HANOVER, N.H. – Head coach Chris Drake and the Dartmouth men’s tennis team announced the early decision recruits for the Class of 2017 on Wednesday afternoon. Each of the incoming players has turned in their intent-to-enroll cards and look forward to becoming a member of the Big Green.

The four early commitments come from across the country and the world. The group includes Blake Niehaus of Greenwich, Conn., George Wall of Queensland, Australia, Max Schmidt of Morris Plains, N.J. and Diego Pedraza of Bogota, Colombia.

Niehaus is a three-star recruit on tennisrecruiting.net.  He is ranked in the top 25 for the 18U USTA Eastern Section. Niehaus also placed third in doubles this past September in a National Regional in Kansas. He is a captain of his varsity high school team where he holds a 40-4 overall record.

Wall’s highest national open men’s ranking is No. 98.  He placed third at 16U Australian National Championships. He has consistently been ranked in the top 20 in Australia for the 12U, 14U, and 16U divisions.  He has been ranked the No. 1 player in his state for four consecutive years.

Schmidt is a five-star recruit that has been ranked as high as No. 64 in his class by tennisrecruiting.net He has consistently moved up the ranks after starting as a one star recruit his freshman year. He was a finalist of the Midland, Texas Regional and winner of the Alburquerque, N.M. Regional.

Pedraza has been ranked as high as No. 35 in the world in the ITF Juniors. He reached the finals of the 16U Orange Bowl – the premier junior tournament in the world for this age group.  He advanced to the second round of a Colombian future to receive his 1st ATP singles point, which earned him a world ranking on the men's professional tour.  He has many wins over top 100 junior players in the world including American Thai-Son Kwiatkowski, who is currently the #1 recruit in the country. He is likely to play in the French Open, Wimbledon, and US Open junior grand slam tournaments later this year.

Coach Drake on the recruiting class: "We are extremely excited about the incoming class of 2017.  Not only are they very talented players, but even more importantly they are great fits for our program and how we do things.  As a group they are competitive, hard working and proud to be members of Dartmouth Tennis.  I expect them to contribute immensely to our team over the next four years.  We have a lot of positive momentum going with our team and I think this class will only add to this as each year we look to continue building and improving."

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