Houston to Host No. 31 DePaul on Sunday

Elena Kordolaimi and Despoina Vogasari own 12-7 doubles record this season

April 5, 2014

#33 Houston (15-4) vs. #31 DePaul (17-1)

When Sunday, April 6, 2014 | 11:00 a.m. CT
Where • Houston, Texas | Houston Country Club
Match Coverage Live Stats | Live Twitter Coverage
Social Media

Series History

• Third meeting between the two schools
• UH leads all-time series 2-0
• UH is 1-0 all-time at home vs. DePaul
• Last meeting was April 22, 2005 (W, 4-3)

About Houston

Top Performers
• #92 Despoina Vogasari (20-6, 16-3 Dual)
Elena Kordolaimi (15-5, 10-4 Dual)
Tina Rupert (18-6, 13-3 Dual)

ITA Ranking: #33
Home Record: 10-1
Current Streak: Lost 1
Last Five Matches: 4-1
Season Stats

About DePaul

Top Performers
• #97 Ana Vladutu (14-12, 12-4 Dual)
• #125 Patricia Fargas (21-11, 11-5 Dual)
• Zaina Sufi (26-6, 16-1 Dual)

ITA Ranking: 31
Road Record: 8-1
Current Streak:Won 16
Last Five Matches: 5-0
Season Stats

Up Next For Houston
April 9 vs. Texas State
April 12 at Texas A&M-Corpus Christi
April 15 vs. Prairie View A&M

HOUSTON--With just four matches left to play in the regular season, the Cougars continue their final push toward the postseason, as they return home to take on No. 31 DePaul, Sunday at 11:00 a.m. CT out at the Houston Country Club.

The Cougars will be taking on their second consecutive ranked opponent after playing at No. 50 Harvard last Sunday.

Houston (15-4, 3-0 The American) has won eight of its last 10 matches, including 10 of 11 home affairs this season, while it has collected four wins over nationally ranked teams on the year overall.

Freshman Despoina Vogasari continues to lead the charge for UH, as she owns a team-best record of 20-6 overall in singles play, while she's gone 16-3 dual match singles action. Her play has earned her a No. 92 national ranking this season.

Elena Kordolaimi and Tina Rupert are starting to come on strong for the Cougars as well, as they've each won a team-high five straight singles matches, while Rupert has also clinched five of the last 10 victories for UH.

Live Coverage
There will be live stats available for Houston's dual match vs. DePaul. To access live stats for the match visit www.UHCougars.com, click the women's tennis schedule page then click the "Live Stats" link.

About the Venue
The Houston Country Club is located 1 Potomac Dr, Houston TX 77057

Follow the Cougars!
Fans can keep up with the latest in Cougar athletics by following us on Facebook (Facebook.com/HoustonAthletics), Twitter (@UHCougarSports), Instagram (houstoncougars) and YouTube.com (Youtube.com/UHAthletics). In addition, the women's tennis team has established its own official Facebook (Facebook.com/HoustonCougarTennis) and Twitter pages (@UHCougarTennis).

A Look at the Series...

Houston vs. DePaul

Overall Record: 2-0

Home Record: 1-0

Away Record: 0-0

Neutral Site Record: 1-0

Longest Win Streak: 2 matches

Longest Losing Streak: N/A

Current Streak: Won 2

Record in Last 10 Meetings: N/A

First Meeting: March 26, 1997 in Houston, Texas (W, 5-4)

Last Meeting: April 22, 2005 in Fort Worth, Texas (W, 4-3)

The Series Match-by-Match

03/26/97 DEPAUL, W, 5-4

04/22/05 vs. DePaul, W, 4-3

Series Notes: This will be just the third meeting between the two programs and the first since 2005, as Houston owns in a 2-0 advantage in the brief all-time series. The last time these two sides met was in the second round of the Conference USA Tournament, where the Cougars were able to come away with a dramatic 4-3 victory in Fort Worth, Texas...both all-time meetings between the two schools were decided by just a single point...Houston is 1-0 all-time at home vs. DePaul...this will be the first ranked meeting between the two sides.

