June 20, 2013
HOUSTON - The University of Houston women's tennis program has added another talented student-athlete for the upcoming 2013-14 season as head coach Patrick Sullivan announced the signing of Auburn transfer Maria Andrea Cardenas to a financial aid agreement Thursday.
"I am very excited to have Maria join our team this August," Sullivan said. "She is known for being both an extremely hard worker and a very tough competitor and is a great pickup for a team very much wanting to improve in both of those areas."
Cardenas saw limited playing time as a freshman at Auburn last season but made the most of her opportunities, combining for an overall record of 20-8. Cardenas went a perfect 7-0 in singles and doubles play in dual match action while posting records of 13-5 and 7-3 in singles and doubles play, respectively, during the fall tournament season.
"When she did play last season she had outstanding results, but was the wrong fit for Auburn's system and unfortunately because of that, had difficulty finding playing time on a team that spent most of last season in the top 20. At Houston she will have an opportunity to play immediately in the middle to top of our lineup, and I don't think it's any sort of stretch to say that she will be one of the top players in our conference as soon as next season."
The Caracas, Venezuela, native has competed in over 30 countries and boasts over 100 international victories, including her first professional doubles title last April while playing as an amateur in her hometown.
Cardenas, who reached a WTA doubles ranking as high as No. 495, attended high school at Colegio Los Anayanes where she was voted Senior of the Year.
Cardenas joins Greece product Despoina Vogasari as newcomers to the program for the upcoming 2013-14 season. Houston's 2013 signing class, which includes Vogasari and current Cougar Rocio Martin Fernandez was ranked as the nation's No. 6 recruiting haul and tops among mid-major programs by TennisRecruiting.net.