Thais Mendez is adding to her list of firsts. This past weekend, she became the first Red Wolf tennis team player to be named the River States Conference (RSC) Player of the Year at the conference championships held at the Lindner Family Tennis Center in Mason, Ohio.
Mendez, a sophomore, is the No. 1 singles player for the Indiana University East women’s tennis team.
During the championship, Mendez collected additional honors. She was also named the RSC Newcomer of the Year and earned first-team all-conference honors.
At the tournament championships, the women’s tennis team competed in the title match versus Asbury University. The Red Wolves were the runner-up at the River States Conference Championships after reaching the tournament title match. This was third trip the Red Wolves women’s tennis team has made to the conference tournament championship. The Red Wolves also played for the league title in 2011 and 2017.
Mendez finished this season with a 29-3 record in singles and 21-8 in doubles. She set the school record for most wins for a full school year. She also holds the most wins in the conference championship portion of the season with 14.
In fall 2018, Mendez was named as the first recipient of the Venus Williams Tennis Scholarship.
The scholarship, named after distinguished IU East alumna and accomplished professional tennis player Venus Williams, was endowed by Larry and Jane Richards. Larry Richards served as executive vice chancellor for Academic Affairs at IU East, with a one year appointment as interim chancellor. Jane Richards was an adjunct lecturer in mathematics. They are now retired.
Williams was the first student to graduate under the agreement that IU East has with the Women’s Tennis Benefits Association (WTBA). The WTBA agreement supports WTA players who wish to complete their bachelor’s degrees while continuing to play professionally. The agreement makes IU East the sole provider of online bachelor degree level education for WTA players.
Mendez is from Viña del Mar, Chile. She is majoring in business administration.
For more information about the women’s tennis team, visit iueredwolves.com.