BOWLING GREEN, Ky. – Head Coach WKU Tennis Greg davis announced five incoming players for the Lady Toppers class of 2021.
Sofia Blanco / Caracas, Venezuela
Sofia Cerezo / Madrid, Spain
Rachel Hermanova / Czech Republic
Paola Cortez / Cochabamba, Bolivia / Kennesaw State
Taylor Shaw / Little Rock, Arkansas / State of Missouri
“I wanted to build a more thorough team,” said Davis. “Looking at the national title teams that I had, I felt like we had the opportunity to win and succeed at nine positions – six singles, three doubles – and that was the goal of the group that we have. “
Sofia blanco comes to The Hill from Caracas, Venezuela, where she was ranked # 1 nationally. She is currently ranked No. 514 of the ITF (International Tennis Federation) and has a UTR of 8.60 (Universal Tennis Rating). She has competed in singles and doubles tournaments in Venezuela, as well as in many countries in South and Central America. Blanco earned a cumulative GPA of 3.6 while studying at Mater Salvatoris. His sister Carmen played in Ball State and Alabama, while his brother Carlos played in college at the University of Findlay.
Sofia cerezo is originally from Madrid, Spain, and will begin his career with the Lady Toppers after an impressive resume. She reached the 65th place in the Spanish Open, beating six players who ultimately won college scholarships. She is a three-time regional champion in singles and national finalist in doubles. Cerezo also helped his regional team win back-to-back championships in 2017 and 2018, as well as a national runner-up in 2017.
Rachel Hermanova is originally from the Czech Republic, but has spent the previous two years in Spain, training at the Sanchez-Casal Tennis Academy. His biggest singles achievements at the ITF J5 level are a second place finish in El Salvador, as well as semi-final appearances in Panama and Costa Rica. She also recorded doubles finalists in Panama and the Canary Islands. Hermanova graduated from ES International School with a GPA of 3.54 and plans to study journalism at WKU in order to become a TV presenter.
Paola Cortez will play her first year at WKU after transferring from Kennesaw State, where she played two seasons for the Owls. In doubles, she has a career 7-11 record in first place and a 2-2 record in second. She also gained experience competing at # 1, 2 and 3 in singles. Hailing from Cochabamba, Bolivia, Cortez ranked 415th in the ITF while posting a 10.52 UTR. won eight singles and doubles titles in ITF junior career. She played for Bolivia in the WTA Fed Cup and won her singles match against Peru.
Taylor shaw is an inbound transfer from Missouri state, where she played two seasons for the Bears. In her freshman in 2019-20, she combined for a 7-7 singles record in the fall and spring competitions. In doubles matches, she recorded a 4-5 record at positions 3 and 4. In her sophomore year in 2020-21, she continued to play at the same places in singles. Shaw grew up in Little Rock, Arkansas, and was the # 1 rookie in the state in 2019. She helped lead Little Rock Christian Academy to three conference championships. As a junior, she finished second in the state.
The five newcomers will join the returning players Laura Bernardo, Alexis Cramer, Samantha martinez and Cora-Lynn von Dungern to compose the 2021-22 team. The WKU Fall Competition Schedule will be announced in the coming months.