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More Depth On The Way

Dec 18, 2020

STANFORD, Calif. – Two of the nation's top recruits, Connie Ma and Alexandra Yepifanova, have signed National Letters of Intent and will join two-time defending NCAA champion Stanford for the 2021-22 campaign.

"This is a tremendous class that we are bringing to The Farm in 2021," said Lele Forood, Stanford's Peter and Helen Bing Director of Women's Tennis. "Connie and Alexandra have talent, experience and the willingness to help us continue seeking our championship goals and we can't wait to get started working with them next fall."

The Cardinal finished the 2020 campaign ranked No. 6 in the nation at 10-2 overall and 1-1 in the Pac-12, completing fall competition and less than two months of dual match play before the season was shortened by the COVID-19 global pandemic.

Connie Ma • Dublin, Calif. • Dublin HS
Quick Highlights: Ranked No. 1 by Tennis Recruiting as of Dec. 16 ... ranked No. 3 by Tennis Recruiting (RPI list) as of Dec. 18 ... led US Junior Fed Cup Team to two championships, including a 9-0 combined mark in singles and doubles in 2019 ... at 2019 USTA Winter Nationals Championships, become third player in the history of Girls 18s to win both the singles and doubles crowns ... won a professional doubles tournament and was singles finalist of 15K tournament in Evansville.

Why Stanford?: "Stanford has been my dream school for many years now and to make that goal a reality was surreal. I've played many tournaments at Stanford and the campus and facilities have never failed to amaze me. I can't wait to be a part of the team and I look forward to working with Coach Lele and Coach Frankie!"

Off the Court: "I love baking and hanging out with my friends. I took a baking class in freshman year, and ever since then, it's just been a hobby that I find both relaxing and fun. In addition, I love being outdoors and exploring new interests."

Team-First Values: "I've always loved and enjoyed team competitions for the entirety of junior tennis. Tennis is mostly seen as an individual sport, so the few times that I get to compete on a team are very memorable to me. The fact that you are playing for something bigger than yourself and being able to represent all the people that support you is extremely motivating and humbling. From representing Northern California in events to Junior Fed Cup, I've loved every moment along the way and I look forward to playing for Stanford and representing the program's values."

Personal: Parents are Changjun Ma and Lan Xu ... born in Pleasanton, California ... ... anticipated major is Biology.

Alexandra Yepifanova • Lake Worth, Fla. • Laurel Springs School
Quick Highlights: Ranked No. 2 by Tennis Recruiting as of Dec. 16 ... ranked No. 1 by Tennis Recruiting (RPI list) as of Dec. 18 ... 2019 US Open girls' singles finalist, becoming the first qualifier to reach that stage of a Junior Grand Slam ... also competed in 2019 Wimbledon Junior Championships ... reached quarterfinals of 2017 Junior Orange Bowl Girls 14s ... career-high ITF Junior ranking is 14 (Jan. 20, 2020) ... career-high WTA singles ranking is 1087 (Nov. 23, 2020).

Why Stanford?: "For as long as I can remember, I have always been passionate about tennis. Playing tournaments, winning matches and moving up in the rankings have always ignited my determination to become a better player. Nevertheless, college has always been the plan for me. I am beyond grateful to have received an offer to play at Stanford. I will be able to achieve my dreams and widen my horizons both as a student and an athlete. From the lectures by stellar professors to being on a team with other incredible girls, choosing to attend Stanford was a no-brainer for me."

Off the Court: "Traveling has always been an immense part of my life. Between visiting my relatives in Russia and playing tennis tournaments, I have had the opportunity to visit countless countries. Whenever I travel to a foreign city, I always try to save time for a day of sightseeing."

Team-First Values: "Tennis, being an individual sport, will forever change in my eyes, as now I will be able to duel against other universities knowing that my team has my back. This is the feeling that every person playing an individual sport has been missing. Even during my Stanford official visit, a teammate sacrificed her bed for me so that I could get a good night sleep for the next day."

Personal: Parents are Yuri Kirkel and Natalia Yepifanova ... has a sister, Yekaterina ... born in New London, Connecticut ... anticipated major is Economics or Computer Science.