No. 34 Houston (21-5) vs. No. 23 Texas (12-12)
|When||Friday, May 9, 2014 | 11:00 a.m. CT|
|Where|| College Station, Texas | George P. Mitchell Tennis Center|
|Match Coverage|| Live Twitter Coverage
Live Stats/ Video
NCAA Tournament Central
Interactive Tournament Bracket
21st all-time meeting between the two schools
|Up Next For Houston||
May 10 vs. No. 9 Texas A&M/ Stony Brook, 3 p.m. CT | NCAA Tournament Second Round
May 8, 2014
COLLEGE STATION, Texas-- The Cougars will play in their first NCAA Tournament match since 1998, as they open up postseason play with Texas, Friday at 11:00 a.m. CT in College Station.
Houston (21-5) is in the midst of one of its best seasons in program history, as the Cougars have claimed their most wins in a campaign since 2006 and are just two victories shy of equaling the school's single-season wins record set back during the 1990 season.
For the Cougars, this opening round match means a little more than just trying to advance to the next round, as Houston seeks revenge after dropping a 5-0 decision to the Longhorns down Austin back on Feb. 28. UH is 0-20 all-time vs. Texas.
However, Houston enters postseason action playing some of its best tennis of the season, as they've managed to shutout five of their last six opponents, while its claimed victories in 10 of its last 12 contests overall.
The Cougars made their mark in the newly formed American Athletic Conference this season, as second-year Houston head coach Patrick Sullivan claimed the conference's first-ever Coach of the Year award, while rookie sensation Despoina Vogasari was named the league's Freshman of the Year. The Cougars earned the top seed in the American Athletic Conference Tournament and advanced all the way to the championship match before falling to USF.
Vogasari has led the charge all season long for UH, as she owns a team-best record of 25-7 overall in singles play, while she's gone 21-4 in dual match singles action, as her last win tied her with Stina Almgren (21-9 in 1986) for the most dual match victories by a freshman in program history, while she now ranks tied for fifth on the school's overall all-time single-season dual match victories list. Her play has also earned her a No. 86 national ranking this season.
Meanwhile, Kordolaimi has won a team-best nine consecutive matches, while Maria Cardenas (22-10), Rupert (23-7), and Vogasari (25-7) are all members of the 20-plus-win club this season.
Purchase NCAA Tournament Tickets
Tickets for first and second-round NCAA Tournament matches can be purchased in advance through Texas A&M athletics at 12thManFoundation.com or during business hours at the Athletic Ticket Office located in The Zone at Kyle Field or by calling the ticket office at 1-888-99-AGGIE or 979-845-2311. Tickets also will be available for purchase on match days at the Mitchell Tennis Center beginning one hour before match time.
Prices are as follows:
$12 All-Session Reserved (Stadium Club)
$7 Single Day Reserved (Stadium Club)
$5 Single Day General Admission
$3 Single Day Students/Youth
Free for children under age two
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A Look at the Series...