Scouting DePaul
DePaul (17-1) enters this one as hot as can be, winners of 16 straight contests, with its only loss of the season coming at then No. 7 Texas A&M. The Blue Demons are ranked No. 31 in the country and are 8-1 on the road this season. DePaul boasts four 20-plus match winners in Zaina Sufi (26-6), Rebeca Mitrea (23-10), Kelsey Lawson (23-8), and Patricia Fargas (21-11). Ana Vladutu (14-12) is ranked No. 97 in the nation, while Fargas is ranked 125th. Vladutu and Jasmin Kling are also ranked as the 51st doubles tandem in the nation, while they've gone 4-3 overall.

In the Rankings
Houston enters this one at No. 27 in the nation, while DePaul is ranked 31st.

Milestone Watch
Despoina Vogasari (20-6) has already become Houston's first 20-match winner in over six seasons. A victory on Sunday will also give her 17 dual match wins this season, which will put her just three wins away from ninth on the school's all-time single-season dual match victories list (Kami Miller, 20-5 in 2006, Susanne Anderson, 20-4 in 1997).

Houston's Dynamic Duo
Despoina Vogasari and Elena Kordolaimi have combined to go 26-7 from the No. 1 and No. 2 positions thus far during dual play...the two have combined to go 12-7 as a doubles tandem this season and 11-5 in dual play. Both marks lead the team.

Just Checking in
Be sure to visit www.UHCougars.com and click on the women's tennis page to watch the Houston Tennis season update video featuring head coach Patrick Sullivan, junior Elena Kordolaimi, and freshman Despoina Vogasari.

Last time out for the Cougars
It came down to the slimmest of margins, but a dramatic doubles point victory gave Harvard what it needed to secure a 4-3 win over Houston, last Sunday afternoon at the Murr Tennis Center.

For Houston (15-4), the loss snaps what was a season-long equaling four-match win streak, as it falls to 4-2 in one-point decisions this season.

Sunday's affair was one of those matches where the drama was present right from the very beginning. Despoina Vogasari and Elena Kordolaimi teamed up to defeat Harvard's Monica Lin and Hannah Morill, 8-5 on court one, before the Crimson battled back to take court three and win a nail bitter on court two, as Spencer Liang and June Lee just edged out UH's Maria Cardenas and Tina Rupert, 8-7(5)

But as the Cougars have done all season long, they rallied in singles competition, as Vogasari immediately tied things up at 1-1, earning a dominating 6-2, 6-0 victory over Liang from the No. 1 position.

Shortly after, Kordolaimi gave Houston its first lead of the day at 2-1, as she took down Lin in straight sets, 6-2, 7-6(3), notching her fifth consecutive singles victory in the process.

However, Harvard then battled its way back, as it earned wins on courts four and six to regain the advantage at 3-2.

Charlotte Phillips did what she could to keep the Cougars alive, but in the end dropped a tough three-set match on court five (4-6, 6-2, 6-0), clinching the match for Harvard.

Tina Rupert clawed her way to a 6-3, 3-6, 6-3 win over June Lee to bring the match to the final of 4-3, as she won her first match from the No. 3 position this season and clinched her fifth straight singles victory.

Cougars Clawing Towards the Top
Houston finds itself in the national rankings for a ninth straight week, as the Cougars are ranked No. 33 in the nation, according to this week's ITA poll. Houston had been placed as high as No. 21 this season, back on March 4. That ranking was also the highest in recorded program history.

Building a Resume
Houston is trying to make it back to the NCAA Tournament for the first time since 1998. So far the Cougars are making a pretty good case, as five of their 15 wins this season have come vs. teams currently ranked in this week's national ITA poll.

