INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. -- University of Houston tennis student-athlete Elena Kordolaimi, who recently graduated in May with a Bachelor of Science degree in kinesiology, was honored today as UH's nominee for the 2014-15 NCAA Woman of the Year award.
"Being a student-athlete is something special," said Kordolaimi, a four-time all-conference honoree. "It was a great opportunity, and I wouldn't trade it for the world."
Kordolaimi's recently-completed senior season will go down as one of the finest in Houston women's tennis history. The Lamia, Greece, native advanced to the semifinals of the USTA/ITA Texas Regional Championship in October, setting up the greatest spring campaign in the Cougar record books. Kordolaimi set UH program highs with 25 dual wins and a .926 (25-2) dual winning percentage.
Fueled by Kordolaimi's near-perfect season, the Cougars went 22-6 in 2015, advancing to American Athletic Conference Championship Match and the NCAA Championships First Round. The postseason bid was the second in as many seasons for the Cougars, who won 20 matches in consecutive years for the first time ever.
Kordolaimi spent the season ranked nationally by the Intercollegiate Tennis Association, peaking at No. 52 in the singles rankings and ending the season at No. 99.
More than just a talented athlete, Kordolaimi spent significant time volunteering to make the Houston community a better place. She volunteered with Big Brothers/Big Sisters, mentoring local youth, and she also conducted tennis clinics for underprivileged kids through the Zina Garrison Academy.
"I was incredibly honored to participate in service activities as a student-athlete," said Kordolaimi. "I love helping other people, and to put a smile on someone else's face, whether through playing tennis or sharing my time in another way, is the best quality that I can have as a person."
A recent graduate from the UH College of Liberal Arts & Social Sciences, Kordolaimi grew to love her studies on the way to earning her degree in kinesiology.
"When I first got to college, I didn't really like studying, but I knew I had to do it to play tennis," said the recent graduate. "As I got involved in college classes though, my approach changed, and I became very interested in the classroom. I made it my goal to learn something new every single day, and I have to say that applying myself in the classroom changed me as a human being and gave me the power to accomplish great things in life."
Overall, Kordolaimi finished her collegiate career with a 95-33 singles record, including a 72-24 record in three seasons with the Cougars. Her 52 dual wins in a Houston uniform rank eighth in program history.
JOIN THE CENTER COURT CLUB
The Cougars are proud to introduce the Center Court Club, a restricted-giving program that directly impacts the needs of the University of Houston Tennis program. Gifts to the Center Court Club provide financial support directly to the University of Houston Tennis program for needs beyond the program's operating budget. Revenue generated from the Center Court Club is used at the discretion of the Head Coach for program enhancements. Membership in the Center Court Club is annual and requires a minimum $100 gift.
LEVELS OF GIVING
For a minimum gift of $100, supporters receive a team poster and a signed tennis ball.
For a minimum gift of $500, supporters receive a team poster and a signed tennis ball, private practice invitation and a stadium blanket.
For a minimum gift of $1,000, supporters receive a team poster and a signed tennis ball, private practice invitation, a stadium blanket, fleece jacket and a lesson from the coach.
For a minimum gift of $2,500, supporters receive a team poster and a signed tennis ball, private practice invitation, a stadium blanket, fleece jacket, a lesson from the coach and a group lesson from the coaching staff.
Join the Center Court Club
FOLLOW THE COUGARS!
Fans can keep up with the latest in University of Houston Cougar athletics by following us on Facebook (Facebook.com/HoustonAthletics), Twitter (@UHCougars), 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).