Houston vs. Texas
Overall Record: 0-20
Home Record: 0-8
Away Record: 0-8
Neutral Site Record: 0-4
NCAA Tournament Record: 0-0
Longest Win Streak: N/A
Longest Losing Streak: 20 matches
Current Streak: 20 matches
Record in Last 10 Meetings: 0-10
First Meeting: March 6, 1981 in Houston, Texas (L, 0-9)
Last Meeting: Feb. 28, 2013 in Austin, Texas (L, 0-5)
The Series Match-by-Match
03/06/81 Texas, L, 0-9
11/19/82 vs. Texas, L, 2-7
04/13/83 Texas, L, 3-6
04/04/84 at Texas, L, 0-9
04/09/85 Texas, L, 1-8
04/08/86 at Texas, L, 3-6
03/14/87 Texas, L, 3-6
03/30/88 at Texas, L, 3-6
03/03/89 Texas, L, 1-8
04/17/90 at Texas, L, 1-8
04/02/91 Texas, L, 2-7
03/11/92 at Texas, L, 0-9
04/18/92 vs. Texas, L, 0-5
02/27/93 Texas, L, 0-6
04/23/93 vs. Texas, L, 0-6
03/10/94 at Texas, L, 0-8
04/22/94 vs. Texas, L, 0-5
02/25/95 Texas, L, 0-8
03/31/96 at Texas, L, 0-9
02/28/14 at Texas, L, 0-5
Series Notes: This will mark the 21st all-time meeting between the two schools and the second this season, as the Cougars dropped a 5-0 decision to the Longhorns back on Feb. 28 in Austin...The Cougars have never beaten the Longhorns in 20 tries and are 0-4 all-time vs. Texas at neutral sites, with their last meeting at a neutral sit coming on 04/22/94 in the SWC Tournament in Houston, Texas on the campus of Rice University. UH lost that match 5-0...largest margins of defeat to Texas were 9-0 losses on 03/06/81, 04/04/84, 03/11/92, and 03/31/96...the closest UH has ever come to beating Texas were 6-3 defeats (4x) on 04/13/83, 04/08/86, 03/14/8, 03/30/88...Houston has been shutout by Texas in each of their last nine meetings and 11 times in series history...the Longhorns have currently scored 61 unanswered points against the Cougars.
A Look at the Longhorns
Texas (12-12) enters this one dropping three of its last four matches, but all three losses coming to squads ranked within the top-25. While the Longhorns are just a .500 team this season, 11 of their 12 defeats have come to teams ranked within the nations top-25, while they've played 19 ranked opponents overall this season...UT is making its 32nd trip to the NCAA Tournament, while it is 45-29 all-time in postseason play...sophomore Breaunna Addison is ranked as the No. 12 player in the nation, after going a team-best 26-9 in overall action and 18-4 from the No. 1 spot this season in dual match play. She's currently riding a 10-match win streak and was selected to play in the NCAA Singles Championships after earning Big-12 Player of the Year honors...Elizabeth Begley also joins Addison in the national rankings, as she's currently placed at No. 119 in the country after going 19-17 overall and 13-9 in dual match action...Texas' tandem of Addison and Pippa Horn represent the nation's 85th ranked doubles team, going 9-10 overall this season, but sporting just 1-5 record from the No. 1 spot.
Houston and Texas have shared one common opponent this year in UTSA. Both teams played UTSA in their season openers, with Texas earning a 6-1 win and Houston notching a 5-0 victory.
A Homecoming for Sullivan and Whitehead
Head coach Patrick Sullivan returns to his alma mater at Texas A&M this weekend, while assistant coach Daniel Whitehead will coach against his alma mater. Whitehead played for the University of Texas's men's tennis program for four years.
Getting it Done in the Classroom
The Cougars earned the NCAA's Public Recognition Award for a third straight year on Monday, as Houston earned a perfect APR score of 1,000. Every player owns an overall GPA over 3.0.
A Look Back at the Last Meeting
The Cougars were able to compete with one of the top programs in the country, but in the end No. 26 Texas was a little too much to handle, as Houston fell 5-0 on back on Feb. 28 out at the Penick-Allison Tennis Center.
Houston (7-2) made a statement early, as it gave all Texas (4-6) could handle in doubles play.
After the Cougars dropped the court three matchup, Maria Andrea Cardenas and Tina Rupert led the entire way on court two, as the tandem upset Texas' Elizabeth Begley and Pippa Horn, 8-5, to lock the doubles portion up at 1-1.
Houston nearly pulled off another shocker on court one, but freshman Despoina Vogasari and Elena Kordolaimi dropped a spirited, 6-8 decision to the Longhorns' Breaunna Addison and Neda Koprcina, as Texas took the doubles point and the overall 1-0 lead.
Texas' Koprcina defeated Cardenas 6-1, 6-3 on court four to take a 2-0 advantage over the Cougars.
The Longhorns then went up 3-0, after Lana Groenvynck outlasted junior Charlotte Phillips 7-5, 6-2 in a hard-fought battle.
