April 14, 2014
#27 Houston (18-4) vs. Prairie View A&M
|When||Tuesday, April 15, 2014 | 3:00 p.m. CT|
|Where|| Houston, Texas | John E. Hoff Tennis Courts|
|Match Coverage||Live Stats | Live Twitter Coverage|
Ninth meeting between the two schools
|Up Next For Houston||
April 17-20 The American Tournament
HOUSTON--With Houston's place in the upcoming American Athletic Conference Championship Tournament wrapped up, the Cougars aim to wrap up the regular season with one final victory for the three seniors, as they'll take on Prairie View A&M, Tuesday at 3:00 p.m. CT out at the John E. Hoff Tennis Courts.
The Cougars enter this one with the top seed in this weekend's tournament already in hand, due to being the highest ranked American team in the current ITA rankings.
Houston will honor three graduating seniors in Celia Fraser, Dionne Sanders, and Jo Garvey before the match, as all three will be participating in their final match of their UH careers. The trio has combined to win nearly 120 matches throughout their Houston careers.
The Cougars (18-4, 3-0 The American) have won 11 of their last 12 matches, including 12 of 13 home affairs this season, while it has collected five wins over nationally ranked teams on the year overall.
Houston's 4-0 victory over Texas A&M-Corpus Christi last Saturday gave the Cougars their school record-setting ninth shutout win of the season, as well as their second consecutive blanking of an opponent.
Freshman Despoina Vogasari continues to lead the charge for UH, as she owns a team-best record of 23-6 overall in singles play, while she's gone 19-3 in dual match singles action, which leaves her just one dual match victory 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.
Meanwhile, Kordolaimi has won seven consecutive matches and enters this one as the reigning American Athletic Conference Player of the Week. She's taken home that honor in two of the last three weeks now.
There will be live stats available for Houston's dual match vs. Prairie View A&M. To access live stats for the match visit www.UHCougars.com, click the women's tennis schedule page then click the "Live Stats" link.
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. Prairie View A&M
Overall Record: 8-0
Home Record: 8-0
Away Record: 0-0
Neutral Site Record: 0-0
Longest Win Streak: 8 matches
Longest Losing Streak: N/A
Current Streak: Won 8
Record in Last 10 Meetings: N/A
First Meeting: Feb. 13, 2005 (W, 6-0)
Last Meeting: April. 15, 2013 (W, 6-1)
The Series Match-by-Match
02/13/05 PVAMU, W, 6-0
01/29/06 PVAMU, W, 7-0
04/12/08 PVAMU, W, 4-0
04/10/09 PVAMU, W, 7-0
04/03/10 PVAMU, W, 7-0
04/10/11 PVAMU, W, 7-0
03/22/12 PVAMU, W, 7-0
04/15/13 PVAMU, W, 6-1
Series Notes: This will be the ninth all-time meeting between the two sides and the seventh consecutive season the two sides have met, as the Cougars have outscored Prairie View A&M 51-1 in the all-time series ...All eight matchups between the two sides have been played in Houston, Texas...the Cougars have never defeated the Panthers by less than five points...the two sides played exactly a year ago to the day.
Thank You Seniors!
Seniors Celia Fraser, Dionne Sanders, and Jo Garvey will all be participating in their final home match of their college careers on Tuesday. The trio has combined to win 119 matches over their four-year UH careers.
