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BYU tennis: Jones goes McCall-ing to Cougars

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The BYU women's tennis team will get a boost this fall with the arrival of top recruit McCall Jones.

"I'm really excited," Jones said. "I'm just really looking forward to it. I'm just hoping I can help the team get a higher ranking."

The Cota De Caza, Calif., native was recruited by perennial powers Georgia Tech, USC, UCLA and Stanford before deciding to come to BYU.

"She's LDS, so that's a factor," BYU women's tennis coach Craig Manning said. "Her older sister (Lauren) played here and had a good experience, so we have a good relationship with her and her family."

Jones also said she likes Manning as a coach, and that was a factor in her decision.

Manning had nothing but good things to say about Jones' play on the court.

"She's a strong girl and moves well, with a good forehand and backhand and a solid serve," he said. "She's well-rounded. She's a very good decision-maker. She understands how to play the game, which I think is most important. She doesn't beat herself."

Manning said he has a Ph.D. in sports psychology, and he places an emphasis on the mental strengths of the players he recruits.

"She has exactly what she needs," he said. "That's what's going to make or break players. She has all the mental skills."

Manning said Jones will almost certainly turn pro at some point, and he thinks BYU's tennis program can help her mature as a player in the meantime.

Jones has her own goals for her playing career at BYU.

"I'm hoping to be undefeated," she said. "That's kind of a high goal."

Jones said she has been playing tennis since she was 6 years old, when she saw her sister playing and decided she wanted to play as well. She said she enjoys the individual aspect of the sport.

Manning described Jones as extremely outgoing — in contrast to her sister, who he described as introverted — fun and assertive and said that she enjoys competition.