Tina Rupert, who has been so clutch for the Cougars as of late, tried to stand tall for Houston once again, as she rallied to win set two of her court five matchup, 6-4 after dropping the opening set 2-6, but unfortunately there just wasn't enough left in the tank, as she fell to Lina Padegimaite 6-2, 4-6, 6-2, which represented the fourth and clinching point for Texas.
Due to prior travel arrangements, the match was cut short with the score at 5-0, but both Kordolaimi and senior Celia Fraser both ended the day with good shots to win their respective singles matchup. Kordolaimi trailed just 1-0 in the third and final set from the No. 2 position, while Fraser was victorious in her first set, 6-4, and trailed 3-5 in the second set on court three.
The Cougars will get right back to work, as they return home to take on No. 17 Tulsa, tomorrow at 11:00 a.m. CT out at the John E. Hoff Tennis Courts.
No. 26 Texas 5, No. 30 Houston 0
- 1. #16 Breaunna Addison (TEXAS) def. Despoina Vogasari (HOU) 6-4, 7-6 (5-0)
- 2. #106 Elizabeth Begley (TEXAS) vs. Elena Kordolaimi (HOU) 3-6, 6-4, 1-0, unfinished
- 3. #76 Ratnika Barta (TEXAS) vs. Celia Fraser (HOU) 4-6, 5-3, unfinished
- 4. Neda Koprcina (TEXAS) def. Maria Cardenas (HOU) 6-1, 6-3
- 5. Lina Padegimaite (TEXAS) def. Tina Rupert (HOU) 6-2, 4-6, 6-2
- 6. Lana Groenvynck (TEXAS) def. Charlotte Phillips (HOU) 7-5, 6-2
Order of Finish: 4,6,5*,1
- 1. Breaunna Addison/Neda Koprcina (TEXAS) def. Despoina Vogasari/Elena Kordolaimi (HOU) 8-6
- 2. Maria Cardenas/Tina Rupert (HOU) def. Elizabeth Begley/Pippa Horn (TEXAS) 8-5
- 3. Lina Padegimaite/Ratnika Barta (TEXAS) def. Celia Fraser/Charlotte Phillips (HOU) 8-2
College Station Regional at Glance
Friday, May 9 - First Round
11 a.m. CT No. 23 Texas vs. No. 34 Houston
2 p.m. CT No. 9 Texas A&M vs. Stony Brook
Saturday, May 10 - Second Round
3 p.m. CT Texas/Houston winner vs. Texas A&M/Stony Brook winner
Cougars in the NCAA Tournament
The Cougars have qualified for the NCAA Tournament for just the third time in school history and for the first time since 1998...Houston is 2-2 all-time in postseason action and 2-0 against teams from the state of Texas...the Cougars have never lost in the opening round of the NCAA Tournament (2-0)...Below is a breakdown of UH's all-time tournament history:
1997- NCAA Tournament Second Round | At-Large Bid (19-6)
May 9 vs. TCU (W, 5-2) | Southwest Regional First Round (Houston, Texas)
May 10 vs. Tennessee (L, 0-5) | Southwest Regional Second Round (Houston, Texas)
1998- NCAA Tournament Second Round | Automatic Bid (C-USA Tournament Champions, 13-11)
May 5 vs. Texas A&M (W, 5-3) | Southwest Regional First Round (Baton Rouge, La.)
May 16 vs. Arkansas (L, 0-5) | Southwest Regional Second Round (Baton Rouge, La.)
Take in History
Click below to hear from head coach Patrick Sullivan, freshman Despoina Vogasari, and juniors Elena Kordolaimi and Charlotte Phillips after finding our Houston's NCAA Tournament opponent and destination.
Last time out for the Cougars
It came down to the very end in a thrilling championship affair, but USF squeaked out a 4-2 victory over top-seeded Houston, to claim the 2014 American Athletic Conference Championship, back on April 20 out at the USF Varsity Tennis Courts.
For the Cougars (21-5), the loss snaps what was a season-high six match win streak, while also marking their first loss to a conference opponent this season.
