Oct. 27, 2013
HOUSTON--- University of Houston freshman Despoina Vogasari and sophomore Maria Andrea Cardenas prepare to take on some of the world’s top tennis talent this week, as they’ll compete at the John Newcombe Women’s Pro Challenge in New Braunfels, Texas and the Caracas Women’s Open in Caracas, Venezuela.
Vogasari will play as an amateur this week and enters the John Newcombe Women’s Pro Challenge ranked 529th in the world. The freshman has already clinched a spot in the main draw due to her elite ranking, and therefore won’t compete until Tuesday.
Cardenas has also earned the right to skip qualifying, as she clinched a spot in the main draw for both singles and doubles competition at the Caracas Women’s Open in her hometown of Caracas, Venezuela.
The Caracas, Venezuela native begins her tournament run Tuesday afternoon, as she will also be competing as an amateur.
“We’re fortunate and thankful to represent a university that allows our team the opportunity to pursue its academic and athletic dreams concurrently,” said head coach Patrick Sullivan. “ With a cumulative GPA of nearly 3.7, our team has built up some equity on the academic side, but I can tell you from personal experience that regardless of great academic performance, many student-athletes across the country are not afforded the same opportunities that ours are and we are thankful for the flexibility and support of the many faculty and staff that are behind our team as these kids continue to follow their dreams."
“Competing as amateurs in events in which these girls hope to compete in as professionals after graduation is an exciting opportunity and allows them to build and maintain a professional ranking even as they work hard to earn a degree."
Both athletes hope to improve their stock before they return home to join the rest of the Cougars, as they’ll conclude the 2013 fall season this weekend at the Cougar Classic at the John E. Hoff Tennis Courts on the campus of the University of Houston.