Four individuals claim honors following historic season
Marta Morga will join the Lady Tigers in the 2013-14 season
Collins will be making her second-straight appearance at the NCAA Championship
Collins selected to C-USA First Team Singles; Kuykendall named C-USA Freshman of the Year
Memphis meets Tulsa for the third time this season
Jeff Brightwell sits down with women's tennis head coach Lee Taylor Walker to talk about the Tigers trip to Houston last week for the C-USA Championship tournament. They also talk in depth about Memphis' chances at an at-large bid into their first ever NCAA Tournament.
Episode 71: Jeff Brightwell sits down with Head Coach Lee Taylor Walker and recaps Senior Day vs. UTEP and Southern Miss, the presentation for the seniors, and previews upcoming match at #16 Notre Dame. The Memphis Women's tennis team were 14-0 at home this season.
Episode 53: Jeff Brightwell sits down with Head Coach Lee Taylor Walker and talks about previous matches, current home winning streak, and upcoming matches this month vs. #60 Kansas State, #70 Columbia, and #12 Virginia.
Episode 36: Jeff Brightwell sits down with Head Coach Lee Taylor Walker and talks about the the past tournament and thoughts of the final season.
The Memphis women's tennis team will welcome four teams to The Racquet Club of Memphis, Nov. 2-4, for the Memphis Invitational as Oklahoma, Ole Miss, Tulsa and Vanderbilt will be in attendance for the Lady Tigers' final home tournament of the 2012 fall season.
The Memphis Tiger Network caught up with head coach Lee Taylor Walker and a few players to see how the team has been preparing for the weekend.
The 2012-13 campaign marks Lee Taylor Walker's sixth season as head coach of the University of Memphis women's tennis program.
In Walker's first five seasons at the helm, the Lady Tigers have made significant improvements, culminating in a banner season in 2011-12. The U of M spent all but one week during the spring season in the ITA rankings, reaching a program-best No. 51 on Mar. 20, 2012. Walker guided junior Courtney Collins to become the program's first participant in the NCAA Women's Singles Championships after ending the regular season ranked No. 31.
In all, five Tigers earned rankings in 2011-12, with Stefanie Mikesz, Mariya Slupska, Tiffany Welcher and Alyssa Hibberd joining Collins in the polls. Collins' 2012 ITA Ohio Valley Cissie Leary Award for Sportsmanship and All-C-USA first team selection highlight the 17 post-season awards earned by those five athletes and Kelly Gray.
The Lady Tigers have steadily improved in the rankings and wins column under Walker's direction. Heading into the 2012 season, Walker's squad boasted a program-best five nationally-ranked netters: No. 51 Stefanie Mikesz, No. 60 Courtney Collins, No. 98 Mariya Slupska in singles, and 41st-ranked duo Alyssa Hibberd and Tiffany Welcher.
In 2011, Walker guided Collins to All-Conference USA first team honors and Slupska to C-USA Newcomer of the Year, both being first-ever selections for the program. In that season's dual match slate, the team tied for the most wins in program history with 16, equaling the mark set in 2003. The team posted 13 wins in 2010, which was then the second-most in program history.
That same year, Lee coached senior Ashley Murdock to her third-consecutive All-Conference USA second team selection and Collins to her first All-C-USA nod. In 2008-09, Walker's second season, the Lady Tigers went 11-13, including wins over conference foes Southern Miss and UAB.
In his first season as head coach, Walker led the Lady Tigers to a 9-13 mark. In the fall of 2008, Walker coached Murdock and Marjorie Ondeck to the semifinals of the 2008 ITA Southeast Regional in Winston-Salem, N.C. Murdock and Ondeck defeated doubles tandems from No. 13 Clemson, No. 17 North Carolina and No. 25 Tennessee on their way to the semifinals.
Walker, a native of Jackson, Tenn., played for Memphis from 2001-04, teaming with Ben Stapp in his first season to become the highest-ranked doubles tandem in school history, ranking No. 12 in the country at the end of the 2001 fall season. Walker was also a nationally-ranked singles player, climbing as high as No. 48 in the country. He won 54 singles matches, playing primarily at the No. 1 and No. 2 positions during his three-year Tigers career. He was 64-29 in doubles. He was the school's first Conference USA first team honoree and also was named to the C-USA Men's Tennis All-Decade Team (1995-2005).
Off the court, Walker was named the recipient of the 2004 ITA/Arthur Ashe Sportsmanship and Leadership award, which he received as part of U.S. Open festivities.
Walker received both his bachelor's and master's degrees from the University of Memphis, graduating in December of 2006 with a Master's Degree in human movement sciences. After graduating, he spent three seasons as an assistant coach with the men's program and spent the 2006-07 season as an assistant for the Lady Tigers prior to being named the head coach of the program in 2007.
Walker is married to former Lady Tigers soccer player Erin May Ferris. He has one brother, Matt, who is a tennis coach in Bradenton, Fla. Walker is the son of Susan and Dr. Danny Walker, who was a quarterback at Vanderbilt and UT Martin.