Reigning Conference USA Coach of the Year, Jonatan Berhane, is ready to lead the WKU Tennis team for the fourth campaign. The squad kicks off the season in the Air Force Invitational at the U.S. Air Force Academy in Colorado on Friday. The two day event will feature eight total teams.

WKU enters the new campaign after a record setting 2016-17 season. The squad posted a 13-6 overall record, the sixth-most wins in school history, while also defeating C-USA foe Middle Tennessee for the first time since 1989. Pairings will be announced on as soon as they are released.

Joining the team for the first time this season will be freshman Moka Ito, a highly touted recruit from Japan, while Elpida Malamou returns to the Red and White as a graduate student with a year of eligibility remaining.

Malamou was named singles first-team all-conference last season after tallying 14 wins and defeating an ITA Top-125 ranked opponent during the C-USA tournament.

Also returning to the team is senior Violetta Shatalova and sophomores Natalia De Ugarte, Monica Malinen and Cindy Oest. Malinen earned an 11-6 record, securing second-team all-conference honors while De Ugarte and Oest earned doubles third-team all-conference status as a pair.

This weekend’s tournament features seven other squads including Denver, Northern Colorado, Southern Utah, Arkansas State, Montana State, Air Force and Power 5 representative, Arizona. Play will begin from the Academy at 9 a.m. CT both days. Day one competition will consist of one round of doubles and two singles sessions while the Lady Toppers will play two doubles rounds to open day two before closing weekend action with another set of singles play.

How to follow the Lady Toppers: For complete information on WKU Tennis, follow the team on Twitter at @WKUTennis.



Dana Brown
Media Relations Assistant