Julia Sell has changed the culture of the LSU women’s tennis program and has helped lead the Lady Tigers back to national prominence on the recruiting trail and on the courts in four seasons as the head coach.
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 Lady Tigers broke the record for the highest ranking in school history on three separate occasions during the season. Prior to the 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.
Abby Owens became the sixth player in school history to reach the 30-win mark in a single season and the third under Sell. Julia Sell secured her 50th victory at LSU during the 2016 season and brought her career record to 62-53
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 Lady 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. 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.
Valle Costa became just the sixth player in the program’s history to reach the NCAA Single Championships. The Lisbon, Portugal native also earned the highest singles win for an LSU player since 2009 with her victory over No. 7 Sydney Campbell of Vanderbilt. Valle Costa along with Noel Scott also defeated No. 7 Pleun Burgman and Emily Flickinger of Auburn for the highest doubles win since 2002.
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.