The Newman University tennis team recently signed Vanessa Brill from the United Kingdom – after watching a video Brill posted on YouTube highlighting her tennis skills.
Brill will attend Newman beginning in the 2015/2016 academic school year. Brill caught the attention of Director of Tennis and Head Women’s Tennis Coach Shella Augspurger after a recruiter from the United Kingdom contacted Augspurger about the potential recruit.
“She was a player that we look for,” said Augspurger. “She had good grades, experience and she beat a lot of people.”
Brill attended The Kings Of Wessex Academy in Cheddar, Somerset, a village in England. Brill has been playing since the age of five, and has played on the Aegon Ladies British Tour.
Augspurger said recruiting student-athletes from YouTube will become more popular in the sport of tennis because of where tennis is being played today. Many overseas players come to America to find a school where they can play. Newman is one the schools that have used YouTube to find them.
“I can’t travel over to watch her play, so seeing the video really helped a lot,” said Augspurger.
Brill accepted a scholarship from Newman, and has since completed her A-level exams and the American SAT.
Brill is the type of player that is quick and has explosive speed to the ball, Augspurger said. She is aggressive to the ball and can also hit consistently in rallies.
“She has a very fast swing speed, which is very important on this level of tennis,” said Augspurger.
Brill and Augspurger have been in contact through email since Brill’s signing. Augspurger said she was able to get to know Brill with the emails.
“If she had a question, she would ask me and if I wanted to know something she would tell me, and we have had good conversations,” said Augspurger.
To see British media coverage of this story and Brill’s tennis video, click here.
To learn more about the Newman women’s tennis program, click here.