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Volume 71, Issue 77, Friday, January 27, 2006

Sports
 

Tennis team ready for spring season

Weekend foes include Sam Houston State, 
Stephen F. Austin, Prarie View

by JORDAN OVERTURF
The Daily Cougar

Last year, the University of Houston tennis team started its fall season with only six members, two short of a full roster.

Head coach John Severance feels he's done a substantial job recruiting for this season.

"In my five years here, we have never had nine players on the roster." Severance said. "This just goes to show the continued growth of the program and the growing strength of the team."


Senior Kami Miller finished the fall season with an 8-2 singles record.

Nada Elsayed/The Daily Cougar

This weekend the team will kick off the 2006 spring season with a Texas showdown, starting with Sam Houston State on Saturday at 9 a.m. on the John E. Hoff Varsity Tennis Courts on campus. On Sunday, the Cougars stay at home for a doubleheader against Prairie View A&M at 9 a.m. and Stephen F. Austin State at 2 p.m.

"The girls are hungry to get out and play a team," Severance said. "We are coming off a tight 4-3 loss to Top 50 Southern Florida in the last tournament in the fall, and I think the team is just anxious to see where we are."

The Cougars are trying to continue to build on the momentum from last spring, when at one point the Cougars were ranked No. 70 by the Intercollegiate Tennis Association, one of the highest rankings in recent history.

This season, coach Severance and his team are gunning to capture some of their goals.

"I believe we are a better team, but we are unproven," Severance said. "I think we now have an opportunity to obtain some our goals, like maintaining a top-75 ranking (in ITA) and working through a run at the conference and NCAA tournaments."

Severance said the team is close to reaching its goals and emphasized the team's talent and drive. 

The Cougars have many returning players, such as Loli Gomez, the team's newest leader at the No. 1 slot -- this fall was her first season at UH. Also, letter-winners like seniors Kami Miller and Yolandi Terblance, who are the strongholds in the lower brackets, will perform well enough throughout the season to create multiple opportunities for the team.

The youth and determination of sophomore Brianna Bateup rotating in the No. 2 and 3 slots, will give the team a bit of depth on the roster.

"I am expecting the team to come out with fire," Severance said. "We have worked all fall and through January for this season to be successful."

The Cougars will face off against SHSU at 9 a.m. Saturday at the John E. Hoff Varsity Tennis Courts.
 

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