Lake Forest College Director of Athletics Jackie Slaats announced on Monday the selection of Raquel Allen as the next head coach of Forester men's and women's tennis.
Allen comes to Lake Forest after serving as the head men's and women's tennis coach at NCAA Division II McKendree University during the 2015-16 academic year. Her teams combined for a .500 record and the Bearcat men earned the program's first victory over a Division I opponent.
Prior to her time at McKendree, Allen was the head women's tennis coach for a season at NCAA Division I Western Illinois University, where she led the Leathernecks to a six-win improvement from the year before. She was also the head women's tennis coach at Indiana Institute of Technology from 2012 to 2014 and was twice named Wolverine-Hoosier Athletic Conference Coach of the Year. She also earned her master's degree in organizational leadership from Indiana Tech in 2013.
Allen (then Raquel Vescovi) earned her bachelor's degree in interpersonal and organizational communication from Purdue University Fort Wayne and lettered four times for the NCAA Division I Mastodon tennis team. The two-year team captain and two-time All-Summit League selection helped lead Fort Wayne to back-to-back NCAA Tournament appearances in 2010 and 2011 and was named the squad's Most Valuable Player as a senior. The trip to the 2010 NCAA Tournament was the Mastodon's first in the history of the program. Also a standout in the classroom, Allen earned the Chancellor's Merit Award all four years at Fort Wayne.
"I would like to thank Jackie Slaats and the entire search committee for this incredible opportunity," commented Allen. "When I first came to Lake Forest College for the interview process, I already felt at home. I was impressed, not just with the tremendous potential and resources at the College, but also with the people here. Everyone was very welcoming and friendly and I felt a great sense of family and community. I look forward to making Lake Forest our new home and to providing the student-athletes at the College a great experience they will remember forever. I want my players to be proud of their accomplishments on and off the courts."
"I am extremely excited to have Coach Allen join our staff," began Lake Forest College Director of Athletics Jackie Slaats. "She is a talented coach whose high level of knowledge, enthusiasm, and desire to motivate student-athletes to succeed, both on and off the court, was evident throughout the interview process. I look forward to seeing our Forester programs continue to improve under her guidance and compete regularly for conference championships."
The Lake Forest College women's tennis team finished 2015-16 with a 16-9 overall record and claimed a conference championship with a 9-1 record in league play. The Forester men finished 16-8 overall and 8-1 in the MWC and reached the MWC Championship Tournament final.