The Missouri State women's tennis team begins the 2015 season on the road and head coach Mallory Weber, junior Ema Turudija and freshman Abbey Belote gives Bears All-Access a preview of what's in store for the team.
The Missouri State Bears tennis team plays in its first tournament on Saturday, Sept. 13, at the Drury Fall Tournament in Springfield. Coach Mallory Weber, junior Miranda Poile and sophomore Mackenzie Rozell spoke to Bears All-Access about the new era of MSU tennis.
Missouri State hired Mallory Weber as its women's tennis head coach on Feb. 28, 2014.
Weber previously served as an assistant women's tennis coach at the University of Texas at San Antonio since August 2013. While at UTSA, Weber assisted current head coach Erin Scott in a variety of areas, including running practices, instruction, communicating with recruits, and organizing team logistics.
"I wouldn't be here without the help of the great people at UTSA, and I thank them for everything," Weber said. "Coming back to the Midwest is a dream come true. I look forward to getting started at Missouri State and building the program."
Weber also gathered experience as an assistant tennis coach at Rock Bridge High School in Columbia, Mo., where she assisted legendary coach Ben Loeb's boys and girls tennis teams since 2011. She helped develop drills for practices and instructed players on strategies for matches. She also worked as a Nike Tennis Camp instructor during the summer of 2011 at Pepperdine University in Malibu, Calif.
Weber was a decorated tennis player at the University of Missouri-Columbia from 2007-2011, where she was nominated for the school's Female Athlete of the Year award as a senior and earned Academic All-Big 12 first team laurels three times from 2009-2011. She earned placement on the school's Commissioner's Honor Roll every semester during her playing career.
As a player for the Tigers, Weber compiled a career singles record of 58-57 and a doubles ledger of 54-43. She achieved a career-high doubles ranking of 43 from the International Tennis Coaches Association. Her fall 2009 campaign at Missouri was marked by receiving a No. 16 seed in the Intercollegiate Tennis Association Central Regionals in Norman, Okla. and advancing to the round of 16 before falling to the No. 2 seed.
The native of Belleville, Ill. earned her bachelor's degree in secondary education from Missouri in 2011. Her degree included an emphasis and certification in English and language arts. She is working toward a Master's degree in health and kinesiology at UTSA.
In September, the university announced it would reinstate women's tennis beginning in the 2014-2015 academic year. The program was discontinued in 2006 as part of an Athletics restructuring initiative that saw the University decrease its total number of sports from 21 to 16. The program brings MSU's current intercollegiate offerings to 17 - 14 of which participate in the Missouri Valley Conference.