No. 27 Houston Welcomes in Texas State

Three of Charlotte Phillips' dual match victories have been match clinchers this season

April 8, 2014

#27 Houston (16-4) vs. Texas State (8-9)

When Wednesday, April 9, 2014 | 2:00 p.m. CT
Where • Houston, Texas | John E. Hoff Tennis Courts
Match Coverage Live Stats | Live Twitter Coverage
Social Media

Series History

• 20th meeting between the two schools
• UH leads all-time series 18-1
• UH is 16-0 all-time at home vs. Texas State
• Last meeting was Feb. 10, 2013 (W, 6-1)

About Houston

Top Performers
• #93 Despoina Vogasari (21-6, 17-3 Dual)
Elena Kordolaimi (16-5, 11-4 Dual)
Tina Rupert (19-6, 14-3 Dual)

ITA Ranking: #27
Home Record: 11-1
Current Streak: Won 1
Last Five Matches: 4-1
Season Stats

About Texas State

Top Performers
• Jessica Kahts (21-10, 10-6 Dual)
• Shannon Beckett (16-12, 9-7 Dual)
• Eva Dench (13-13, 10-5 Dual)

ITA Ranking: NR
Road Record: 2-7
Current Streak: Lost 3
Last Five Matches: 1-4
Season Stats

Up Next For Houston
April 12 at Texas A&M-Corpus Christi
April 15 vs. Prairie View A&M
April 17-20 The American Tournament

HOUSTON--With just over a week and three matches left in the regular season, the Cougars will try to end things strong, as they'll take on in-state foe Texas State, Wednesday at 2:00 p.m. CT out at the John E. Hoff Tennis Courts.

The Cougars enter this one riding high, after clinching a dramatic 4-2 upset victory over No. 31 DePaul last Sunday, notching their 11th (11-1) home win of the regular season. The 11 wins are already the most home victories since claiming 13 home wins during the 2005-06 campaign.

Houston (16-4, 3-0 The American) has won nine of its last 11 matches, including 11 of 12 home affairs this season, while it has collected five 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 21-6 overall in singles play, while she's gone 17-3 in dual match singles action, which leaves her just three dual match victories shy of being tied for ninth on the school's all-time single-season dual match victories list. Her play has also earned her a No. 93 national ranking this season.

Elena Kordolaimi and Tina Rupert are also as hot as can be, as they've each won a team-high six straight singles matches, while Rupert has also clinched five of the last 11 victories for UH.

Kordolaimi also enters this one as the reigning American Athletic Conference Player of the Week, as she's taken home that honor in two of the last three weeks now.

Pizza, Pizza!
The First 70 fans in attendance at Wednesday's match will receive FREE pizza.

Live Coverage
There will be live stats available for Houston's dual match vs. Texas State. 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 John E. Hoff Tennis Courts are located on the campus of the University of Houston and sit on the corner of Elgin and Scott Street. The courts are located between Cougar Field and the Athletics/Alumni Center.

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. Texas State

Overall Record: 18-1

Home Record: 16-0

Away Record: 2-1

Neutral Site Record: 0-0

Longest Win Streak: 11 matches

Longest Losing Streak: 1 Match

Current Streak: Won 11

Record in Last 10 Meetings: 10-0

First Meeting: Feb. 27, 1979 in Houston, Texas (W, 5-4)

Last Meeting: Feb. 10, 2013 in San Marcos, Texas (W, 6-1)

The Series Match-by-Match

02/27/79 TEXAS STATE, W, 5-4

03/04/80 TEXAS STATE, W, 6-1

02/18/84 TEXAS STATE, W, 8-1

02/23/87 TEXAS STATE, W, 8-1

04/07/88 TEXAS STATE, W, 7-2

02/16/89 TEXAS STATE, W, 6-0

04/08/89 TEXAS STATE, W, 9-0

03/10/92 at Texas State, L, 4-5

03/02/93 TEXAS STATE, W, 9-0

02/25/94 TEXAS STATE, W, 8-0

02/06/00 TEXAS STATE, W, 9-0

01/26/02 TEXAS STATE, W, 5-2

03/01/03 TEXAS STATE, W, 5-2

02/04/04 TEXAS STATE, W, 5-1

02/13/05 TEXAS STATE, W, 6-0

03/04/06 TEXAS STATE, W, 4-3

02/12/11 TEXAS STATE, W, 5-2

03/25/12 at Texas State, W, 4-3

02/10/13 at Texas State, W, 6-1

Series Notes: This will be the 20th all-time meeting between the two sides, as Houston has won 18 of the 19 matchups and 11 straight going back to 1992...the Cougars are a perfect 16-0 at home all-time vs. the Bobcats...UH has blanked Texas State six times, while the Cougars are 3-1 in one-point affairs all-time vs. the Bobcats....UH's largest margin of victory came in 9-0 wins on three separate occasions...UH's largest margin of the defeat was its lone loss in the all-time series back on March 10, 1992 (L, 5-4).

