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Saturday, September 22, 2018

Tennis

Cougars look to bounce back after bad start to season


Debi Despoina Vogasari

Junior Despoina Vogasari was the 2015 American Athletic Conference Player of the Year and enters the 2016 season No. 34 in the Women’s National Singles Rankings. | The Cougar

Houston’s tennis team is expected to perform well this season after ranking as high as No. 29 last season and earning a berth in the NCAA Championships First Round.

The Cougars put up 18 wins in a row last season before losing to Tulsa, 4-3, in the final round of the American Athletic Tournament.

Houston entered the 2016 season No. 38 in the initial Intercollegiate Tennis Association rankings.

Junior Despoina Vogasari finished the fall season with a 10-3 record. She went 3-0 at the Rice Invitational and was scheduled to play in the top flight finals before bad weather cancelled the last day of singles.

Vogasari enters the spring season as No. 34 in the Women’s National Singles Rankings.

Vogasari and junior Tina Rupert got a doubles victory against No. 36 Arkansas as they defeated Makenzie Craft and Flavia Araujo 6-4.

In the singles competition, Vogasari defeated Shannon Hudson, 6-4, in the first set before losing set two 2-6.

Vogasari won the tie breaker 10-7, improving her record to 66-20.

Although the Cougars didn’t start off 2016 with a win there’s no doubt the team has potential with junior Despoina Vogasari and seniors Maria Cardenas and Rocio Martin leading.

Head coach Courtney Steinbock acknowledges her team needs to make some adjustments and is positive that they will make the changes as they move forward.

“It obviously wasn’t the result we were looking for, but it was good to get back out on court and see everyone play finally,” Steinbock said in a news release. “We have a lot to work on, but I’m confident this team will bounce back and continue to improve and grow.”

There’s no doubt Steinbock has some pretty big shoes to fill as a first year head coach as the expectations are high for Houston after last season’s success.

We’ll see what kind of adjustments Houston makes when they play Texas Christian University at the ITA Kick-off Weekend in Fort Worth this Friday before beginning their spring season in Wisconsin on Jan. 29.

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