CARY, N.C. –After four months of summer preparation, the Miami Hurricanes women’s tennis team will open its fall season Friday at the Duke Fab Four Invitational.
Competing in the first tournament of the season will be Monique Albuquerque, Kelsey Laurente, Clementina Riobueno, and Stephanie Wagner. Wagner and Laurente will team together for one Miami doubles pairing, while Albuquerque and Riobueno will join forces for another entry.
“These four have been working so hard over the summer months,” head coach Paige Yaroshuk-Tews said. “I am very excited to see what they will bring to the table here in this first tournament.”
The loaded field for the Fab Four Invite includes participants from Alabama, Florida, Furman, North Carolina, Oklahoma State, Ole Miss, Texas, Texas A&M, and William & Mary. 16 players from participating teams were ranked in the 2013 ITA Women’s Preseason Poll that came out last week, including three Hurricanes.
“To be able to start the fall season in a tournament with such a strong field is a great opportunity,” Yaroshuk-Tews added. “Normally, you get to work your way into it, but this year we are starting off right away playing against some of the best players in the nation.”
Laurente, ranked No. 54 in the preseason poll, will play her first round singles match against Stefania Hristov of Texas A&M. The left-hander from Romania was a two-time SEC Freshman of the Week in 2013 and is currently ranked No. 8 in the doubles rankings alongside partner Cristina Stancu.
Ranked No. 52 in the preseason poll, Wagner will face off against Ole Miss Julia Jones. The junior finished the 2013 spring season ranked No. 12 in the ITA South Region rankings.
A rising junior, Albuquerque will be tested in her first round match-up against University of Texas’ All-American Breaunna Addison. Last spring, the ITA Texas Rookie of the Year played in the singles semifinals of the NCAA Championship.
Miami’s 69th-ranked Riobueno will square off against Jamie Loeb of North Carolina in her opening-round tilt. Loeb is ranked No. 3 on ITA’s Preseason Freshman/Newcomer Rankings. An aggressive baseline player, Loeb joins the Tarheels after winning both the singles and doubles 18’s title at the USTA National Winter Championships in 2012.
On the doubles end, Wagner and Laurente will play their first match against Olivia Janowicz and Kourtney Keegan. Ranked No. 52 in the doubles rankings, Wagner and Laurente will see a freshman and senior duo that will be playing its first doubles match together.
Ranked No. 27 in the nation, the doubles entry featuring Albuquerque and Riobueno will open up against a pair of North Carolina players in Kate Vialle and Laura Slater. Miami’s duo finished the spring with a 16-4 record, and come into the match with an edge in experience, as Vialle and Slater will be competing for the first time together.
Play will begin on Friday at 10 a.m. with the first two rounds of doubles matches, before the singles portion gets underway at 1:30 p.m.