Follow the Leader
As of Monday the Cougars (No. 27) were the highest ranked team in The American according to the latest ITA poll, meaning Houston will be the No. 1 seed in the inaugural American Athletic Conference Championship Tournament this weekend in Tampa, Florida...the Cougars are one of four ranked American teams in this week's poll, sitting in front of No. 38 Memphis, No. 40 USF and No. 55 Louisville...Houston has now been the highest ranked team in the conference for seven straight weeks...the Cougars posted a perfect 3-0 mark in conference regular season play...Houston will take on either No. 8 seed Cincinnati or No. 9 seed UConn, Friday at 8:00 a.m. CT in the tournament's quarterfinal round. The Cougars defeated UConn 4-0 back on March 8, while they have yet to play Cincinnati this season. Below is a look at the full tournament schedule:
Thursday April 17, 2014
Match 1 8:00 a.m. CT #8 Cincinnati vs. #9 UConn
Match 2 9:00 a.m. CT #7 Temple vs. #10 UCF
Friday April 18, 2014
Match 3 8:00 a.m. CT #1 Houston vs. Winner of Match 1
Match 4 8:00 a.m. CT #2 Memphis vs. Winner of Match 2
Match 5 11:00 a.m. CT #4 Louisville vs. #5 Rutgers
Match 6 11:00 a.m. CT #6 SMU vs. #3 USF
Saturday April 19, 2014
Match 7 11:00 a.m. CT Winner of Match 3 vs. Winner of Match 5
Match 8 11:00 a.m. CT Winner of Match 4 vs. Winner of Match 6
Sunday April 20, 2014
Match 9 9:00 a.m. CT Winner of Match 7 vs. Winner of Match 8
Keeping Streaks Alive
Tina Rupert has won eight consecutive matches, while Elena Kordolaimi has won seven straight...the Cougars have won eight straight home matches, which are the most since the 2005-06 campaign...UH has won three straight matches overall.
Oh What a Win Would Do
A win on Tuesday would extend Houston's win streak to four consecutive matches, which would match a season-high for consecutive wins. The Cougars have won four matches in a row on three separate occasions this year.
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 15 of her last 17 sets going back to March 12...she's clinched two of Houston's last four victories and two of UH's one-point wins on the year.
Elena Kordolaimi enters this matchup as the reigning American Athletic Conference Player of the Week. She's won the award in two of the last three weeks.
In the Rankings
Houston enters this one at No. 27 in the nation, while Prairie View A&M is unranked.
Despoina Vogasari (23-6) already became Houston's first 20-match winner in over six seasons. A victory on Tuesday will also give her 20 dual match wins this season, which will put her in a tie for 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).
UH All-Time Single-Season Dual Match Victories List
T1. Kathy Foxworth 24-7 (1987)
T1. Kathy Foxworth 24-9 (1986)
T3. Margaret Redfearn 23-8 (1985)
T3. Hae Beck 23-9 (1985)
T5. Kami Miller 21-3 (2005)
T5. Margaret Redfearn 21-5 (1984)
T5. Hae Beck 21-7 (1986)
T5. Stina Almgren 21-9 (1986)
T9. Susanna Anderson 20-4 (1997)
T9. Kami Miller 20-5 (2006
--- Despoina Vogasari 19-3 (2014)
Freshmen Despoina Vogasari (19-3 Dual) and Tina Rupert (16-3 Dual) each have a shot to break the school's all-time freshman single-season dual match wins record this season. Stina Almgren currently holds the mark, as she went 21-9 during the 1986 season. Vogasari is just two wins away from matching the mark, while Rupert is five victories away. If the season were to end today Vogasari (.864) would be tied for second on the school's all-time single-season dual match win percentage list, while Rupert would be tied for fifth (.842). Kami Miller currently holds the top spot, winning 87.5 percent of her dual matches in 2005.
UH All-Time Single-Season Dual Match Win Percentage List*
1. Kami Miller .875 (2005)
T2. Despoina Vogasari .864 (2014)
T2. Caroline Bhaguandas .864 (1990)
4. Vicky Simpson .850 (2009)
T5. Tina Rupert .842 (2014)
T5. Joy Tacon .842 (1982)
7. Susanna Anderson .833 (1997)
8. Jo Keene .826 (2002)
T9. Maja Kazimieruk .818 (2013)
T9. Jane Brown .818 (1997)
11. Sarah Borwell .813 (2002)
12. Margaret Redfearn .808. (1984)
*If season were to end today
Welcome to the Club
Tina Rupert's win last Wednesday vs. Texas State not only marked her team-leading equaling seventh consecutive victory, but she also joined fellow freshman Despoina Vogasari as a member of the 20-plus win club this season. Rupert is currently 21-6 overall this season and 16-3 in dual play, while she's also won 16 of her last 17 sets going back to March 12. Before this season, no Cougar had reached the 20-win plateau in over six seasons.
Houston's Dynamic Duo
Despoina Vogasari and Elena Kordolaimi have combined to go 31-7 thus far during dual play, primarily from the No. 1 and No. 2 spots...the two have teamed up to go 13-7 as a doubles tandem this season and 12-5 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
The Cougars dominated from the very beginning in this one, as they defeated Texas A&M-Corpus Christi, 4-0, to earn their school record-setting ninth shutout victory of the season, Saturday afternoon out at the Thomas J. Henry Tennis Center.
