|High School:||Lassiter HS|
Julia Sell has changed the culture of the LSU women’s tennis program and has helped lead the Tigers back to national prominence on the recruiting trail and on the courts in seven seasons as the head coach.
During the 2014-15 season, her third in Baton Rouge, Sell directed LSU to a 20-11 record. The team reached the 20-win mark for just the fourth time in school history and the semifinal of the SEC Tournament for the third time. The Tigers also reached the second round of the NCAA Tournament for the first time under Sell.
Under the direction of Sell, Valle Costa and Skylar Kuykendall became the 14th and 15th players in school history to reach the 30-win mark in 2015. It was only the fifth time in school history and the first time since the 1984-85 season that two teammates won 30 matches or more in a season. Abby Owens became the 16th 30-win player and the third under Sell the following season.
In 2016, Julia Sell was joined by her husband Michael Sell as co-head coaches of the LSU women’s tennis team. Julia Sell spearheaded the signing of the top class in the country by tennisrecruiting.net.
On the court, the squad started out strong with the program’s first appearance ever at the ITA Team Indoor Championships. At the championships, the team defeated ninth-ranked Oklahoma State for the fifth top-10 win in the last 24 seasons.
The Tigers broke the record for the highest ranking in school history on three separate occasions during the 2016 season. Prior to 2016, the highest team ranking was 15th, but LSU went on to reach rankings of 14th, 13th and eventually ninth to shatter the record.
LSU reached the quarterfinal of the SEC Tournament hosted in Baton Rouge at the brand new tennis facility. The squad qualified for the NCAA Tournament and moved on to the second round. Joana Valle Costa was named to the All-SEC first team along with All-SEC freshman team selection Jessica Golovin. The two qualified for NCAA Singles Championships to become the first pair of teammates to reach the postseason event in the same season.
Sell continued advancing the program in the 2016-17 season, her fifth with the program, as the Tigers earned a 15-11 record and their fourth-straight NCAA Tournament bid. LSU defeated No. 40 Tulsa to advance to the second round of the NCAA Tournament for the third-straight year.
Under Sell, freshman Jade Lewis finished the season tied for the team lead with 16 dual singles victories on her way to SEC Co-Freshman of the Year, SEC All-Freshman Team, First Team All-SEC, Louisiana Freshman and Player of the Year, ITA Rookie of the Year and ITA Singles Al-American honors.
Lewis earned the highest-ranked win since 2008 and the highest-ranked win by a freshman in school history when she defeated No. 4 Astra Sharma in the Tigers’ SEC Tournament quarterfinal match against Vanderbilt. Valle Costa and Ryann Foster earned the highest-ranked doubles win of their careers by twice defeating the No. 7 pairing of Rutuja Bhosale and Rachel Pierson of Texas A&M in the SEC Tournament and NCAA Doubles Championships.
Lewis and Valle Costa, along with the doubles pairing of Valle Costa and Foster, marked the first time in program history that three players from the same team qualified for the NCAA Singles and Doubles Championships. Valle Costa and Foster tied with Megan Falcon’s 2007 NCAA Singles Championships semifinal appearance for the program record for the deepest postseason run in school history, advancing all the way to the semifinals of the NCAA Doubles Championships.
2017 also marked the first time in program history that three players from the same team earned All-American honors as Valle Costa and Lewis earned ITA Singles All-American honors and Valle Costa and Foster earned ITA Doubles All-American honors.
Sell continued her strong recruiting presence as well, following up 2016’s top-rated recruiting class with the No. 3 recruiting class in the country in 2017 and the No. 7 class in 2018 according to tennisrecruiting.net.
In the 2018 season, Sell continued to prove her excellence in both recruiting and developing young talent as freshmen phenom Eden Richardson had one of the most dominant debut seasons in program history, earning First Team All-SEC and SEC All-Freshman honors, ITA Rookie of the Year honors and Louisiana Player and Freshman of the Year honors, while recording the highest regular season winning percentage in the conference and competing in both the NCAA Singles and Doubles Championships.
