Sept. 11, 2013
HOUSTON - Despoina Vogasari and Maria Andrea Cardenas, two newcomers to the University of Houston women's tennis team, will compete at the prestigious Riviera/ITA All-American Championships beginning on Sept. 28 at the Riviera Tennis Club in Pacific Palisades, Calif.
The pair of Cougars will become the first Houston representatives at the All-American Championships since Biljana Dimovska in 2004.
"The All-American is the premier outdoor fall college tournament and the field is chosen by the coaches, so we definitely appreciate that even as rookies, Debbie (Vogasari) and Maria have earned enough respect nationwide to be selected," head coach Patrick Sullivan said. "It has been a bit of a drought for the Coogs as far as selections go, but I fully expect this to be the beginning of an annual tradition. We will not be heading to California as tourists; we will spend the next few weeks preparing and will head to L.A. expecting to make a deep run in the tournament."
The All-American Championship dates back to 1983 and the Riviera Tennis Club has played host to the event since 1988. It is the premier fall tournament in college tennis and features the top 128 players at the NCAA Division I level, as voted by the coaches.
Vogasari, who was recently tabbed by the ITA as the nation's sixth-ranked freshman, earned a spot in the prequalifying singles draw and has the opportunity to be the first Cougar to reach the main draw since Kathy Foxworth in 1987.
Cardenas, a native of Caracas, Venezuela, joins Vogasari as alternates in the doubles draw and the duo is expected to earn a spot in the competition.
The Cougars will officially kick off the 2013 fall tournament season on Sept. 20, where split squads will compete at the Islander Open in Corpus Christi, Texas, and the Little Rock Invitational in Arkansas.