Scouting Texas State  
Texas State (8-9) enters this one trying to snap a three-match losing skid. The Bobcats are led Jessica Kahts, who is 21-10 overall this season and 10-6 from the No. 1 spot in dual play thus far. Shannon Beckett is the only other Bobcat with a winning record, as she's gone 16-12 overall and 9-7 in dual action. Katy Collins and Eva Dench represent Texas State's most successful doubles tandem, as they sport a 9-3 record this year.

Common Ground
The two sides have shared some common opponents this season in UTSA and SMU. Houston went 2-0 vs. those teams, earning a 5-0 win over UTSA on Jan. 24 and a 5-2 win at SMU on March 22. Meanwhile, Texas State went 0-2 vs. those teams, dropping a 5-2 decision on March 21 at UTSA and a 7-0 match on April 4 at SMU.

Playing for a Ring
The Cougars (No. 27) are the highest ranked team in The American, sitting in front of No. 38 Memphis, No. 40 USF and No. 55 Louisville. The placement means more to the Cougars than just pride, as the highest nationally ranked team in The American will receive the top seed in the upcoming conference postseason tournament (April 17-20)...Houston has now been the highest ranked team in the conference for seven straight weeks...the Cougars are currently a perfect 3-0 in conference regular season play. Here's how the chase for the No. 1 seed breaks down:

  1. No. 27 Houston (3 matches left: Texas State, at Texas A&M Corpus Christi, PVAMU)
  2. No. 38 Memphis (1 match left: at No. 20 Tulsa)
  3. No. 40 USF (1 match left: No. 62 Georgia State)
  4. No. 55 Louisville (1 match left: No. 72 Marshall)

Keeping Streaks Alive
Elena Kordolaimi and Tina Rupert have each win six consecutive matches...the Cougars have won seven straight home matches.

Rising to the Occasion
Elena Kordolaimi has clinched both of Houston's highest ranked victories this season in No. 31 DePaul on April 6 and No. 17 Tulsa back on March 1...Kordolaimi is also 1-1 vs. ranked individuals this season...she's won 12 of her last 14 sets going back to March 12...she's clinched each of Houston's last two victories and two of UH's one-point wins on the year.

Take Notice
Elena Kordolaimi enters this matchup as the reigning American Athletic Conference Player of the Week. She's won the award two of the last three weeks.

In the Rankings
Houston enters this one at No. 27 in the nation, while Texas State is unranked.

Milestone Watch
Despoina Vogasari (21-6) has already become Houston's first 20-match winner in over six seasons. A victory on Wednesday will also give her 18 dual match wins this season, which will put her just two wins away from moving into ninth place 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 28-7 thus far during dual play, primarily from the No. 1 and No. 2 spots...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
In a marathon match that lasted three hours and sixteen minutes, it was junior Elena Kordolaimi's heroic 6-3, 6-7, 7-5 come-from-behind victory on court two that lifted the Cougars to a 4-2 win over No. 31 DePaul, last Sunday afternoon out at the Chancellors Racquet Club.

After cruising to a 6-3 set one victory over DePaul's 125th ranked Patricia Fargas, things got a little more interesting, as Fargas battled her way back to earn a gritty 7-6 set two win, even after Kordolaimi had her at match point on two separate occasions.

With momentum on DePaul's side heading into the third and deciding set, Kordolaimi fell behind 0-2, before digging deep to take the next two games to lock things up at 2-2.

But the roller coaster ride would continue, as Fargas then claimed three consecutive games to take a dominating 5-2 advantage in the third set. However, Kordolaimi responded with the most improbable comeback of the season, as she took each of the next five games to clinch her sixth straight victory of the season and Houston's fifth ranked win on the year.

For Houston (16-4), the victory notched its 11th (11-1) home win of the year, which are already the most home victories the Cougars have claimed since winning 13 home contests during the 2005-06 campaign.  Houston has also won seven straight home affairs, which is the longest such streak since also collecting seven consecutive wins during the 2010-11 campaign. 

