Journey to the
Injuries, inexperience and a demanding schedule took their toll on the Lady
Cougars Tennis Team. The team finished 10-11 in dual matches under second year Head Coach Cathy Beene, including a 4-4 mark against Southwest
The Lady Cougars faced seven teams
which were ranked in the nation's top 20
in the season. Beene defended her strategy of schedule top-caliber competition.
"We're going to get better by playing top
teams," she said.
The team lost dual meets against
Trinity, Duke, Pepperdine, Brigham
Young, SMU and Texas, finished fourth
in its host tournament, the Cougar Classic, and lost to TCU in the first round of
the Southwest Conference Tournament.
The team leader was senior Kathy
Foxworth, a preseason Ail-American.
Foxworth compiled a 23-8 overall record
in singles play, including a 12-4 mark in
dual meets, and was ranked 21st in the
nation at season's end. She posted some
impressive wins early in the season
against several nationally ranked players
while playing in the #1 singles position.
In a dual match against Texas on
March 30, Foxworth battled UT's Anne
Grousbeck, ranked third in the nation
among collegians at the time, for three
exciting sets. After losing the first set 6-
3, Foxworth used her serve and volley
game to win a second set tiebreaker and
even the match before losing a close final
Unfortunately a nagging back injury
continued to hamper her play and ultimately forced her to miss three weeks
late in the season. She returned in time
for the Southwest Conference Tournament but was not at top form in a 6-2, 7-
6 loss to TCU's Rene Simpson.
Foxworth finished her career with a
first round loss in the NCAA Championships. Her 70-18 career singles record represents the third highest number of wins ever by a player. She has
since turned professional.
In addition to her impressive singles
record, Foxworth teamed with junior
Stina Almgren to form one of the nation's best collegiate doubles teams. The
two combined for a 13-2 doubles record
in dual meets and were ranked as high as
fifth in the nation during the season.
Almgren, a native of Sweden who enjoyed remarkable success as a freshman
two years ago, was battling back from a
shoulder injury that had sidelined her
for most of the 1987 season.
"Not having played very much my
sophomore year made me mentally
rusty," she said. "It's kind of frustrating
because you know that you can play a lot
Almgren compiled an 11-10 singles
dual meet record. Her record suffered
when Foxworth was out of the lineup
because Almgren was forced to take her
place as the #1 singles player and consistently go up against the opposing
school's top player. After compiling a 10-
6 record playing #2 singles, she was only
1-4 as the lead player.
Foxworth's injury affected the entire
team. Not only were they missing their
on-and-off-court leader and a player
who could usually be counted on for two
victories (singles and doubles) in a dual
168 University of Houston
meet, but her absence forced each player
to move a notch and face tougher competition.
Two players who moved up in class to
help the Lady Cougars were sophomores
Candy Diepraam and Brigitte St. Hi-
Diepraam, whose parents are both
teaching tennis professionals, won seven
matches in a row late in the season to
boost her dual meet record to 12-8 while
playing #3 and #4 singles.
St. Hilaire finished with a 12-9 mark,
but her improvement through the season
did not escape Coach Beene's notice.
"She's playing a lot more consistent
than she did earlier (in the year)," Beene
said after St. Hilaire defeated TCU's
Kris Clevengeth in the first round of the
Southwest Conference Tournament.
Freshmen Laura Hudson and Jenny
Mainz gained valuable experience during
their first collegiate season. Hudson
played #3 and #2 singles and compiled a
9-12 dual match record which included
the loss of four three-set matches.
Mainz, meanwhile, won three of her last
seven matches, all but one of which were
three-setters, to finish with a 7-14 record.
Freshman, Beth Disel, failed to win a
set in her five matches.
During the offseason, Beene signed
several new players who should be able
to help the returning nucleus next year.
Among the newcomers are experience
transfers from Texas A&M and Texas
— San Antonio.
— Mark Vinson
Cougar freshman Jenny Mainz displays a winning
form as she completes a match against Southwest
Texas State's Tracy Martin. Mainz won the match
in three sets. Photo by Richard Schmidt.