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Old Mar 6th, 2014, 04:19 AM   #1
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Despoina Vogasari

I think this article is really nice. I am very happy for her. I debated for a while whether or not I should make a thread for her since I knew she was going to play college tennis, but she is doing really well and she plans on turning pro after graduating, so why not start now and track her progress

I'm also expecting her to keep playing ITF tournaments during the summer and also the off-season like last year when she played those two challengers in America and almost took a set off Maria Sanchez

For those of you who don't know, Despoina was a very promising player for Greece. She played on the Fed Cup team last year, when she was just 17 and a few spots away from cracking the top 500. Instead, she decided to play college tennis at the University of Houston, where she was awarded a full scholarship combined based on her tennis skills and academic skills

She is joined there by fellow Greek Eleni Kordolaimi (in her third year there) who she plays doubles with. Despoina is from the Athens area and is 18 (born July 1995). Her current WTA singles ranking is 645 which is very impressive especially since she has only played two events since June. She has won two 10K singles titles in her career and one 10K doubles. She's been a runner-up at 10K's in singles three times and in doubles four times. She also has numerous semis, etc.



Talented freshman grows into better teammate
Freshman Despoina Vogasari went from playing for herself to cheering for teammates during her six months at UH.


The decision whether to go pro or play a collegiate sport didn’t come easy for Despoina Vogasari.

After growing up in Athens, Greece, Vogasari, 17, debated whether to begin her professional career or put it on hold by attending UH to strengthen her athletic ability and obtain a college degree.

But the decision did not rest solely on her shoulders; her parents and brother helped her make the transition to the United States.

“It was a really tough time, because it was like a life decision, and they were really supportive, and they helped me through a lot, and they supported me, and they told me that ‘We’re with you — anything you choose, we’re going back to you up 100 percent,’” Vogasari said.

In the last two weeks, Vogasari said, she has made her family proud with her continued success. She was named American Athletic Conference Freshman of the Week and American Athletic Conference Tennis Player of the Week for the second time in as many weeks.

“It feels really, really good. It’s a big honor. I’m satisfied with the way I’m playing, but it’s not enough for me. I will try my best throughout the rest of the season, and I hope I win more of those,” Vogasari said.

But the transition to team sports was difficult for her at first.

Vogasari spent time playing individual tennis tournaments before she arrived at UH, which made her struggle to become a team player. For her first six months at UH, she said, she thought only about herself and what she needed to do to win. Team captain and senior Celia Fraser said she has already noticed a change in Vogasari.

“Being on court next to her, I could hear her cheering for me between both courts, and it was a great feeling being a senior and just knowing that your freshmen have bought into what you’re trying to do, and everyone is heading toward the same goal,” Fraser said.

Head coach Patrick Sullivan has experience coaching players who have had some of the same skills as Vogasari. He coached two No. 1 players who started their winning streaks with a successful freshman season.

“Luckily I’ve been down this road before. She’s great, and I think she’s talented if not more talented than those other two, but she’s got a long way to go before she can get her picture on the walls as an All-American. Great start, we’re really proud of her, but she’s got a way higher ceiling than what she’s done so far,” Sullivan said. “She’s had a good first 25 percent to her first year.”

While the team and Sullivan have noticed positive changes in her performance, Sullivan said she is still working on her fitness and mental toughness. Assistant Director of Sports Performance Kiara Pulliam in the weight room has been an asset to Vogasari by helping her get in shape.

“She is very tough, but it’s a matter of getting her to be tough and focused for a long period of time. I’ve seen her be as tough as anyone I’ve ever coached, man or woman; I’ve seen her have 15 minutes of toughness, tougher than anyone I’ve ever coached, but I’ve never seen her have two hours straight of toughness. A tennis match is a marathon,” Sullivan said.

“A lot of it is physical, but at least half the game is mental. If we can get her to keep on continuing to make strides physically and then focusing for longer than 15 minutes, focusing from the beginning to the end of a match, there’s no limit to what she can accomplish.”

sports@thedailycougar.com


Link to article:http://thedailycougar.com/2014/02/26...tter-teammate/
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Old Mar 6th, 2014, 04:21 AM   #2
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Re: Despoina Vogasari

Sullivan’s squad focuses on game, not glory

Valentine’s Day wasn’t on the Cougars’ minds as they faced Kansas on Friday and Mississippi State on Sunday. The team was concentrating on giving their best effort, which concluded with a weekend win and loss.

