Tennis team looking for more

Laura Vallverdu keeps her eye on the ball as she hits a backhand in a match against FAU last season. Photo by Steve Root // Hurricane Staff.

With the hot Miami sun beaming down, everyone has one thought in mind: Get inside!

Meanwhile, while everyone cools off in the air conditioning, the University of Miami men’s and women’s tennis teams are outside at the Neil Schiff Tennis Center, giving their hearts and souls in the blazing Miami heat.

The goal: A national title.

These early rumblings of a national title may seem lofty and premature, but are they really that far-fetched?

The men’s squad is coming off a year where they were ranked for a good portion of the season, finished runner-up at the ACC Championships and advanced to the second round of the NCAA tournament.

The Hurricane women were ranked in the top 25 all season, climbed all the way to No. 7 at one point in the season and advanced to the Sweet 16 at the NCAA tournament.

This valuable experience will come into play for this year’s teams.

Both teams are returning their top players and are excited about the additions of some very talented transfers.

The men boast a roster that includes the No. 1-ranked doubles team – senior Daniel Vallverdu and sophomore Carl Sundberg – in the nation. Vallverdu is also the No. 3-ranked singles player in the nation.

“Daniel is one of the most complete players in college tennis,” head coach Mario Rincon said. “He has the ability to play at the highest level in both singles and doubles. Carl had a great season in doubles last year as a freshman, and he continues to improve his game and develop towards his potential.”

The team also welcomes junior transfer David Simon, who is ranked No. 99, and freshman Ignacio Taboada.

“David, as well as Ignacio Taboada, is a great addition to our team, and I expect both of them to perform very well,” Rincon said. “We are really looking forward to this year and building upon the success we had last season.”

Leading the way for the women’s team is Daniel’s sister, junior Laura Vallverdu, who is the No. 14-ranked player in the nation. Joining her is an impressive cast of female athletes – sophomore transfer Julia Cohen is ranked No. 25, sophomore Michaela Kissell is ranked No. 49 and sophomore Bianca Eichkorn is ranked No. 109.

The Hurricane women’s squad also features the dangerous doubles tandem of Vallverdu and Kissell, who are ranked No. 15.

Both squads do have a tough road ahead of them, as they will be competing in the All-American Championships and the ITA National Indoor Championships this semester, amongst other tough events.

Despite this though, there are major expectations surrounding both of these squads. Not only do the players and coaches believe in the heights that these teams can reach, but those who pay close attention to Miami Hurricanes tennis are expecting more from this season.

They have plenty of talent. They possess valuable experience. And the players are in place. Now all that is left to be seen is if both of these Hurricane squads will be able to put everything together to make a run into the record books.

September 14, 2008


Janki Amin

Contributing Writer

Around the Web
  • Miami Herald
  • UM News
  • Error

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 ...

University of Miami linebacker Jamie Gordinier has had another unfortunate setback, effectively side ...

The calmest coach on the planet got mad Friday after football practice. University of Miami coach Ma ...

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.