Laura Vallverdu Headlines Three Hurricanes in ITA Top 50

Women's tennis well-represented in preseason ranking by the ITA

Laura Vallverdu is amongst four Hurricanes present in the ITA preseason poll

Sept. 8, 2008

Skillman, N.J. - Two-time All-American Laura Vallverdu was amongst four University of Miami women's tennis players announced to the preseason rankings by the Intercollegiate Tennis Association (ITA) on Monday evening from the home office in Skillman, N.J.

Laura Vallverdu (No. 14), sophomore transfer Julia Cohen (No. 25), sophomore Michaela Kissell (No. 49) and sophomore Bianca Eichkorn (No. 109) were amongst the Hurricanes ranked in the preseason Top 125.

A two-time All-American and All-ACC performer on the court, Vallverdu won 31 matches in the No. 1 singles position for the Hurricanes during the 2007-08 campaign, becoming just the third player in program history to have recorded at least 30 singles wins in back-to-back seasons. Through her sophomore year, Vallverdu has more career singles wins (63) than any player in UM history. She finished last season ranked 17th in the country and fourth in the South Region.

Julia Cohen, a first-year transfer from the University of Florida, enters the season ranked No. 25 for the Hurricanes after serving as the No. 1 singles player for the Gators in 2007-08. She finished the 2008 season ranked No. 32 in the ITA in singles play, as well as helping the Gators to a No. 6 national ranking heading into last season's NCAA Tournament semifinals.

Michaela Kissell, a talented 5-foot-8 sophomore, enters the season with her first preseason ranking, making her season debut at No. 49--marking the third UM player to slip into the Top 50. As for rising sophomore Kissell, a Hostetter, Pa. native, split time between the No. 2 and No. 3 positions for Miami in 2007-08. She ended the season with a record of 18-10 overall, 12-7 in dual match play. Kissell joined Vallverdu in the final ITA singles rankings, coming in at No. 64 overall and No. 13 in the South Region.



Fellow classmate Bianca Eichkorn follows suit to round-out the rankings for the `Canes with a showing at No. 109 in the preseason. Eichkorn finished the 2007-08 campaign with a record of 29-8 in singles play, including a 14-4 mark at the No. 4 position for the `Canes. She would finish 8-2 in Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC play), and collected a 21-12 doubles record overall.

In doubles action, the team of Vallverdu and Kissell enter ranked No. 15 in the preseason, the duo combined for an ITA Summer Championship earlier in August at the Indiana University Varsity Tennis Center in Bloomington. This also marked the first time the two Hurricanes partnered with each other for a tournament title.

The University of Miami Hurricanes women's tennis squad will open up its fall season Sept. 19-21 at the William & Mary Invitational in Williamsburg, Va.

Related Stories