Commentary: Tennis offers athletic optimism

It’s been more than a few seasons of discontent around these parts, as fans of the University of Miami have grown accustomed to disappointment. Between football’s failure, basketball’s injury bug and the surprising struggles the baseball team has faced, it’s been hard to be a Miami Hurricane.

But there is hope. There is a team to rally behind. They might not be as well known as others, but they have perhaps the best chance to advance to a NCAA final this year. How do I know this? Because they already did it last year.

They are the women’s tennis team, and since 2001 they’ve been among the most successful programs at the University of Miami. They’ve advanced to every conference final they’ve participated in since 2002 and have won two in that span. They’ve participated in 11 straight NCAA tournaments and will likely advance to their twelfth this year. And last year, they got all the way to the NCAA Championship, losing to powerhouse Stanford.

Women’s tennis doesn’t have the glitz of football or baseball, but this is a team that can win. It wasn’t always that way, but Head Coach Paige Yaroshuk-Tews has put in the commitment to return the ‘Canes to prominence.

“When I started working at UM, we were [No.] 35 in the country,” said Yaroshuk-Tews, who was born and raised in Miami. “I really couldn’t believe that. In the back of my mind, I was like, ‘My god, this is the University of Miami. If Miami’s not a powerhouse, who’s going to be a powerhouse?'”

And a powerhouse they are again. With Audra Cohen, the No. 1-ranked player in the country, all-time Miami singles and doubles leader Audrey Banada and a strong squad behind them, Miami is looking to finish what they left off last year.

It’s been a good year for the ‘Canes, finishing 17-5 overall and 8-3 in the ACC. They struggled two weeks ago, losing to Duke and North Carolina, but finished strong by defeated Maryland and Boston College last weekend, not losing even one set in any match.

They start their post-season quest this Friday in Cary, North Carolina, as they begin play in the ACC Tournament. To give you perspective on what Miami will face, they’re ranked tenth in the nation, but fourth in the conference tournament. The ACC is stacked, yet Miami still finds success.

The conference title will be difficult to capture, let alone the NCAA title. But, Miami has the power to face these challenges and make history. They’ve got the goods to make it this year and remain strong for years to come.

Miami has hosted a regional for the last two years, and with any luck, they’ll get a third this year.

If they do, I hope this university rallies around this squad, and packs the Neil Schiff Tennis Center. After all the disappointment and sadness this year, it’ll be good for everyone to rediscover what it feels like to root for a feel-good story.

Matthew Bunch may be contacted at

April 20, 2007


The Miami Hurricane

Student newspaper at the University of Miami

Around the Web
  • Miami Herald
  • UM News
  • Error

The Miami Hurricanes, still waiting for a starting quarterback to be named, are in the top 25 again. ...

Happy first day of school for everyone out there, including the University of Miami students. We jus ...

With the University of Miami season opener closing in, the next starting quarterback has yet to be n ...

The second fall scrimmage, closed to the media and public, is over. University of Miami coach Mark R ...

1. DOLPHINS: Fins any good? 'Dress rehearsal' may tell: Opening win, then lopsided loss. W ...

UM’s new chief academic officer holds some 40 patents, and in 2017 was inducted into the National Ac ...

University of Miami students and researchers are blogging during a month-long expedition in the Gulf ...

María de Lourdes Dieck-Assad, a world-renowned economist and former ambassador, fills a new role for ...

Through the U Dreamers Grant, DACA students find essential support as they pursue their college degr ...

UM students talk about their internships up north in a city that never sleeps. ...

RSS Error: A feed could not be found at A feed with an invalid mime type may fall victim to this error, or SimplePie was unable to auto-discover it.. Use force_feed() if you are certain this URL is a real feed.

TMH Twitter Feed
About TMH

The Miami Hurricane is the student newspaper of the University of Miami in Coral Gables, Fla. The newspaper is edited and produced by undergraduate students at UM and is published weekly on Thursdays during the regular academic year.