Oct. 1, 2012
HOUSTON - Members of the University of Houston women's tennis team took part in the Urban Craft Custom Builders Invitational over the weekend to help benefit the Zina Garrison Tennis Academy.
The event, which was a mixed doubles format with all proceeds benefitting the ZGA, took place on a clay court at the home of Doug and Cathy Reynolds. Sophomore Elena Kordolaimi paired up with Hardy Murchison to win the title while fellow sophomore Liselot Koenen teamed with Phillip Winston to reach the semifinal.
"We were honored to participate in this event for such a worthy cause," head coach Patrick Sullivan said. "Zina Garrison and all of the folks at her Academy have been serving local kids for nearly 20 years and don't receive nearly enough recognition for the great work they do. Part of the student-athlete experience at the University of Houston is recognizing the great opportunity that we have been given and showing we are grateful for that opportunity by giving back to the city and community.
"The participants and sponsors of this event include some of the most successful people and businesses in Houston, and their generosity and sense of community is a great example for my own team. By being involved in these events, we try to plant a seed in our student-athletes and as they graduate and go on to be successful in their chosen fields and leaders of the Houston community, we hope they will continue to give back."
"No one accomplishes anything great without a lot of help along the way, and as I continue to try to accomplish my dreams, I know that I would not be here in Houston without the help and kindness of many people," said Kordolaimi. "It feels good to be able to do something that might help a kid at the Academy accomplish their dreams and I also had a lot of fun and met some really great people this weekend."
Zina Garrison is a former pro tennis player from the city of Houston that was ranked as high as No. 4 in the world and was a 13-time Grand Slam semifinalist and a two-time Wimbledon doubles champion.
The mission of the Zina Garrison Academy is to develop stars in the classroom, on the tennis court and in the community by providing educational support, positive role models, parent education and excellent tennis instruction. The ZGA provides 50 weeks a year of free programming to all children in the Houston area. Since 1993, the Academy has reached out to underprivileged children in the Houston community and has helped countless Houston youth to reach college on both athletic and academic scholarships.