May 28, 2013
ATHENS, Greece - University of Houston women's tennis sophomore Elena Kordolaimi teamed up with signee Despoina Vogasari over the weekend, where the tandem, competing as amateurs, reached the doubles and singles finals at the ITF Marathon Futures tournament in Athens, Greece.
"I'm really happy with Depi's (Despoina) continued success and with how well they did in their first time ever playing doubles together," head coach Patrick Sullivan said. "I'm particularly pleased for Elena, whose recent commitment to fitness really showed in her tough three-set win and best pro tournament result yet."
Kordolaimi and Vogasari, both Greece natives, teamed up in doubles action, claiming three wins to advance to the finals where they fell in a third-set tiebreaker to players from Belarus and the Netherlands. Vogasari fell just shy of her second-straight doubles title, as she claimed her first professional doubles championship a week earlier.
Kordolaimi, who is coming off a Conference USA Second-Team campaign following her first season at Houston, posted two dominating victories to qualify for the tournament's main draw, where she posted two more wins before falling to the eventual champion in the quarterfinals.
Vogasari stormed through the singles main draw, posting three straight-set victories before a three-set marathon match to reach the finals, where she just fell short of her second professional singles title.
"One of our main goals for Houston tennis is to make our program a viable pathway to the professional ranks," said Sullivan. "Competing as amateurs in these professional tournaments provides great perspective and an opportunity to earn some ranking points."
Vogasari is part of Houston's 2013 signing class that was tabbed as the nation's sixth-best class by TennisRecruiting.net. The Athens native has enjoyed an impressive year that features a professional doubles and singles title and an appearance at the prestigious Fed Cup.
"When you're looking at playing college tennis versus `going pro' strictly as a numbers proposition, the benefits that we provide our student-athletes far outweigh those received by all but maybe the top 200 pros in the world," continued Sullivan. "Add to that the fact that these girls will be getting a degree from a Tier One research institution and it's really a no-brainer.
"I have had several people ask me if I get nervous that they will do `too well' this summer. The truth is that whether their dream is to play professional tennis, or to secure premium jobs in finance (as both Celia Fraser and Dionne Sanders have recently done), I will do my best to help them get there. If in a few years I can have one of them wearing a Houston Cougar t-shirt in a US Open post-match interview on ESPN while some of her teammates are working a few miles away on Wall Street, I think we'll be able to feel pretty good about the student-athlete experience at Houston."