June 12, 2013
HOUSTON - The University of Houston women's tennis 2013 recruiting class was recently named the nation's No. 1 haul among mid-major programs by TennisRecruiting.net.
The class, consisting of Despoina Vogasari (Athens, Greece) and Rocio Martin Fernandez (Madrid, Spain), was labeled the nation's No. 6 overall class in the early signing period in January, marking the highest-rated class in Conference USA history and the second highest among mid-majors behind William & Mary in 2006.
Houston is one of three programs in the upcoming American Athletic Conference ranked in the top 10 among mid-majors followed by SMU (No. 2) and Louisville (No. 10).
"As with any team effort, getting these student-athletes to campus involved big contributions from too many people to mention by name," said head coach Patrick Sullivan, "but I'm especially thankful to our compliance and academic staffs for doing the heavy lifting for me while I was still a Cougar rookie last year, fumbling around with a new process at a new school."
"Bringing in a great recruiting class is a long way from winning a championship, but it's a great start," Sullivan said. "Last season we had a team that was nationally ranked early in the year but lacked the depth to sustain that ranking. We return five of six starters from that team and with the addition of this very solid incoming class to the mix, we have reason to be very excited about the future of Houston Tennis."
Vogasari, who signed a National Letter of Intent in November for the 2013-14 season, holds the highest ranking of any junior player in Greece, and the Athens native is the highest ranked player to sign with the Houston women's tennis program in the last 20 years.
Vogasari has enjoyed an impressive year that features a professional doubles and singles title playing as an amateur and an appearance at the prestigious Fed Cup.
Martin Fernandez signed with the Cougars prior to the start of the spring season and enjoyed a solid freshman campaign, posting a 14-8 singles record at the top three positions. At the time of her signing, Martin Fernandez was ranked No. 44 in Spain's open division and No. 1204 in WTA's worldwide rankings.
This season marks the second time in three years that Sullivan has inked the top mid-major class, as his 2011 recruiting haul helped lead Stephen F. Austin to the Southland Conference title and a national ranking of No. 35 with a lineup consisting of five first-year starters.