No big deal. Just hitting with Martina Navratilova
“Meeting Martina Navratilova today was amazing and a once in a lifetime experience. You don’t get the privilege to meeting tennis celebrities very often, and for sure no one of the caliber of Martina. She is a legend and a great ambassadress of tennis. She was very nice and charismatic, which made it a hard to forget experience.” –Senior Melissa Bolivar
Yolimar Ogando has signed a National Letter of Intent to play tennis at the University of Miami, head coach Paige Yaroshuk-Tews announced Tuesday.
“Yolimar will be a wonderful addition to our program,” head coach Paige Yaroshuk-Tews said. “She comes to us with a wealth of experience that is only going to grow in the upcoming year. Her personality will be a great fit with the team and her aspirations match those of our coaching staff. The future will be bright for this Cane!”
Ogando comes to Miami after spending this past year at the Harold Solomon Tennis Institute in Ft. Lauderdale, Fla., considered one of the nation’s premier training facilities that has developed numerous players that have gone on to play at top-level universities.
Ogando was ranked the 24th-best player nationally and the No. 2 player in Puerto Rico in the class of 2014, according to the Tennis Recruiting Network’s Babolat recruiting list. Ogando has represented Puerto Rico in the Fed Cup with her teammate and friend Monica Puig, ranked the No. 1 player in Puerto Rico and 44th in the WTA professional rankings.
In the past few months, Ogando has captured wins over multiple top-80 opponents in the ITF junior rankings. At the highly-regarded USTA Pan-American ITF Junior Tennis Championship at the University of Tulsa this past fall, Ogando reached the quarterfinals before falling to the 11th-ranked junior in the world, Tornado Alicia Black.
As a result of her success, Ogando has been selected by the Central American & Caribbean Tennis Confederation (COTECC) to represent her region and travel around to some of the most prestigious tournaments in 2013.
Ogando will join the Hurricanes in the fall of 2014.
Over the course of the next few weeks leading into the fall season, HurricaneSports.com will feature members of the women’s tennis team for a special summer series.
This week’s women’s tennis player in the spotlight is sophomore Deborah Suarez. The Weston, Fla. native finished the spring season with an 11-1 singles record and continued on her success into the summer months. Suarez competed in an ITA Summer Circuit Event last month where she advanced all the way to the singles semifinals.
My favorite part of summer is that I get to be at home with my family, dogs, and friends - things I usually don’t get to do during the school year.
During the first part of summer, I played in tournaments. For the second half, I was doing summer school, practicing and working at tennis camp
Outside of training and practicing during the summer, I really enjoyed doing yoga, reading, hanging out with friends at the beach or pool, and going to the gym.
This summer I traveled with my teammate Britt and another friend, Edmee, to tournaments. It was an amazing experience, and we met a lot of fantastic people.
In the beginning of the summer we went to Hilton Head, S.C.
A couple of weeks later we went to Bethany Beach, Del. and then finally to Buffalo, N.Y. In Bethany Beach, we were lucky enough to get housing through the tournament - we went to the beach and also went to a fair. We had a road trip for nine hours traveling from Bethany Beach to Buffalo.The first few days in Buffalo we stayed at a hotel, and then once again we were fortunate enough to receive housing. When we were in Buffalo, we went to see Niagara Falls. After the tournament was over, Britt and I traveled to NYC for three days and explored New York. We went to a lot of places and also went to see a Broadway show called “Potted Potter”.
During the second half of the summer, I was at UM taking summer classes, lifting, training, running and working at the camp. I also went to another tournament which was an ITA at Texas A&M. The ITA tournament was only three days long so it went by really fast, but I got to spend time with my family that lives there.
I was able to spend some time at the Hurricane Tennis camps as well.Teaching the young tennis players was an amazing experience. I really learned a lot working by Lau, Paige, and other teammates. Teaching kids to play tennis is something I definitely enjoy, and I love watching them have so much fun.
CORAL GABLES, Fla. - Throughout the course of the next few weeks, we will hear from members of the women’s tennis team and find out what each of them have been up to since the completion of the spring semester in April.
First up in the series is Canes sophomore Kelsey Laurente, who is coming off of a spring season in which she went 13-10 and finished as the nation’s 81st-ranked singles player.
In the past, my summers have been filled with tournaments like it was this past fall and spring. I guess previously, my favorite part of summertime was being at tennis camp with other kids. Being outside from morning to night, training hard and having fun at the same time. Although I had my own private group to train with, it was nice to see and be around young kids.
For the first week of summer I just relaxed, but then I got back to training hard with my private coach down in Kendall and played two professional tournaments in Delaware and Buffalo, N.Y. Luckily, I was with my best friend Nicole Robinson. We had a blast. It wasn’t like the other tournaments I have been to because I didn’t have to be concerned with school, and was able to have time outside of tennis and school, which was amazing.
There isn’t much outside of training and practicing because that’s what I love to do. When it gets to be too much, I get away from it but it doesn’t take me long to get right back to training. I also enjoy other hobbies including playing the piano, swimming, playing volleyball or just going outside and doing things other than tennis.
While I was in Buffalo it kind of turned into a vacation. It started with the place we were staying. We were housed by Shari, a mother of four children who also had a dog and a cute kitten. I also went to Niagara Falls with Nikki and my new friend Brooke, and had tons of fun.
In the beginning of my summer I was able to train with my private coach and do some CrossFit training. Now, my coaches are able to provide me with a program and I am able to train with some of my teammates, work out in the gym, as well as running too—which is amazing.
Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to work any of our Hurricane Tennis camps this summer because I took a summer class in the middle of training camp. I was able to pass by the kids from time to time and they are so nice and filled with energy it’s sad I wasn’t able to help out.
Former Hurricane Laura Vallverdu was named the assistant women’s tennis coach at the University of Miami yesterday. Read the full release, here: