Nov. 21, 2008
Coach Swan Interview
EVANSTON, Ill. -- Northwestern men's tennis head coach Arvid Swan announced today the signing of four five-star recruits to National Letters of Intent for the 2009-2010 season. Sidarth Balaji (Fairfax, Va./Fairfax), Mark Schanerman (North Miami Beach, Fla./Dr. Michael M. Krop H.S. ), Chris Jackman (Key Biscayne, Fla./Gulliver Prep) and Spencer Wolf (Coral Springs, Fla./ Laurel Springs H.S.) will join the Wildcats in the fall of 2009 and are expected to make immediate contributions to the program.
"We are very excited about the signing of Mark, Spencer, Sidarth and Chris," Swan said. "As a group they are talented, hard working and very competitive. I recruited all four players not only because of their junior accomplishments, which are significant, but also because of their significant potential and work ethic. They will have a tremendous impact on our program from the moment they step on campus in September."
Balaji is the top-ranked prospect in Virginia and currently ranked #2 in the Mid-Atlantic Region and #32 nationally by tennisrecruiting.net. He helped lead his high school team to the state semifinals for the first time in 2008 by advancing to the semifinals in singles and doubles.
"Sidarth is the best player in the Mid-Atlantic region," Swan said. "Sidarth possesses a big serve and great forehand and can end a point with his aggressive play at any time."
Jackman, a 2008 National High School All-American, is currently ranked #52 nationally and has been ranked as high as #38. He led his high school team to two consecutive state championships in 2007 and 2008 and was named the 2008 Player of the Year in Miami. Jackman was also ranked #28 in the nation in the Boys' 16 division.
"Chris is a very intelligent player with some of the best hands in junior tennis," Swan commented. "He has great racket skills and is also a tremendous competitor."
Balaji and Jackman are joined by Mark Schanerman, the seventh-ranked player in Florida who has been ranked as high as 37 nationally. Schanerman brings a wealth of experience at the national and international levels having competed in various National Hard Court and Clay Court Championships as well as having been a member of the Jr. USA Team in 2005.
"Mark is a great competitor and has a big forehand as well as tremendous court speed," Swan said. "He is also an incredibly fit player."
Rounding out the quartet of signees is Spencer Wolf, a Florida state champion in singles and doubles in 2007. Ranked as high as #22 by tennisrecruiting.net, Wolf has success at the national level, advancing deep into the consolation draws of both the National Hard Court and Clay Court Championships.
"Spencer is a great athlete," Swan said. "Spencer has a very big power game highlighted by an excellent serve and the ability to play the whole court and finish points."
Complete bios for the student-athletes follow:
6-1 ● 170
High School: Finished Top 16 in the National Hard Court Championships Boys' 16 Division in 2007 ... Played #1 for the Mid-Atlantic Davis Cup team that finished 6th with a 3-1 record... Sixth place in the National Open Championships ... Led high school team to 2008 state semifinals ... State semifinalist in singles and doubles in 2008... Won Boys' 16 National Open Championship in 2007.
Personal: Parents are Manjula Balaji and Balaji Doraiswamy... Has a brother, Arjun.
6- 3 ● 170
Key Biscayne, Fla./Gulliver Prep
High School: 2008 National High School All-American honoree ... Ranked #28 in the nation and #5 in Florida in the Boys' 16 division ... Led his high school team to two consecutive state championships in 2007 and 2008 ... Won a silver ball in doubles at the 2008 Winter Championships ... Player of the Year in Miami in 2008.
Personal: Born to Claudia and Drake Jackman ... Has a brother, Mark.
5-11 ● 160
North Miami Beach, Fla./Dr. Michael M. Krop High School
High School: Winner of 2008 National Open Championship, defeating three Blue Chip prospects en route ... Quarterfinalist in the consolation draw of the 2008 National Clay Court Championships ... Advanced to the fourth round of the consolation draw of the 2008 National Hard Court Championships ... Finalist in the National Open Championship Boys' 16 Division ... Third place in the Florida State Closed Championship Boys' 16 division ... Youngest member of the six-person Jr. USA team in the 2005 Maccabiah Games in Israel, finishing fifth in the tournament ... Winner of the Southeast Region Sportsmanship Award at the 2006 Zonal Championships ... High school team won the state championship in 2007 ... Team also won second place in the 2007 National High School Coaches Association Championship ... Ranked in top 5% of graduating class.
Personal: Parents are Richard and Bari Schanerman... Has a sister, Nanci.
6-2 ● 185 lbs
Coral Springs, Fla./Laurel Springs H.S.
High School: Won Florida state championship titles in singles and doubles in 2007 ... Won a national open in singles and doubles ... Won five matches at the Boys' 18 National Hard Court and Clay Court championships ... Ranked as high as #22 nationally by tennisrecruiting.net ... Quarterfinalist in Turkey Bowl defeating former Davis Cup practice partner Levar Harper-Griffith once ranked in the ATP Top 300 ... Reached Round of 16 at the 2007 National Hard Court and Clay Court championships ... Member of the top-ranked doubles pair in Florida that is in the top ten nationally ... Named to honor roll every year.
Personal: Parents are Shelley and David Wolf ... 1999 American-Canadian National Judo champion.