For Houston (18-4), the win marks its second straight shutout win, while the 18 wins on the season are already the most since claiming 18 victories during the entire 2008-09 campaign.
"We knew coming in, this was going to be a dangerous match for us," said head coach Patrick Sullivan. "Believe me, we hadn't forgotten that they knocked us out of the national rankings at home a year ago, not to mention they're even a tougher team at home with 20 MPH winds."
"Needless to say, I did lose a little bit of sleep scheduling an away match in what I knew would be a great environment, against a team that is as tough as any in our region. We prepared well and we were set for the task today. It was a fantastic match day atmosphere with a big vocal crowd pushing us to our limits on the majority of the courts."
"Coach Moore and his staff is one of the best in the country, and their team is tough as nails. I feel like we're playing our best tennis of the year heading into the tournament."
Rocio Martin got things started for Houston, as she collected a dominating 6-0, 6-1 victory over Cassie Shaw on court six, recording her third straight victory.
With the Cougars up 1-0, Maria Cardenas served up a convincing performance of her own, notching her 6-4, 6-1 straight set victory over Sandra Burges from the No. 5 spot to put Houston up 2-0 overall.
Then it was Despoina Vogasari who came through from the No. 1 position, as she took down Stefania Nicolae, 6-4, 6-1 to put the Cougars on the brink of victory.
Fellow freshman teammate Tina Rupert then fittingly finished things off, as she clinched the match for Houston with a 7-5, 6-1 victory on court three to record her eighth straight victory. She has now clinched six of Houston's last 13 match victories.
Since the match was already decided, both sides agreed to suspend play.
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:
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 18 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.
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.
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 a school-record breaking nine separate occasions this season, after their 4-0 win over Texas A&M Corpus Christi last Saturday...Saturday's win also marked UH's first road shutout victory since March 12, 2013 at Manhattan. The previous school-best mark was eight shutouts back in 2007-08...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...seven of Houston's last 10 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)
April 9 vs. Texas State (W, 7-0)
April 12 at Texas A&M-Corpus Christi
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.
The Cougars are 5-3 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. The Cougars also snapped Texas A&M-Corpus Christi's perfect 6-0 home record last Saturday.
Protecting the Home Courts
Houston is 12-1 at home this season. The 12 wins are already the most since the Cougars had 13 during the entire 2005-06 campaign...the Cougars have currently won eight straight home matches, which is the most since Houston went a perfect 13-0 at home during the 2005-06 season.
The Cougars have won the doubles point in seven of the last 10 matches...the Cougars have blanked six of their last 11 opponents...Houston is 12-0 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 seven straight matches.
Houston (18-4) is off to its best 22-match start since the 2009 spring campaign when the Cougars finished 18-4 overall. The school record for wins in a season is 23 back during the 1989-90 season. The Cougars went 23-3 that season...a win on Tuesday would give the Cougars their most wins since collecting a 20-5 record during the 2006 spring campaign.
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 26-11 from the No. 5 and No. 6 positions so far in singles play this year, compared to a 31-9 combined record from the No. 1 and No. 2 positions. The Cougars are .611 or better from every position this season.
A Team Effort
Seven of eight Cougars have 12 or more wins in singles action this season, while every player is .500 or better.
One of the Best
Despoina Vogasari is currently 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 22 singles matchups from the No. 1 spot this season, posting a 19-3 record, while claiming a 23-6 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 16-3 start this spring in singles action, after starting just 5-3 in the fall. She has clinched six of the last 13 match victories for Houston, while she's also won eight 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.
The three newcomers in sophomore Maria Andrea Cardenas, freshman Despoina Vogasari, and freshman Tina Rupert are a combined 38-12 in dual play singles action this season and 60-22 overall.
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.
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.
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 74-25 in three seasons overall as a head coach...he currently owns a record of 31-15 in his second year at Houston...he is 1-0 vs. Prairie View A&M while 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 now look ahead to this weekend where they'll head to Tampa, Florida to take part in the inaugural American Athletic Conference Tournament, with their first match coming Friday at 8:00 a.m. CT vs. either eighth-seeded Cincinnati or ninth-seeded UConn.