Riza Zalameda has been named the new coach of the Seton Hall women’s tennis team, SHU Athletic Director Patrick Lyons announced in a press release on Wednesday.
“We are very excited to have Coach Zalameda join the Seton Hall family,” Lyons said in the release. “We look forward to watching her help elevate our tennis program and compete for Big East championships.”
This is Zalameda’s first head coaching job. She has experience as an assistant coach at Columbia University, where she was a part of two NCAA Tournament teams. Columbia went 54-27 with two national championship appearances during Zalameda’s time there under head coach Ilene Weintraub. In 2016 the Lion’s finished the season ranked No. 37 in the nation.
Zalameda expressed her excitement to be the new head coach at Seton Hall.
“Not only is this a first-class institution progressing in everything that it does, the people here are wonderful and are continuously motivating each other to keep getting better,” she said in the release.
Prior to coaching at Columbia, Zalameda played in all four major tournaments on the WTA tour. Her accomplishments include a top-100 ranking in doubles with six titles and two ITF singles titles. She also represented the Philippines at the Southeast Asian Games.
Before turning pro, she attended UCLA, where she was an eight-time ITA Division I All-American in singles and doubles and helped win the school’s first NCAA team championship in 2008. Her 4-0 win over Cal’s Susie Babos clinched the championship win and earned her the tournament’s most outstanding player award.
Zalameda won several other awards throughout her collegiate career, including ITA Doubles team of the year with partner Tracy Lin, ITA National Senior Player of the Year, Pac-10 Player of the Year and Pac-10 Scholar-Athlete of the Year.
Zalameda’s pro career was cut short by injury in 2011 when she then pursued her master’s degree in contemporary global ethics and human values at the University of London King’s College School of Law.
Zalameda’s takes over a Pirates team that is looking to build off their 10-11 overall record from the 2015-2016 season. The rookie coach to be replaces Greg Wyzykowski, who resigned from his post in May after nine seasons with The Hall. Zalameda is grateful for the opportunity.
“I want to immensely thank Pat Lyons and (Senior Associate AD) Rachelle Paul for the opportunity to set new standards for the women’s tennis program and add to the list of incredible feats this department will accomplish,” she said in the release. “I also want to express gratitude to my family, friends and Columbia Athletics for supporting me in this big step in my professional career. It is my hope that our tennis program enhances the student-athlete experience and grooms champions in the classroom, on the court, and in life.”
Keith Egan can be contacted by email at email@example.com or on Twitter @keith_egan10.