The Cougars struck first in this one, as freshman Tina Rupert (19-6) took care of DePaul's Jasmin Kling in straight sets on court three, 6-0, 6-4 to earn her sixth consecutive win of the season to put UH up 1-0.

Freshman Despoina Vogasari (21-6) then earned her team-leading fourth ranked victory of the season, as she defeated No. 97 Ana Vladutu 6-3, 6-4 from the No. 1 spot to sport the Cougars a commanding 2-0 advantage.

But the Blue Demons quickly countered, earning victories on courts six and four to equalize things at 2-2.

Then the drama would begin, as sophomore Rocio Martin (11-5) rose to the occasion from the No. 5 spot, grinding out a 6-2, 5-7, 6-4 win to put Houston in the driver's seat, up 3-2.

That match victory set up Kordolaimi's clutch performance, which ended things in a 4-2 Houston win. Due to travel issues the two sides agreed not to play the doubles portion of the match.

Cougars Clawing Towards the Top
Houston finds itself in the national rankings for a ninth straight week, as the Cougars are ranked No. 27 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. Here's a look at Houston's ranking week-by-week:

Preseason: NR
1/02: NR
1/21: NR
1/29: NR
2/04: NR
2/11: T-66
2/18: 64
2/25: 30
3/04: 21
3/11: 23
3/18: 24
3/25: 27
4/01: 33
3/08: 27

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 16 wins this season have come vs. teams currently ranked in this week's national ITA poll.

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

No. 47 Washington State (W, 5-2)

No. 48 Washington (W, 4-3)

No. 20 Tulsa (W, 4-3)
No. 39 DePaul (W, 4-2)

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 5-4 record vs. ranked teams so far this year...the Cougars have played nine ranked opponents this season, which is the most since the 2003-04 campaign, while the five 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 5-4 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.

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 the UH shutouts this season...five of Houston's last eight 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 11-1 at home this season. The 11 wins are already the most since the Cougars had 13 during the entire 2005-06 campaign...the Cougars have currently won seven 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 10 opponents...Houston is 11-0 vs. unranked teams this season...the Cougars have been placed in the national rankings in nine consecutive weeks ...Houston hasn't scored less than three points in any home match this season...Elena Kordolaimi and Tina Rupert have each won six straight matches.

Houston (16-4) is off to its best 20-match start since the 2009 spring campaign when the Cougars began 17-3.

An American Honor
The Cougars have claimed a conference-leading equaling five American Player of the Week awards so far this season...the five awards is also a school record for most conference weekly honors in one season...Despoina Vogasari has won it three times, while Elena Kordolaimi has won the award twice.

01/21: Marta Morga- Memphis
01/28: Anki Wind- Memphis
02/04: Stefanie Mikesz- Memphis
02/11: Caroline Wegner- Memphis
02/18: Despoina Vogasari- Houston
02/25: Despoina Vogasari- Houston
03/04: Loreto Alonso-Martinez- USF
03/11: Despoina Vogasari- Houston
03/18: Loreto Alonso-Martinez- USF
03/25: Elena Kordolaimi- Houston

04/01: Marta Morga- Memphis
04/08- Elena Kordolaimi- Houston

They All Count the Same
Houston is a combined 22-11 from the No. 5 and No. 6 positions so far in singles play this year, compared to a 28-9 combined record from the No. 1 and No. 2 positions. The Cougars are .588 or better from every position this season.

A Team Effort
Seven of eight Cougars have 11 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 93rd 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 times this season. 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 20 singles matchups from the No. 1 spot this season, posting a 17-3 record, while claiming a 21-6 record in overall singles action this season. Vogasari is 4-2 vs. nationally ranked opponents this year.

Can't Run With Rupert
Freshman Tina Rupert has gotten off to a dominating 14-3 start this spring in singles action, after starting just 5-3 in the fall. She has clinched five of the last 11 match victories for Houston, while she's also won six straight matches.

Charlotte the Clutch Clincher
Junior Charlotte Phillips is 16-8 in overall singles action and 8-6 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 35-12 in dual play singles action this season and 57-22 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 72-25 in three seasons overall as a head coach...he currently owns a record of 29-15 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 play their final road match of the regular season, when they play at Texas A&M-Corpus Christi on Saturday at noon CT.



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