WAC champion Texans add 4 freshmen to 2022-23 tennis roster

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STEPHENVILLE – Shortly after winning the Western Athletic Conference Southwest Division, the Tarleton tennis team announced Wednesday the addition of four new members.

Tarleton has added Elif Albayrak, Ximena Morales, Laure Razet and Clara Sobius to its 2022-23 roster, all freshmen.

Albayrak comes to Stephenville from Istanbul, Turkey, where she attended Celal Aras High School. Nationally, Albayrak ranks in the top-10 junior players and has a career-high International Tennis Federation ranking of 815.

“I cannot wait to see Elif compete in the purple and the white,” head coach Elianne Douglas-Miron said. “She is such an athletic player who will be able to hurt her opponent with her strengths. She comes from a very athletic-minded family and understands what it takes to win tennis matches. I know she will bring a lot of energy to the team and I am excited to see her game grow at Tarleton.”

In 2021, Albayrak was an Izmir Kulturpark ITF Junior Cup semi-finalist, plus participated in the W15 Antalya Tournament and the W15 Bulgaria Tournament.

Albayrak’s parents both graduated from Marmara University’s School of Physical Education and Sports in Istanbul. Her mother, a strong athlete on her own, is a Pilates and fitness coach, along with serving as a PE teacher. Her father was a judo player and he was Balkan champion when he was 18. Now he is a professional soccer coach at Anadoluhisari Soccer Club.

Albayrak was also a member of the music club, dance and chess teams at Celal Aras. She will major in finance at Tarleton.

Morales is from Guatemala, last attending Colegio Interamericano in Guatemala City. She was most recently 405 in the ITF Junior rankings.

“Ximena will bring a lot of match play experience to our team,” Douglas-Miron said. “A top junior in Guatemala, Ximena’s game comes with a lot of variety. Her doubles game is impressive, and her competitive energy will be contagious next year. She is definitely one to look out for.”

Morales is third in Guatemala’s U18 group. This year, she won the individual J5 Guatemala Tournament, and was part of team championships at the J5 Cancun, J5 Santa Tecla, J4 Santo Domingo and J3 Cancun tournaments over the last two years.

She will pursue a marketing degree at Tarleton.

Razet hails from Verneuil-sur-Seine, France, where she attended the National Center for Distance Education. She won a French individual championship in 2018, and finished as a semi-finalist at the J5 Honfleur and J5 Ponts de Ce tournaments.

“Laure is a serious competitor,” Douglas-Miron said. “She has a tremendous work ethic and has been very focused on her goal of playing college tennis. Her game is explosive and she will never give up on a ball. I expect her to excite the fans who come out to watch.”

In the 2021 ITF Junior rankings, Razet was ranked in the world’s top-1,500. Her best win pre-Tarleton was over Chloé Noël, ranked No. 422 by the ITF.  

She plans to major in business when she gets to Stephenville.

Sobius heads to Texas from Laval, Quebec, Canada. She most recently attended the University of Nebraska High School online after attending Académie Sté Thérèse in Canada.

“I am so excited to have Clara join our team,” Douglas-Miron said. “Clara is such a positive person and positive tennis player who will bring a lot of joy to the team. She has a strong technical foundation and will without a doubt make an impact on our team right away.”

Sobius was ranked in the top-10 U18 in Canada and finished ninth in the U18 Rogers Indoor Junior Nationals.

She also participated in track and field, where she placed first in the high jump at the team district event, plus second place in sprints. She will major in business at Tarleton.

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