Kansas seized a 4-3 victory, but UH rebounded to defeat Mississippi State 5-2 to improve its season record to 5-1.

“Our main focus (was) to be focused on that and that alone — not any accolades that we’ve recently gotten or anything like that, but just focus on the task at hand,” said head coach Patrick Sullivan. “It’s nice to have a ranking, but it goes away in a heartbeat if you don’t take care of business.”

The accolades include the team being ranked No. 66 nationally along with two of its players. Junior Elena Kordolaimi is ranked 122nd and freshman Despoina Vogasari is ranked 125th in singles play.

“Obviously it’s a start, and it’s a good start, but that’s nothing compared to what my goals are. I mean it’s good. I feel really good about my tennis right now, but I think I can be even higher, and I’ll just try for the best until the end of the season,” Vogasari said. “I don’t have a number, but my goal is just to be the best that I can be.”


The team hasn’t been in the national spotlight since 2002, when it was ranked No. 61. Nor has it seen two players with national rankings in the past 29 years. Sophomore Maria Andrea Cardenas said it’s great to be part of this success.

“We have a great opportunity to (have) the best year we’ve had — well this school has had — in so long,” Cardenas said. “I think we’ve been doing it so far, so let’s just keep it up, and I think you’ll be seeing us a lot more in the headlines.”

In Sullivan’s second year as head coach, he has recruited ranked classes and supported his players on and off the John E. Hoff Tennis Courts; some players aspire to go pro and others to excel on the collegiate stage before beginning corporate careers. Sullivan said all the credit for an early successful season goes to his players.

“My job is really easy. I’ve got high-character talented girls out there. … As long as I keep them happy, healthy and fit, they’re going to go out there and win matches,” Sullivan said. “I expected this, and I expect more in the future. Really, our No. 1 priority is to take care of our bodies and take care of business in the classroom and be able to come out here and compete.”

sports@thedailycougar.com

Link:http://thedailycougar.com/2014/02/18...ame-not-glory/
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Lisicki. Paszek. Vesnina. Pavlyuchenkova. Cornet.
Stephens. Oudin. King. Vandeweghe. McHale.
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Old Mar 8th, 2014, 05:46 AM   #3
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Re: Despoina Vogasari

Some photos:








With Jaeger (SUI)


With Angeliki Kairi


Despoina in the middle, with Grammatikopoulou, Stefanou, ?, and Christopoulou






Her first ITF title (10K Mytilini 2012)












Throwbacks:








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Azarenka. Krajicek. Flipkens. Pironkova. Begu.
Lisicki. Paszek. Vesnina. Pavlyuchenkova. Cornet.
Stephens. Oudin. King. Vandeweghe. McHale.
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Old Mar 10th, 2014, 04:42 AM   #4
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Re: Despoina Vogasari







































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Eleni Daniilidou 2014

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Azarenka. Krajicek. Flipkens. Pironkova. Begu.
Lisicki. Paszek. Vesnina. Pavlyuchenkova. Cornet.
Stephens. Oudin. King. Vandeweghe. McHale.
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Old Mar 12th, 2014, 06:26 AM   #5
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Re: Despoina Vogasari

More great news
Despoina received her highest college tennis ranking this week, as she's #80
She should go up more and she's just in her first season

She was also named conference player of the week for the third time this season. She is the first player from her school to ever receive the award three times in her career, let alone in her first year, and the season is not even halfway done

She is 12-1 in singles so far this season, with all of her matches at the #1 singles position. Her only loss was in a tight match against the #16 player in the nation



Her coach said some good words about her on Saturday (her American nickname is Debbie, so that's who he's referring to)
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Wickmayer. Venus. Ivanovic. Cirstea. Halep.
Azarenka. Krajicek. Flipkens. Pironkova. Begu.
Lisicki. Paszek. Vesnina. Pavlyuchenkova. Cornet.
Stephens. Oudin. King. Vandeweghe. McHale.
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Old Mar 14th, 2014, 05:40 AM   #6
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Re: Despoina Vogasari

Some of the photos of her from U of H were those from the team's website or FB page?

