Women’s Tennis: Samara Announces Additions

  • By Brian Kuppelweiser
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  • April 19, 2012 12:31 PM
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MORGANTOWN, W. Va. – West Virginia University women’s tennis coach Tina Samara announced today the addition of three student-athletes for the 2012-13 season.

Vivian Tsui (British Columbia, Canada) and Irina Toidze (Tbilisi, Georgia) have each signed national letters of intent, while former Louisiana-Lafayette player Audrey Wooland (Sugar Land, Texas) will join the WVU roster. The trio will join November signee Hailey Barrett (Lansing, Mich.) to round out Samara’s second recruiting class with the Mountaineers.

“One thing we felt was very important for this recruiting class was that each player bring a very high level of work ethic,” said Samara. “We are going to see a very different type of team in just one year. We finally feel that the program is going in the direction we want it to go. We will have this new group of kids as well as Lea (Jansen), Emily (Mathis), Ikttesh (Chahal) and Jade (Allen). Also, we must remember that Audrey and Lea are two girls that aren’t freshmen. They have each played multiple years of college tennis already. Those two are not coming raw or green – they are ready to step into a leadership role, which is very important.”

Tsui, who was rated as high as the 10th-best player in Canada, held a junior ranking of No. 1 in both the 15-16 and 17-18 age groups. In addition, Tsui has been a member of team British Columbia every year since 2006. During her prep career, Tsui competed in the finals of the BC Provincials in both singles and doubles, while also being named her team’s most valuable player. Academically, Tsui has maintained a 4.0 GPA and is ranked in the top five of her class.

“Vivian is athletic, tall, strong and determined,” Samara said. “Once we have her on campus, we will see her improve quickly with the addition of our strength and conditioning program and great players around her on a daily basis.”

Toidze comes to the Mountaineers after holding a top-five ranking in the Republic of Georgia in the U-12, U-14, U-16 and U-18 classes. She was also ranked as highly as No. 75 as an U-14 player in Europe and later as a top-150 player in Europe as a U-16 player. Academically, Toidze will graduate her prep career with the highest possible academic honors.

“Irina is very appreciative of what we are offering,” Samara said. “In our interactions, I can tell that she is very disciplined, and that is something this team needs more of. As a player, she is going to bring a lot of consistency and a great attitude.”

Wooland, who will have one year of eligibility remaining as she transfers to WVU, sat out the 2012 spring season with the Ragin’ Cajuns. In her previous two seasons with Louisiana-Lafayette, Wooland spent the majority of her time as the team’s No. 1 singles player. During the 2010 spring season under Samara, Wooland collected a 13-8 overall record in the No. 1 singles spot, including three wins over nationally ranked opponents. In the spring of 2011, Wooland compiled an 11-7 record playing in both the No. 1 and No. 2 singles spots. In addition to her play on the court, Wooland also excels in the classroom, as she was accepted into the WVU Speech Pathology program.

“Audrey is a little different because I have coached her before,” Samara said. “She knows our system already. She was a top-100 player in the junior rankings when I recruited her, and she surprised a lot of people in her first year. With Audrey, we know what she is going to bring. She was a top 20-player in the Southern region, which is comprised of teams such as Ole Miss, Alabama, LSU and Mississippi State. That right there will give you an indication of the level of player that she is. With this being her senior year, she knows this is it, and she is going to give it her all. We expect Audrey to have an immediate impact in both singles and doubles.”

Barrett is a TennisRecruiting.net four-star student-athlete and is ranked as 119th-best player in the country, the 13th-best in the Midwest and the fourth best in the state of Michigan. In the IMG Academy RPI, Barrett holds a ranking of No. 124. As a freshman, Barrett advanced to the semifinal round of the Michigan state tennis tournament. In her sophomore year, Barrett played in the state tournament’s final round. Barrett participated in the winter and summer national championships, advanced to the final round of the Midwest Open and was named a member of the Lansing State Journal Dream Team for the past three years.

“Hailey is going to bring a lot of power and strength to the team,” Samara said. “She is close to six feet tall. We have seen her play quite a bit, and we know that she has a tremendous amount of upside. She is really receptive to coaching. She also offers a big forehand. She has a tremendous amount of potential. We really feel that Hailey is going to thrive in the college environment.”


West Virginia University Mountaineers, Tina Samara, NCAA Women's Tennis