Richardson and doubles partner Jessica Golovin took home the title at the NCAA Doubles Championships for the first NCAA Championship in program history and picked up ITA Doubles All-American honors along the way, raising the total of All-American selections to six in the past three seasons under the Sells.
Sell helped coach the 2018 team to its fifth-straight SEC Tournament quarterfinals appearance and fifth-straight NCAA Tournament appearance, where the Tigers advanced to the second round in the three of the past five seasons.
The 2019 season was another successful season for Sell and the Tigers, going 17-12 and making it to the sixth consecutive SEC Tournament quarterfinals and a sixth consecutive NCAA Tournament berth. As a team, the Tigers ranked as high as No. 12 in the ITA/Oracle team rankings, and remained in the Top 25 for nine consecutive weeks.
Individually, Eden Richardson followed her historic freshman season by having a phenomenal sophomore year. Richardson earned multiple wins over ranked opponents, including a win over the ITA No. 1 player and eventual ITA Player of the Year, Katarina Jokic of Georgia. Richardson’s win over Jokic was only the second time in program history that a Tiger has beaten a No. 1-ranked player, and first since 2008. Richardson rose as high as No. 8 in the ITA singles rankings, becoming only the third Tiger in program history to reach the Top 10.
Richardson’s successful season saw her earn Singles All-American honors, taking the number of All-Americans coached under the Sells to seven, and the third consecutive season at least one Tiger has earned the national honor.
Sell came to LSU from Boca Raton, Florida where she assisted the USTA as a Regional Training Center Coach since August 2011.
Prior to her stint with the USTA, Sell served as an assistant coach for Notre Dame for three years from September of 2008 until August of 2011. She helped propel the Irish to their best results in program history, back-to-back Final Four appearances in the NCAA Team Tournament and a No. 5 year-end ranking in 2009 and 2010. While at Notre Dame, she helped the Irish capture three Big East titles as well as reaching the semifinals of the 2009 ITA National Team Indoor Championships.
Off the court, Notre Dame's women's tennis team earned the highest grade point average among all of the Irish's teams with a 3.6 GPA in 2009 followed by a 3.65 in 2010.
In May of 2010, Sell was selected as a coach for the USTA Summer Collegiate Team, which serves as an elite training program for the top American collegiate tennis players who are trying to make the transition into professional tennis.
Sell got her start in coaching at the collegiate level in September of 2007 when she was named an assistant coach at Harvard. In her one season at Harvard, she helped recruit the nation's seventh-best signing class in 2007 followed by the nation's No. 2 rated class the following year.
A 2003 graduate of the University of Florida, Sell served as team captain for the Gators from 2000-03 and played the No. 1 singles position for the 2003 National Championship Team. During her time in Gainesville, Florida won a national championship, two Southeastern conference championships, three SEC tournament championships and finished as the NCAA runner-up and National Team Indoor runner-up.
She received Florida's Most Improved Player award, the SEC Outstanding Senior award and was named the ITA South Region Player of the Year as a senior in 2003. The former Scaringe achieved a career- high ITA singles ranking of 24th and 7th in doubles.
She also was a two-time Dorothy Anderson Award recipient, given to an athlete who displays the best combination of academics and character on and off the court, as well as being named a 2002 Sportsmanship Award honoree. Scaringe graduated 11th all-time in combined singles and doubles wins in Florida history and seventh all- time in doubles victories. She also was a member of Florida's Student-Athlete Advisory Committee.
As a junior player, Scaringe was a member of the U.S. National team, playing in all four junior Grand Slams and achieving a world ranking of 54th in singles and 42nd in doubles. Her best result came at the Australian Open where she reached the round of 16 in singles play.
A native of Marietta, Georgia, Sell earned her bachelor's degree in business administration from the University of Florida in 2003.