No. 67 North Texas (W, 5-0)

No. 75 Mississippi State (W, 5-2)
No. 48 Washington State (W, 5-2)

No. 40 Washington (W, 4-3)

No. 19 Tulsa (W, 4-3)

Racking up Ranked Wins
From Feb. 8 to March 1, six of Houston's seven matches played came against ranked teams, including four in a row to end that period...during that stretch, the Cougars played three consecutive ranked opponents on the road...The Cougars have posted a 4-4 record vs. ranked teams so far this year...After Sunday the Cougars will have played nine ranked opponents this season, which is the most since the 2003-04 campaign, while the four wins over ranked teams this spring is already the most recorded ranked victories the Cougars have earned in any season in school history...Houston's win on March 1 vs. No. 17 Tulsa was also the highest ranked opponent the Cougars had ever defeated.

Battle Tested
Houston is 4-4 so far this season against ranked opponents. March 1 marked the end of a stretch where they took on four straight ranked opponents, including three on the road. The four consecutive ranked matchups, starting with No. 59 Washington State on Feb. 21, were the most consecutive ranked matches Houston had played since playing five straight ranked opponents during the 2000-01 campaign. Here's how it all went down:

Feb. 21 at No. 59 Washington State (W, 5-2)
Feb. 23 at No. 40 Washington (W, 4-3)

Feb. 28 at No. 26 Texas (L, 0-5)

March 1 vs. No. 17 Tulsa (W, 4-3)

Making American History

With Houston's No. 21 ranking back on March 4, the Cougars became the very first American Athletic Conference team to be ranked within the nation's top 25.

Sitting at the Top

The Cougars (No. 33) are the highest ranked team in The American, sitting in front of No. 41 Memphis, No. 46 USF and No. 49 Louisville...Houston has now been the highest ranked team in the conference for six straight weeks...the Cougars are currently a perfect 3-0 in The American.

A Monumental Win
Houston's 4-3 win over No. 17 Tulsa on March 1 marked UH's highest ranked victory since the computer rankings were implemented in 2001.

Clutch Cougars
Houston is 4-2 in one-point decisions this year. Below is a look at Houston's one-point victories this season:

Jan. 26 vs. New Mexico, No. 6- Rocio Martin def. Susan Baklini 7-5, 4-6, 10-8

Feb. 23 at No. 40 Washington, No. 5- Tina Rupert def. Riko Shimizu 1-6, 6-4, 6-3

March 1 vs. No. 17 Tulsa, No. 2- Elena Kordolaimi def. Isaura Enrique 6-3, 6-7, 6-2
March 28 at Dartmouth, No. 2 Elena Kordolaimi def. Taylor Ng 0-6, 6-3, 6-3

Keeping it Clean

The Cougars have kept a clean score sheet on seven separate occasions this season, which is already the most shutouts Houston has collected in a season since Houston also notched seven during the 2007-08 campaign...the Cougars also managed to shutout three straight opponents from March 5 to March 8, in Temple, UConn, and Tyler Junior College. The three consecutive shutouts marked the first time UH had blanked three or more straight opponents since the 2003-04 season. Below is a list of all of the UH shutouts this season...five of Houston's last seven victories have been shutouts:

Jan. 24 vs. UTSA (W, 5-0)

Feb. 8 vs. No. 63 North Texas (W, 5-0)

March 5 vs. Temple (W, 4-0)

March 8 vs. UConn (W, 4-0)

March 8 vs. Tyler JC (W, 5-0)
March 21 vs. Louisiana Tech (W, 4-0)
March 25 vs. UAB (W, 7-0)

The Comeback Kids
Don't call it a comeback! Well, actually more times than not this season you can, as Houston has notched five come-from-behind victories this season: vs. New Mexico, Washington State, Washington, Tulsa, and Dartmouth.

Road Warriors
The Cougars are 4-3 on the road so far this season and 1-0 in neutral site matches...up in Washington earlier this year, UH snapped what was a perfect 7-0 home mark for Washington State and what was a 5-0 home start for Washington. The two schools were a combined 12-0 at home this season before Houston came and beat them both.

Protecting the Home Courts
Houston is 10-1 at home this season. The 10 wins are already the most since the Cougars had 10 during the entire 2007-08 campaign...the Cougars have currently won six straight home matches, which is the most since Houston picked up seven consecutive home victories during the 2010-11 season.

