LEWISBURG, Pa. – Head coach Rebecca Helt has announced a two-player recruiting class set to join the Bison for the 2018-19 season. Joining the team will be Daniela Bellini and Abbey Markel.

Bellini comes to Bucknell from Tierra Verde, Florida, after winning a state title while playing for St. Petersburg Catholic her senior season. She has been ranked as high as fifth in the state while competing in U16 and 21st while competing in U18. Bellini was rated as a four-star recruit by the Tennis Recruiting Network and has a level 10 Universal Tennis Rating.

“Daniela is a player who has had to fight through some tough challenges in her career,” Helt said. “During some of our conversations, I realized that she is the kind of person who won’t dwell on things when they don’t go as expected. Instead, she sees these challenges as opportunities to learn and grow. I like that. That’s very much on par with my coaching philosophy. I’d say we’re very fortunate to have a player like Daniela. She’s a hard worker, motivated and she definitely has a passion for tennis. I think she’ll be a huge contributor to our team in many ways.”

Markel will join the Bison from Charlotte, North Carolina. She didn’t compete for her high school team, focusing instead on USTA events. Markel is rated as a three-star recruit by the Tennis Recruiting Network and has a level 10 Universal Tennis Rating.

“My first meeting with Abbey was very short, but it was like I’d known her for years,” Helt said. “The most important factor for me when recruiting good players is that they love Bucknell. I would never want to force someone to choose a school. I want them to feel that this is the right place. Abbey fits in well with our team. She’s a great fit for Bucknell. I know that she’ll bring a high level of motivation and work ethic to a very solid team.”

Bellini and Markel join a Bucknell team that went 14-8 last season and has posted double-digit victories in each of the past three seasons.