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Thursday, July 18, 2019

Tennis

UH doubles its chances with Ring


The Cougars (5-3) have won five of their last six matches.

Despite losing a close match against No. 58 Tulane to snap their five-match win streak a week ago, the Cougars intend to go on another tear as their quest for a national ranking continues.

One player that has come on strong during UH’s recent dominance is senior Laura Ring.

Ring, a doubles specialist, has gone 5-0 in doubles play while teamed up with freshmen Charlotte Phillips and Liselot Koenen.

When the spring season started, head coach John Severance noted that the team needed to improve in doubles play and brought in Ring after she took a year off to focus on academic to address that need.

“Laura is a great player and competitor,” Severance said. “She plays with great energy and is an animal at the net — she doesn’t stop.

“She really is seizing her second chance to play.”

Ring is enjoying her comeback and has become a vital part of the Cougars’ success.

“I believe that I bring energy to the team,” Ring said “ I really want to play and do well while helping the team win.”

Ring plays doubles exclusively. She said it is completely different game than singles.

“It is totally different in every way,” she said. “First off, you have a teammate right there cheering you on and you pump each other up, but you also have to communicate and work as a team.”

She has proven herself over the past month as she has helped make UH a force in doubles play.

Last week against Tulane, she and Liselot Koenen earned UH only win out of three hotly-contested doubles matches for Houston.

Ring started her collegiate tennis career at Texas Tech, but decided to transfer to play in Houston for Severance.

“I came here because I wanted to be a Cougar,” Ring said. “UH has the best fans, best facilities and I love my teammates.”

She feels that coming to Houston was the right decision.

“It’s great, I love my teammates,” she said. “We all get along and it gives you a chance to build lifelong friendships.”

Ring’s answer for wanting to play for Severance was simple.

“Because he’s the best — go Coogs.”

Despite taking a year off, Ring shows little signs of rust.

“I have played since I was around seven years old,” Ring said. “I love it.”

So far this season, Ring and her partners have found the perfect pre-match formula to produce wins.

“I just pump myself up, get ready mentally, I drink water and just listen to loud music,” she said.

“Me and my partner just pump each other up.”

The Cougars brought in Ring to help improve their doubles play as part of their larger goal to obtain a national ranking.

“My team goal is to get nationally ranked, and my personal goal is go undefeated,” Ring said.

Severance is confident that the Cougars can accomplish both of those goals and spur on another win streak — or as he put it, “kick butt.”

Laura Ring and the Cougars will be back in action at 2 p.m. Wednesday at the John E. Hoff courts as they take on Prairie View A&M.

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