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UH tennis defeats Tulane, but fall in AAC Tournament semifinals

UH tennis Blanca Cortijo Parreno anticipates a serve in match during the 2021 season. | Courtesy of UH athletics

UH tennis Blanca Cortijo Parreno anticipates a serve in match during the 2021 season. | Courtesy of UH athletics

The Houston tennis team competed in the American Athletic Conference Championship Tournament for a chance at winning it all over the weekend in Orlando, Florida.

The Cougars (15-8, 4-3 AAC) took on Tulane (13-9, 2-4 AAC) on Friday and were able to advance to their fourth AAC Championship semifinals appearance, where they fell short against USF (17-4, 5-0 AAC) to put an end to the run.

Here’s how the weekend went for the Cougars:


The Cougars defeated with a 4-2 win at the USTA National Campus.

The win over the Green Wave marked their seventh total win and their first under head coach Helena Besovic in the AAC Tournament.

Doubles kicked off the afternoon and the Cougars came out flat, losing the first two doubles matches and dropping the point initially, with the third match going unfinished.

The Cougars’ pairing of sophomore Azul Pedemonti and Blanca Cortijo Parreno fell first to Lahari Yelamanchili and Charlotte Russell  in a tight 6-4 match.

Senior Phonexay Chitdara and junior Sophie Gerits were the next to fall, 6-3, giving Tulane the first point with senior Mimi Kendall-Woseley and freshman Laura Slisane’s match going unfinished while leading 5-4.

The Cougars were able to bring it back in the singles, winning the four they needed to win the day while only taking one loss in the process.

Gerits got Houston on the board first with a big 6-4, 6-3 win over graduate Mary Caroline Meredith, and Pedemonti and Parreno each got a big win to get back on track.

Chitdara was the lone loss in singles on the day but in close fashion, playing three total sets and losing 7-6 (8-6), 6-4 against junior Adelaide Lavery.


The Cougars’ conference tournament run ended on Saturday when they took on No. 8 UCF in the semifinals at the USTA National Campus in a tough 4-0 rout.

Kendall-Woseley and Slisane got the UH tennis team off to a solid start with a 6-0 shutout over the pairing of junior Ksenia Kuznetsova and redshirt junior Valeriya Zeleva to get UH its first doubles win of the tournament.

Pedemonti and Parreno continued their tournament struggles as a pair with a 6-3 loss to the pair of freshman Nadja Bay Christians and junior Evgeniya Levashova, and the tiebreaker was lost to give the Knights the point.

Singles weren’t any more favorable for UH, with the three opening matches all ending in losses, completing the shutout for UCF and ending the Cougars’ season.

Parreno was the first to finish, falling 6-1 and 6-3 to Nandini Sharma, and was followed by Gerits’ loss to No. 99 Levashova.

The final match of the season ended with Kendall-Woseley’s match against No. 19 Zeleva, Kendall-Woseley ultimately lost 6-3, 6-0 and 6-2 despite a dominating second set.

UH tennis ends the season 15-8 and will return to Houston and await the NCAA selection show on May 3 to find out if they will make the NCAA Tournament.

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