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Friday, November 16, 2018

Football

Four athletes to keep an eye on this fall


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Senior Corey Davis Jr. scored 103 3-pointers last season and was third in assists for the Cougars’ historic 2017-18 season. File Photo / The Cougar

The fall athletic season is just around the corner and athletes around campus are getting into full gear.

The 2017-18 athletic season was filled with historic performances on the hardwood courts to the green golf courses and everywhere in between. Here are five athletes, and teams, to keep an eye on this fall.

Soccer: Jazmin Grant

Under new Head Coach Diego Bocanegra, the Cougars soccer team had its best season since 2010. The team improved on the offensive side of the ball, but struggled to maintain its defensive skill of 2016.

A big part of the offensive growth was sophomore Jazmin Grant who netted five goals and five assists in just 13 appearances in UH’s 17 games.

Grant finished second on the team in points, won two AAC Rookie of the Week awards and earned a spot on the All-Freshman AAC team for her efforts.

After a full offseason of training and conditioning under Bocanegra, expect Grant and other Cougars like junior Madison Soileau and sophomore Mia Brascia to lift the team to its first winning season since 2010.

Men’s Basketball: Corey Davis Jr.

After making it to March Madness for the first time since 2010, the men’s basketball team lost three of its senior leaders to graduation.

But in a press conference, Head Coach Kelvin Sampson said that he has faith in the next group of Cougars, in particular senior Corey Davis Jr.

Sampson said that Davis Jr. was very excited to begin the 2018-19 campaign and be a leader for the team.

Last season, senior Corey Davis Jr. led the team in three pointers and and was one of the teams best off the ball players.

While the meat of the basketball season is in the spring, playing well in the fall will help decide whether the Cougars are defending or chasing a March Madness spot come January.

Tennis: Tsveta Dimitrova

The Cougars tennis squad is another team that had a resurgent season last year. After struggling to get double digits wins the two previous seasons, the Cougars had a 20-4 team record, its best since the 2014-15 season.

Junior tennis player Tsveta Dimitrova led the tennis team in wins last year with a 28-8 record and won all-conference honors alongside the now graduated Sveva Mazzari who had a 23-6 record.

Her freshman year, Dimitrova won AAC Freshman of the Year and she, and the team, improved with another year of experience.

The tennis team fell short at the 2017 AAC tournament, but with Dimitrova and other rising talent like sophomore Lauren Alter, the Cougars are poised to make some more noise this year.

Football: Ed Oliver

No list like this could be complete without mentioning junior defensive tackle, Ed Oliver.

After winning awards in his freshman and sophomore seasons, Oliver announced that he would be leaving for the NFL after this season.

Oliver already has the eighth most tackles for a loss in UH history, and is 26.5 TFLs away from taking the all-time record.

While his position as a nose tackle means his sack numbers aren’t record breaking, his presence is felt on every play by being double or even triple teamed each time.

It is not often that such an elite caliber of player is around, so make sure to show up and get a look before he is gone and causing havoc in the NFL.

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