I didn't see any credits.
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Old Mar 18th, 2014, 06:03 AM   #7
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Re: Despoina Vogasari

Quote:
Originally Posted by tie_breaker View Post
Some of the photos of her from U of H were those from the team's website or FB page?

I didn't see any credits.
Team website

http://www.uhcougars.com/view.gal?id=154174
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Eleni Daniilidou 2014

Wickmayer. Venus. Ivanovic. Cirstea. Halep.
Azarenka. Krajicek. Flipkens. Pironkova. Begu.
Lisicki. Paszek. Vesnina. Pavlyuchenkova. Cornet.
Stephens. Oudin. King. Vandeweghe. McHale.
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Old Jul 16th, 2014, 01:39 AM   #8
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Re: Despoina Vogasari

It's been a while since I've updated this thread

Despoina led her team into the NCAA tournament (they lost in the first round). She was named "Freshman of the Year" in the conference

She hasn't done much in the few ITFs she's played this year. Her highlights so far were being a finalist at a doubles 10K in Egypt and also reaching the QF of a 10K in singles



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Eleni Daniilidou 2014

Wickmayer. Venus. Ivanovic. Cirstea. Halep.
Azarenka. Krajicek. Flipkens. Pironkova. Begu.
Lisicki. Paszek. Vesnina. Pavlyuchenkova. Cornet.
Stephens. Oudin. King. Vandeweghe. McHale.
Grammatikopoulou ~ Papamichail ~ Sakkari
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Old Jul 16th, 2014, 01:39 AM   #9
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Re: Despoina Vogasari

Despoina is the one on the bottom of the screen here in this short clip taken by TF user fantic:


This is a cool video where we see some footage of Despoina playing, talking, and even dancing


NCAA selection show and her thoughts. Her reaction at the beginning is priceless
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Eleni Daniilidou 2014

Wickmayer. Venus. Ivanovic. Cirstea. Halep.
Azarenka. Krajicek. Flipkens. Pironkova. Begu.
Lisicki. Paszek. Vesnina. Pavlyuchenkova. Cornet.
Stephens. Oudin. King. Vandeweghe. McHale.
Grammatikopoulou ~ Papamichail ~ Sakkari
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Old Jul 25th, 2014, 02:49 AM   #10
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Re: Despoina Vogasari

WOW, good job Despoina!

Vogasari Defends Singles Championship in Egypt
Vogasari won the Jolie Golf F27 Women's Open for the second straight summer
July 21, 2014



SHARM EL SHEIKH, Egypt--- University of Houston sophomore Despoina Vogasari dazzled the competition over the weekend, as she claimed the Jolie Ville Golf F27 Women's Open singles championship for the second straight summer, Sunday afternoon in Egypt.

Vogasari competed as an amateur in the event and won five consecutive matches to claim the event's singles title, after defeating Ukraine's Valeriya Strakhova 7-5, 6-0 in the championship match. The win marks Vogasari's first professional title of the summer and the third of her career.

"It's a wonderful feeling when your hard work pays off," said Vogasari. "I am extremely satisfied with my results this week. I played some very tough opponents and managed to stay focused all week."

"In the championship match I started strong and left nothing to chance. I fought for every point until the very end."

In addition to the personal success, Vogasari's championship marks Houston's fourth title of the summer, with senior teammate Elena Kordolaimi taking home a singles title on July 7, while also claiming doubles championships on June 8 and June 1. All four Cougar championships this summer have come in Sharm El Sheikh, Egypt.

Kordolaimi also competed in this weekend's event, as she defeated Elaine Genovese (Malta), 6-1, 6-0 in the opening round before dropping a tough 6-3, 7-6(6) decision to Italy's Valeria Prosperi in the second round.

Vogasari and Kordolaimi both had success in the doubles portion of the tournament, as the UH tandem put together two straight wins before falling to the eventual champions, Michelle Sammons (South Africa) and Clothilde De Bernardi (France), 6-1, 6-3 in the semifinals.