What's Trending

The Cougars have won the doubles point in six of the last nine matches...the Cougars have blanked five of their last nine opponents...Houston is 11-0 vs. unranked teams this season...the Cougars have been placed in the national rankings in seven consecutive weeks ...Houston hasn't scored less than three points in any home match this season...Elena Kordolaimi and Tina Rupert have each won five straight matches.

Houston (15-4) is off to its best 19-match start since the 2009 spring campaign. The Cougars eventually began that season 17-3.

An American Honor
The Cougars have claimed four American Player of the Week awards so far this season. Despoina Vogasari has won it three times, while Elena Kordolaimi has won the award once.

They All Count the Same
Houston is a combined 21-10 from the No. 5 and No. 6 positions so far in singles play this year, compared to a 26-9 combined record from the No. 1 and No. 2 positions. The Cougars are .600 or better from every position this season.

A Team Effort
Seven of eight Cougars have 10 or more wins in singles action this season, while every player is .500 or better.

One of the Best

Despoina Vogasari is ranked as the 92nd singles player in the nation according to the latest ITA player rankings. On March 11 she was ranked No. 80 in the country, which was the highest any Cougar had been ranked since Biljana Dimovska was also ranked 80th back on Feb. 24, 2004.

Vogasari Garnering National Attention 

Freshman sensation Despoina Vogasari has been named American Athletic Conference Tennis Player of the Week in three of the last seven weeks. She's the first Cougar in program history to win a conference Player of the Week award three or more times during her career.

Yeah, She's No. 1

Freshman Despoina Vogasari has played each of her 18 singles matchups from the No. 1 spot this season, posting a 16-3 record, while claiming a 20-6 record in overall singles action this season. Vogasari is 3-2 vs. nationally ranked opponents this year.

Can't Run With Rupert
Freshman Tina Rupert has gotten off to a dominating 13-3 start this spring in singles action, after starting just 5-3 in the fall. She has clinched five of the last 10 match victories for Houston, including two of the last four.

Charlotte the Clutch Clincher
Junior Charlotte Phillips is 16-7 in overall singles action and 8-5 in dual play. Three of her eight dual match singles victories this season have been match-clinchers for the Cougars.

Quick Leaners
The three newcomers in sophomore Maria Andrea Cardenas, freshman Despoina Vogasari, and freshman Tina Rupert are a combined 33-11 in dual play singles action this season and 55-21 overall.

Recycled Notes

What a Weekend in Washington
Houston's wins at No. 59 Washington State and No. 40 Washington on Feb. 21 and Feb. 23 mark the two highest ranked opponents UH has defeated in consecutive matches in school history....the weekend also marked the first time the Cougars had defeated ranked teams in consecutive outings since downing both No. 75 Utah (5-0) on March 13 and No. 75 UCF (5-2) on March 16, 2004...Cougars earned back-to-back ranked road wins for the first time since 2001-02, when they won at No. 69 Penn State (5-2) on March 4 and took a 4-3 win at No. 75 Virginia Tech on March 7.

Cougars Haul in Second Consecutive Ranked Signing Class
The University of Houston women's tennis 2014 early signing class has been ranked as the 24th best in the nation according to TennisRecruiting.net, as released by the website on Feb. 3.

The class consisting Angela Lorenzo (Valladolid, Spain), Carolina Costamagna (Cordoba, Argentina), and Mina Markovic (Belgrade, Serbia) was named the second best in the American Athletic Conference, right behind Louisville's 16th ranked class. Houston is also one of four Texas schools to boast a top-25 recruiting class this period.

"We are very, very high on this class and are glad the experts agree," said head coach Patrick Sullivan. "I believe their results on the court are going to be even better than this ranking and I think the group is every bit as strong as last year's top-10 class."

"Our staff has logged a lot of airline miles to several different continents and just generally put in a lot of time and effort into making sure that we get the right girls for our program. We love the student-athletes we have on campus right now and the strong positive team culture they have committed to, so the job isn't quite as simple as the primary and obvious need to recruit very talented tennis players. Beyond that, we need girls that will continue to uphold our team core values and who will help us both to win championships and to continue to break academic records. That's the vision we recruited this 2014 class with and we think they are up to the task. We're very proud of this group and excited to get them to campus in August."