Things looked promising for UH early on, as Tina Rupert and Maria Cardenas teamed up to earn an 8-3 victory over USF's Olaya Garrido-Rivas and Fanny Fracassi in doubles action, notching the tandem's 11th win of the season.
With Houston up 1-0, the Bulls needed to respond, and they did, as Garrido-Rivas took down Rupert (23-7, 18-4 Dual), 6-3, 6-2, on court three, snapping what was a team-best 10-match win streak.
But the Cougars wasted no time in regaining the lead, as Cardenas (22-10, 16-7 Dual) defeated USF's Fanny Fracassi in straight sets from the No. 4 spot, 6-3, 6-1 to sport UH a 2-1 advantage.
However, the Bulls soon took advantage of some close opening set wins to gain the momentum, as Charlotte Phillips (18-9, 10-7 Dual) dropped a close 7-5, 6-2 affair, while Vogasari couldn't quite hold off the nation's 79th ranked player in Alonso. Vogasari (25-7, 21-4 Dual) lost a tough 7-5, 6-4 decision on court one, snapping what was a six-match win streak.
With the Bulls holding a 3-2 advantage, USF's Vera Bessonova closed out the championship with a 7-6, 6-1 victory over Rocio Martin (14-6, 9-5 Dual) on court five.
Due to tournament rules, the match was called, but Koroldaimi held a 6-4, 3-6, 3-2 lead over USF's Kayla Rizzolo when play was stopped, while USF was forced to win first set tiebreakers in three of its four singles victories on the day.
A Look Back at the American Athletic Conference Tournament
The Cougars entered the event as the highest ranked team in The American according to the final regular season ITA poll, making Houston the No. 1 seed in the inaugural American Athletic Conference Championship Tournament...the Cougars were one of four ranked American teams in the event, at the time sitting in front of No. 39 Memphis, No. 41 USF and No. 56 Louisville. Those same three teams filled out the No. 2, 3, and 4 seeds respectively... the Cougars posted a perfect 3-0 mark in conference regular season play and went 2-1 in American Tournament play... Below is a recap of the full tournament:
Thursday April 17, 2014
Match 1 8:00 a.m. CT #8 Cincinnati def. #9 UConn; 4-1
Match 2 9:00 a.m. CT #10 UCF def. #7 Temple; 4-1
Friday April 18, 2014
Match 3 7:00 a.m. CT #1 Houston def. #8 Cincinnati; 4-0
Match 4 7:00 a.m. CT #2 Memphis def. #10 UCF; 4-1
Match 5 7:00 a.m. CT #5 Rutgers def. #4 Louisville; 4-2
Match 6 7:00 a.m. CT #3 USF def. #6 SMU; 4-0
Saturday April 19, 2014
Match 7 11:00 a.m. CT #1 Houston def. #5 Rutgers; 4-0
Match 8 11:00 a.m. CT #3 USF def. #2 Memphis; 4-2
Sunday April 20, 2014
Match 9 9:00 a.m. CT #3 USF def. #1 Houston; 4-2
The Cougars received a league-best five American Athletic Conference postseason awards, as head coach Patrick Sullivan was named the league's Coach of the Year and Despoina Vogasari was named the conference's Freshman of the Year. Both mark just the second time Houston has won the respective awards in program history. Vogasari, Elena Kordolaimi, and Tina Rupert all earned spots on the All-Conference Team. The three nominations were tied with USF for the most in the league.
Keeping Streaks Alive
Elena Kordolaimi has won nine straight matches, while Maria Cardenas has won five straight affairs...the Cougars closed out the regular season winning nine straight home matches, which were the most since the 2005-06 campaign...Houston his 2-0 all-time in NCAA First Round matches.
Streaks Meant for Snapping
Houston has currently lost 20 consecutive matches to Texas, while the Longhorns have shutout the Cougars in each of the last nine meetings.
The Cougars haven't played a tennis match in 18 days. It's the longest layoff of the season.
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 19 of her last 21 sets going back to March 12...she's clinched two of Houston's last six victories and two of UH's one-point wins on the year.