VOGASARI SINGLES RESULTS

First Round- Despoina Vogasari (Greece) def. No. 748 Michelle Sammons (South Africa), 6-1, 6-1
Second Round- Despoina Vogasari (Greece) def. No. 1034 Natalija Sipek (Slovenia), 6-1, 4-6, 6-3
Quarterfinals- Despoina Vogasari (Greece) def. No. 636 Naomi Totka (Hungary), 6-2, 6-1
Semifinals- Despoina Vogasari (Greece) def. No. 745 Ilze Hattingh (South Africa), 6-2, 6-3
Championship- Despoina Vogasari (Greece) def. No. 770 Valeriya Strakhova (Ukraine), 7-5, 6-0



Source:http://www.uhcougars.com/sports/w-te...072114aaa.html
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Eleni Daniilidou 2014

Wickmayer. Venus. Ivanovic. Cirstea. Halep.
Azarenka. Krajicek. Flipkens. Pironkova. Begu.
Lisicki. Paszek. Vesnina. Pavlyuchenkova. Cornet.
Stephens. Oudin. King. Vandeweghe. McHale.
Grammatikopoulou ~ Papamichail ~ Sakkari
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Old Jul 25th, 2014, 02:52 AM   #11
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Re: Despoina Vogasari

Cool feature on Despoina about her life off the court fromhttp://www.uhcougars.com/sports/w-te...033114aaa.html

Getting to Know Despoina Vogasari

UHCougars.com: What is your favorite thing to do when you’re not on the tennis court?
Vogasari: This is easy, shopping! I love shopping, maybe a little too much.


UHCougars.com: Are you an online shopper or would you rather shop in person?
Vogasari: I would definitely rather shop in person. It’s hard to trust the Internet. I need to make sure I like what I’m getting before I buy it.


UHCougars.com: What is your worst habit?
Vogasari: Spending too much money when I shop. I tend to get into a lot of trouble for that.


UHCougars.com: Who is the best dancer on the team?
Vogasari: Maria (Cardenas) for sure! She dances to everything, anywhere, at any time.


UHCougars.com: Who is the funniest person on the team?
Vogasari: Well after me? I think it would probably have to be Celia (Fraser). She just has this ironic sense of humor that cracks everyone up.


UHCougars.com: If you could trade lives with one person on the team for one day, who would it be?
Vogasari: I would trade lives with coach (Daniel) Whitehead. I just want to see what it’s like to be a coach. I think it would be fun.


UHCougars.com: What’s your favorite television show?
Vogasari: Friends


UHCougars.com: What’s your favorite sport to watch?
Vogasari: Even though I’m still learning the rules, I would say football. I mean American football, not soccer.


UHCougars.com: Who is your favorite athlete?
Vogasari: Assistant coach Stephanie Wooten


UHCougars.com: What is your absolute dream job?
Vogasari: I’m not sure what corporation I want to run, but I want to be the owner of a very big and successful corporation. I want to be a successful businesswoman.


UHCougars.com: What is your favorite junk food to eat?
Vogasari: Cheeseburgers


UHCougars.com: What is your favorite place you’ve ever traveled to?
Vogasari: Dubai, it’s absolutely beautiful there.


UHCougars.com: What is one place you really want to travel to?
Vogasari: I really want to go to Hawaii. I hope to go there very soon.


UHCougars.com: If you could play one sport other than tennis, what would it be?
Vogasari: So I know I’m short, so don’t laugh. I think volleyball would be really fun to play though.


UHCougars.com: Do you have a favorite artist or band you like to listen to?
Vogasari: Gosh that’s tough. I really like pop music. I love listening to anything Whitney Houston or Celine Dion does.


UHCougars.com: What is your favorite memory of the season so far?
Vogasari: Beating Tulsa. That was a huge win for us.


UHCougars.com: What do you enjoy most about college so far?
Vogasari: I like doing a bunch of different things. I enjoy going to class and then being able to practice afterward. I really just like hanging out with my friends and being independent.
__________________
Eleni Daniilidou 2014

Wickmayer. Venus. Ivanovic. Cirstea. Halep.
Azarenka. Krajicek. Flipkens. Pironkova. Begu.
Lisicki. Paszek. Vesnina. Pavlyuchenkova. Cornet.
Stephens. Oudin. King. Vandeweghe. McHale.
Grammatikopoulou ~ Papamichail ~ Sakkari
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