Angela Lorenzo - Valladolid, Spain

Lorenzo was ranked as high as No. 41 in the Spanish Women's Open rankings and is one of the top juniors in her country, having reached the junior national semifinals in the U-14 and U-16 divisions and most recently winning the U-18 National title. She has consistently been the top junior in her region of Castile and León, having won 14 regional championships there in her junior career.

Carolina Costamagna - Cordoba, Argentina
Costamagna is one of the top junior players in South America and has been ranked as high as No. 697 in the WTA professional rankings. She has been a finalist in International Tennis Federation (ITF) junior tournaments in five different countries in both singles and doubles, most recently at the Copa Canteril in Punta Del Este, Uruguay, in which she was a doubles finalist and cruised through the singles final 6-2, 6-0.

Mina Markovic - Belgrade, Serbia
Markovic is one of the top junior players in the world, as she was ranked as high as 128th in the ITF rankings, the highest junior ranking ever for a University of Houston signee. She won her first ITF junior tournament at the age of 15 in her hometown of Belgrade, Serbia. In addition, she has 63 international junior combined wins (singles & doubles) in 16 different countries and was most recently the champion of the ITF Grade 4 Montenegro Open this past May.

Breaking Down the 2014 Cougars
Second year head coach Patrick Sullivan and the Cougars return six letterwinners from last season's squad the finished 13-11 overall and eighth in the final year of Conference USA with a 1-1 record.

Senior Celia Fraser returns as one of the captains of the group, while junior Elena Korolaimi looks to improve on sophomore campaign that saw her earn All-Conference USA second team honors in her first season at Houston, after posting a 13-10 record at the No. 1 position.

The three newcomers in freshmen Despoina Vogasari, Tina Rupert, and sophomore Maria Andrea Cardenas represent what could become Houston's strongest signing class ever. The class was ranked tops among mid-majors and sixth best nationally.

Postseason Aspirations
Houston enters the season looking to qualify for the NCAA Tournament for the first time since 1998 and for the third time in school history.

Fresh Talent
Newcomers Maria Andrea Cardenas, Despoina Vogasari, and Tina Rupert make up what was ranked as the sixth best recruiting class in the nation and the tops among mid-majors a year ago.

Foreign Phenoms
Not one player on the roster is from the United States. The roster sports four players from England, two from Greece, and one from Spain, Slovenia, and Venezuela.

A New Beginning
After spending 17 seasons as a part of Conference USA, the Cougars make the switch to the newly formed American Athletic Conference. The new league marks the program's third conference membership in 35 years of existence.

About Patrick Sullivan
Sullivan is in his second season at Houston with an overall coaching record of 71-25 in three seasons overall as a head coach...he currently owns a record of 28-15 in his second year at Houston.

Home Sweet Home
The Cougars will play school-record 16 home matches in 2014, including seven consecutive to begin the year.

Hit Me With Your Best Shot
The 2014 schedule will undoubtedly be one of the more rigorous slates in program history, as the Cougars will play eight nationally ranked opponents in No. 60 North Texas (Feb. 8), at No. 45 Washington (Feb. 23), at No. 17 Texas (Feb. 28), No. 28 Tulsa (March 1), at No. 58 Utah (March 12), at No. 52 SMU (March 22), at No. 68 Harvard (March 30), and at No. 40 William and Mary (April 11). The Cougars will also go up against four schools that qualified for the NCAA Tournament a year ago in Texas, Tulsa, North Texas, and William and Mary.

Hear it From Them
Be sure to visit www.UHCougars.com and click on the women's tennis page to watch the 2014 women's tennis season preview video featuring head coach Patrick Sullivan, senior Celia Fraser, and junior Charlotte Phillips.

Up Next for the Cougars

The Cougars will close out their mine two-match homestand with in-state foe Texas State, Wednesday, at 2:00 p.m. CT out at the John E. Hoff Tennis Courts



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