In the Rankings
Houston enters this one at No. 34 in the nation, while Texas is placed at No. 23...Host Texas A&M in ranked No. 10, while Stony Brook is unranked.
Despoina Vogasari (25-7) already became Houston's first 20-match winner in over six seasons. Her victory on April 19 vs. Rutgers gave her 21 dual match wins this season, which puts her in a tie for fifth place on the school's all-time single-season dual match victories list. She is two wins away from being tied for third on the list.
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 Despoina Vogasari 21-4 (2014)
T5. Kami Miller 21-3 (2005)
T5. Margaret Redfearn 21-5 (1984)
T5. Hae Beck 21-7 (1986)
T5. Stina Almgren 21-9 (1986)
T10. Susanna Anderson 20-4 (1997)
T10. Kami Miller 20-5 (2006)
Freshmen Despoina Vogasari's (21-4 Dual) win on April 19 vs. Rutgers gave her a share of UH's all-time freshman dual match victories record, as she's tied with Stina Almgren (21-9 in 1986) for the all-time lead. Her next win this season will put her in sole possession of the record.
If the season were to end today Vogasari (.840) would be fifth on the school's all-time highest single-season dual match win percentage, while Tina Rupert (.818) would be tied for eighth on the list.
UH All-Time Single-Season Dual Match Win Percentage List*
1. Kami Miller .875 (2005)
2. Caroline Bhaguandas .864 (1990)
3. Vicky Simpson .850 (2009)
4. Joy Tacon .842 (1982)
5. Despoina Vogasari .840 (2014)
6. Susanna Anderson .833 (1997)
7. Jo Keene .826 (2002)
T8. Tina Rupert .818 (2014)
T8. Maja Kazimieruk .818 (2013)
T8. Jane Brown .818 (1997)
11. Sarah Borwell .813 (2002)
12. Margaret Redfearn .808. (1984)
*If season were to end today
Moving up Another List
The tandem of Despoina Vogasari and Elena Kordolaimi has gone 15-5 in dual match doubles play so far this season. Their next win will put them in a tie for ninth on school's all-time single-season dual match doubles victories list.
UH All-Time Single-Season Dual Match Doubles Victories List
1. Kathy Foxworth/Stina Almgren 26-6 (1986)
T2. Cindy Crawford/Cynthia Sanchez 19-1 (1990)
T2. Hee Baek/Fran Ind 19-8 (1985)
T4. Jane Brown/Sarah Bolle 18-2 (1997)
T4. Kathy Foxworth/Vicky White 18-3 (1987)
T4. Julie Cass/Jenny Mainz 18-5 (1990)
T4. Margaret Redfearn/Joy Tacon 18-6 (1984)
8. Sarah Borwell/Galina Seliounina 17-3 (1999)
T9. Caroline Bhaguandas/Patricia Riddell 16-3 (1990)
T9. Cindy Crawford/Patricia Riddell 16-3 (1989)
T9. Galina Seliounina/Mette Sigmundstad 16-3 (2000)
T9. Margaret Redfearn/Kathy Foxworth 16-4 (1985)
T9. Kristen Samuelson/Cecilia Piedrahita 16-4 (1991)
T9. Julie Cass/Jenny Mainz 16-5 (1991)
-- Despoina Vogasari/ Elena Kordolaimi 15-5 (2014)
20 Win Club
Despoina Vogasari (25-7), Tina Rupert (23-7), and Maria Cardenas (22-10) have all reached the 20-win plateau this season. Before this year, no Cougar had reached the 20-win mark in over six seasons. Elena Kordolaimi (19-5) is just one victory away, while Charlotte Phillips (18-9) is two wins away from reaching the 20-win mark.
Houston's Dynamic Duo
Despoina Vogasari and Elena Kordolaimi have combined to go 35-8 thus far during dual play, primarily from the No. 1 and No. 2 spots...the two have teamed up to go 16-7 as a doubles tandem this season and 15-5 in dual play. Both marks lead the team.
