The men and women’s tennis teams kick off their seasons this Friday with events spread out all around the country.
Most of the women’s team will be in Coral Gables for the Miami Fall Invite that runs Friday through Sunday, but stars senior Stephanie Wagner and sophomore Sinead Lohan will be nearly 3,000 miles away in Malibu, California playing in the Oracle/ITA Masters event over the weekend.
Wagner is the sixth-ranked player in the country and recently shared the 2014-15 University of Miami Female Student-Athlete of the Year Award with volleyball player Savanah Leaf. The senior out of Amberg, Germany dominated the competition last year, recording overall marks of 38-12 in singles play and 25-15 in doubles play. Wagner’s impressive season ended with an appearance in the semifinals of the NCAA Singles Championship, becoming just the seventh player in program history to accomplish the feat.
Wagner will be accompanied by the No. 13-ranked player in the nation in Lohan. The second-year player from Waterford, Ireland posted an overall mark of 38-8 in singles play and 22-12 in doubles competition as a freshman. Lohan was named ACC Freshman of the Year and was both an ITA All-American and a Second Team All-ACC selection in her first year.
Three other members of the women’s tennis team earned spots on the ITA preseason rankings released Tuesday afternoon. Senior Clementina Riobueno comes in at No. 63, followed by sophomore Wendy Zhang at No. 73 and sophomore Yolimar Ogando, who is tied for No. 94.
“I am happy with our players’ starting points, but we need to stay focused on the ending point,” Miami Head Coach Paige Yaroshuk-Tews said to HurricaneSports.com. “We have gotten off to an explosive start in practice – one of the strongest I’ve seen in many years – so the future is bright.”
Some members of the men’s team will be in New Jersey for the Princeton Farnsworth Ivy Plus Invitational on Friday while others will be competing at the same time in the UVA Ranked 1+1 event in Charlottesville, Virginia.
Mario Rincon, head coach, has another young group lined up this season with five sophomores, one freshman and three juniors making up the roster. Last year’s team boasted seven freshmen and rival ACC opponents took advantage of the collective inexperience. The Hurricanes went 1-12 overall against ACC teams and lost seven consecutive matches to close the season.
Although the 2014-15 season wasn’t kind to the men’s team, the group gained significant experience that should lead to a much improved squad this year.
Watch members of the women’s team compete in the Miami Fall Invite this weekend at the Neil Schiff Tennis Center.