent early signing period.

Faulkenbury, 6-foot-four-inches tall, is a senior at Jesse C. Carson High School.

He earned All-State, All-Region, and All-Conference prep honors in 2012, and is currently ranked in the Top 20 in the Tar Heel State and among the Top 125 in the Southeast Region.

He recently reached the quarterfinals of the 2014 CTA Charlotte Junior Classic.  He lost in the Boys' 18 Singles round of 16 at the Georgia State Junior Fall Open Championships, while making the final of the Boys' 18 Doubles draw at the same event.

"Hayden is a big strong player who's game has taken off recently," said Thomson.  "He is a blue collar kid who works hard for everything. He has a dedication for the game as evidenced by long commutes to and from practice.  He has beaten some high star recruits recently.  His doubles game is very good and I hope that his singles game will place him among our top six when he steps on campus next fall."

Mashhadi, 6-2, is a senior at South High School, where he plays for coach Ken Hance. His private coach is Rod Gabuya.

He is ranked among the Top-75 players in both California and the Southwest Region.  He owns a recent singles mark of 27-23 despite playing a schedule of top-star opponents.

Mashhadi reached the round of 32 at the Orange County/J.P. Yamasaki Junior Closed Tournament held in October.  He reached the finals of a trio of 2013 events, including winning the 59th-annual Lynn Scott Memorial Riverside Tennis Championships.

"Andy is a three-star recruit who has flown under the recruiting radar.  That is a plus for us.  His best tennis is still ahead of him. He should come in and have an immediate impact as a top-six singles player.  He is a hard worker and has a lot of potential in his game."

 "Both these young men love tennis and will bring an energy and positive aura to our program.  Their hunger for the game means they still have room to improve and the inclination to do so."

The Patriot men's team, 7-9 last season, returns seven players for the 2015 campaign.  FMU is ranked 29th in the Intercollegiate Tennis Association's (ITA) NCAA Division II preseason 2015 national rankings.