Cougars Clawing Towards the Top
Houston finds itself in the national rankings for a 12th straight week, as the Cougars are ranked No. 34 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:
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 5-5 record vs. ranked teams so far this year...the Cougars have played 10 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 5-5 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 setting 12 separate occasions this season...Houston's win at Texas A&M-Corpus Christi on April 12 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, while they've now shutout five of their last six opponents in Texas State, Texas A&M-Corpus Christi, Prairie View A&M, Cincinnati, and Rutgers...Houston at one point shutout a school-record five straight teams from April 9-19th... Houston had never blanked three or more straight opponents two separate times in a season before this year. Below is a list of all the UH shutouts this season...10 of Houston's last 13 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 (W, 4-0)
April 15 vs. Prairie View A&M (W, 7-0)
April 18 vs. Cincinnati (W, 4-0)
April 19 vs. Rutgers (W, 4-0)
More on the Bagels
Houston had scored 29 unanswered points against opponents going back to the end of its April 6 match against then-ranked No. 31 DePaul before dropping a 4-2 decision to USF on the conference title match on April 20.
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 5-4 on the road so far this season and 3-0 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 back on April 12.
Protecting the Home Courts
Houston finished the season 13-1 at home. The 13 are the most since the Cougars had 13 during the 2005-06 campaign...the Cougars ended the year winning nine 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 11 of the last 14 matches...the Cougars have blanked nine of their last 15 opponents...Houston is 15-0 vs. unranked teams this season...the Cougars have been placed in the national rankings in 12 consecutive weeks...Houston hasn't scored less than three points in any home match this season...Elena Kordolaimi has won nine straight matches, while Maria Cardenas has won five in a row.
Houston is off to a 21-5 start this season. The school record for wins in a season is 23 back during the 1989-90 season. The Cougars went 23-3 that season. 20 wins this season marks just the fifth time in school history the Cougars have reached the 20-plus win plateau and the first time since 2006.
An American Honor
The Cougars claimed a conference-leading equaling five American Player of the Week awards this season...the five awards is also a school record for most conference weekly honors in one season...Despoina Vogasari won it three times, while Elena Kordolaimi won the award twice. Vogasari's three awards won led the conference.
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
04/15: Rebecca Shine- Louisville
They All Count the Same
Houston is a combined 29-13 from the No. 5 and No. 6 positions so far in singles play this year, compared to a 36-10 combined record from the No. 1 and No. 2 positions. The Cougars are .650 or better from every position this season.
A Team Effort
Every Cougar that's played a full singles match has 13 or more wins this season, while every player is .500 or better.
One of the Best
Despoina Vogasari is currently ranked as the 86th 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 has been ranked for six straight weeks.
Vogasari Garnering National Attention
Freshman sensation Despoina Vogasari was named American Athletic Conference Tennis Player of the Week 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, while the three nominations leads the conference this season.
Yeah, She's No. 1
Freshman Despoina Vogasari has played each of her 25 singles matchups from the No. 1 spot this season, posting a 21-4 record, while claiming a 25-7 record in overall singles action this season. Vogasari is 4-3 vs. nationally ranked opponents this year...she's won eight of her last 10 matches.
Can't Run With Rupert
Freshman Tina Rupert has gotten off to a dominating 18-4 start this spring in singles action, after starting just 5-3 in the fall. She has clinched seven of the last 16 match victories for Houston, while she's won nine of her last 10 matches.
Charlotte the Clutch Clincher
Junior Charlotte Phillips is 18-9 in overall singles action and 10-7 in dual play. Three of her 10 dual match singles victories this season have been match-clinchers for the Cougars. She's also been the first Cougar to score in two of the last four matches.
The three newcomers in sophomore Maria Andrea Cardenas, freshman Despoina Vogasari, and freshman Tina Rupert are a combined 44-12 in dual play singles action this season and 67-24 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.
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 77-26 in three seasons overall as a head coach...he currently owns a record of 34-16 in his second year at Houston...Sullivan is 0-1 vs. Texas 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
If the Cougars are to win on Friday, they'll take on the winner of No. 9 Texas A&M and Stony Brook on Saturday at 3 p.m. CT in round two of the NCAA Tournament.