Women's recruiting class (under)ranked at #6 (link)
Stanford, at #1, deserves to be ranked ahead of us. We have a better class than #2 Texas A&M, but so does #3 Duke. The perennial problem with TRN recruiting class polls is that the voters put too much weight on quantity rather than quality. A team will sign 2 medium-level (#11-20) blue chips, 2 five stars, and a 4-star and get ranked higher than a team that signs only two recruits, both in the #6-10 blue chip range. The former team basically has three players who are likely to be trying to earn scholarships after their arrival; one of the three might succeed over time. The latter team has two players better than anyone signed by the former team.
I believe that Coach O'Leary tries to allocate the 8 scholarships evenly, 2 in each recruiting class, if possible. That way you don't have 4 players graduating at the same time, needing another huge recruiting class to replace them, the next year you have a team that is too young, four years later they all have to be replaced at once, and the cycle goes on forever. Our approach is much better. But it will always affect your rankings in these polls to only sign 2 players.
Just take one of our 2-player recruiting classes and extrapolate times 4 to see what kind of 8-scholarship-player roster you end up with. Last year, we signed only 2 players: Emma Navarro and Hibah Shaikh. I will take a roster of 4 Emmas and 4 Hibahs, spread across the four years of experience level, over any roster in the recent history of NCAA tennis, but that class was only ranked #4. Cal Berkeley was ranked ahead of us at #3 last year, with two good foreign recruits who are not nearly as good as Emma, but they threw in a 5-star walk-on (mid-level among 5-stars at #52) and edged us on quantity.
When you read the TRN article and look at their list, note that they group recruits into a level 1, level 2, etc. So, several blue chips will be essentially equal and all labeled as "1" along with several foreign recruits who are at the same level. Their #8 level for Elaine and her UTR ranking of 10.97 do not reflect her recent tournament activity in March that I discussed in a thread below; her UTR is over 11 now and she is #5 blue chip in the most recent rankings, but the poll was taken weeks ago. Note that Melodie Collard is listed in the #1 group along with two Stanford blue chips and probably 1-2 uncommitted blue chips, there are several #3;s and #4's, etc.
Melodie has the 4th highest UTR ranking on this list.