Sept. 14, 2011
New Orleans - Tulane Mariam Kurdadze has begun her final campaign for the Green Wave in grand style as the senior is ranked No. 121 in the preseason singles national rankings by the Intercollegiate Tennis Association.
Last season, Kurdadze was named second-team All-Conference USA after ranking tied for second on the team with a 20-14 overall singles record, including a 12-8 dual-match record at the top of the Green Wave lineup. A native of Tbilisi, Republic of Georgia, Kurdadze's 12 dual-match wins rank tied for third on the team and she was the only player to play every match in the same position.
Of her 20 singles wins, 15 came in straight sets and she held her opponent to one or fewer points twice (6-0, 6-0 vs. Carmen Nelson of Xavier-New Orleans on Jan. 29 and 6-1, 6-0 vs. Julie Mazinova of Louisiana-Lafayette on April 9). In addition, Kurdadze enjoyed a season-best four-match winning streak from Feb. 27 through March 15 and also tallied thee-match streaks on a trio of occasions.
"We're very excited for Mariam, but her preseason national ranking does not shock me in the least," Tulane head coach Terri Sisk said. "Ever since the first day she arrived on campus, she has been a tireless leader for our program in so many ways. Mariam works hard, pushes herself internally and is very motivated to make Tulane a powerhouse once again. I expect her senior year to be her best year yet and would imagine the accolades will just keep coming."
Last season, Kurdadze helped the Tulane women's tennis team to its best showing since returning to campus with a fifth place Southern Region ranking. The Green Wave chalked up an impressive 12-11 overall record, which included a mark of 7-2 against regional rivals, and was 9-4 on its home courts. Tulane completed the season by winning four of its last five contests and advancing to the quarterfinals of the 2011 Conference USA Championships.