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Women’s Tennis Set for Season Opener Monday Against Sam Houston State

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EDINBURG – The University of Texas Rio Grande Valley (UTRGV) women’s tennis team is set to open its 2019 spring dual match season on Monday as it faces off against Sam Houston State University at 11 a.m. at the Orville Cox Tennis Center.

Admission is free and fans are encouraged to attend. The Orville Cox Tennis Center is located in the southeast corner of the Edinburg campus.

Opening the Season at Home
• Monday’s season opener is just the third one at home since 2008.
• The last season opener at the Orville Cox Tennis Center was on January 21, 2015 when the University of Maryland Baltimore County defeated UTRGV 4-3.
• UMBC’s head coach in 2015, Rob Hubbard, is Sam Houston State’s head coach this season. Hubbard is an alum of legacy institution University of Texas-Pan American.
• UTRGV is 1-1 in season openers at home since 2008 with the last win coming on January 19, 2008 when it defeated the College of the Southwest 7-0.

All-Time Series
• UTRGV is 8-15 all-time vs. Sam Houston State.
• Sam Houston State won last year’s meeting 4-3 in Huntsville.
• The last time UTRGV defeated Sam Houston State was back on Jan. 15, 2015 when it won 4-3 in Huntsville.
• UTRGV has lost the last two meetings.

Excitement for the Season Opener
• UTRGV has four freshmen making their collegiate debuts on Monday in Ana Platisa, Sandra Putz, Katarina Sasaroga, and Nethmi Waduge.
• Senior Michelle Walker will also be making her debut with UTRGV.
• This will be the first time the incoming group and the returners will play as a unit.

“I think there is a lot of excitement,” UTRGV head coach Sonia Hahn said. “With the freshman there is a little bit of anxiety because they have never experienced a team match. I know they are all looking forward to playing together as a team and getting the season going.”

No Pressure After Stellar 2018
• UTRGV is looking to rcoming off of a 2018 season where it was crowned Western Athletic Conference regular season champions.
• UTRGV took home six WAC awards at last year’s WAC Tennis Banquet. Dominique Ibarra and Anastasia Belyaeva were named to the All-WAC First Team in singles with Lasya Patnaik earning All-WAC Second Team singles honors.
• Belyaeva and Patnaik teamed up to earn All-WAC First Team honors in doubles with Dominique Esparza and Doris Aleksovska taking home All-WAC Second Team doubles honors.
• Head Coach Sonia Hahn was named WAC Coach of the Year after guiding UTRGV to a perfect 5-0 WAC record and a 10-0 record at home, which are the most home wins in a season in program history.

“I don’t think there is pressure,” Hahn said. “I think they understand the concept of a new year and it’s great to have all of these achievements that we had last year but we can’t rely on that for this year. They will look at it as momentum to start the new season. They know it’s a whole new different team and it’s a whole different year and they are going to have to be prepared.”

Upcoming Schedule
• Jan. 19 @ Baylor – 4 p.m.
• Feb. 4 @ Texas A&M-Corpus Christi – 2 p.m.
• Feb. 8 @ Texas A&M-Kingsville – 2 p.m.
• Feb. 10 vs. Lamar – 11 a.m.
• Feb. 16 @ TCU – 1 p.m.

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