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Women’s Tennis recruits two first year bulldogs

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Get to know two new additions to the Drake women’s tennis team. Yana Gaskell is a first-year at Drake who is currently undecided, but thinking about a business major. 

Gaskell is very familiar with the area since she grew up in Iowa about two hours from Drake in Fairfield. Gaskell had a very successful career in high school with two state championship titles and two runner-up finishes. She won the state title in 2019 after being ranked the No. 1 tennis player in Iowa, and she was ranked 222nd in the country by the Tennis Recruiting Network.

Gaskell decided that she wanted to play D1 tennis because of the competitive aspect as well as the team atmosphere.

 “There were so many things that drew me to Drake. First, academics was something that really stood out to me. The athletics also seemed to be a great fit for me as well,” Gaskell said. “I also chose Drake because I liked how it was close to home. I took a visit my junior year of high school and those really stood out to me.”

 Gaskell is ready to start this season and make academic connections as a Bulldog after not being able to play as much last year due to COVID-19.

“I am really excited to compete with the team and get some wins,” Gaskell said. “I am looking forward to connecting with the professors here at Drake and the small class atmosphere.”

Another new member of the women’s tennis team is junior Rebecca Ehn, a native of Sweden, who is a transfer student from the University of Hawaii. Ehn played in both the doubles and singles matches at Hawaii. 

“I chose Drake because I felt like the tennis program would be a good fit for me. I am a transfer from a big school in Hawaii and so I was also looking for a smaller school,” Ehn said. “Also, Drake has weather more similar to my home country which is an easy adjustment.”

Ehn had a very successful career prior to college tennis; since the age of 13 she has been ranked inside the top 10 in her age group in Sweden. Ehn won the Swedish Championship in doubles at the age of 14. Ehn has also competed in six finals of the Swedish Senior National Tour (Sommartout) and has qualified for the Swedish Senior Championships for two consecutive years. Ehn has also played in multiple 15k ITFs and made it to the quarter-finals in several of them in both singles and doubles. 

At Drake, Ehn is majoring in marketing and does not currently have a minor but is looking into either international business or management. Ehn is ready to start competing and to get into the classroom here at Drake. 

“I am looking forward to hopefully being injury free for my last two years in college and being able to compete at my highest level. I am hoping that our team can repeat what they did last season and once again become conference champions,” Ehn said. “I am also looking forward to finishing my degree at Drake and hopefully leaving with a 4.0 GPA.”  

These Bulldogs along with the rest of the women’s tennis team will start their fall season at the Drake Invite on Sept. 10.

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