CHICAGO – Can you imagine the world of tennis without Serena and Venus Williams?
There was a time when Black athletes weren’t allowed on the same playing field. Fortunately, there were many African-American women who ignored the biases and contributed greatly to the soul and success of sports. In honor of February’s Black History Month, Chicago State will honor its 1991-92 undefeated women’s tennis team, one of the first in American history to triumph on the college tennis courts.
CSU Tennis will honor the team on Jan. 26 in a ceremony that will take place at the Emil and Patricia A. Jones Convocation Center during halftime of the CSU men’s basketball team’s game against CSU Bakersfield that is scheduled to start at 7:05 p.m.
In the fall of 1991, seven African-American women made history on the south side of Chicago under the direction of head coach Lonnie Wooden. These ladies went undefeated by completing a 20-0 fall season which followed a 17-4 record in 1990-91. The Cougars knocked off a myriad of opponents during this season that included Butler, DePaul, Eastern Michigan, UIC, Illinois State, Western Illinois, Valparaiso, Milwaukee and Green Bay. This year makes the 25th anniversary of the team making this historic accomplishment.
Titania Turner, Tiffany Brown, Cynthia Pitts, Martha Gates, Angela Gipson, Crystal Embryand Marion Pitts became the FIRST and ONLY all African-American female NCAA Division I team to go undefeated in a season. At the time, this headlined local sports news to national media coverage, including Tennis Magazine, the industry’s leading media outlet.
There will be a media question and answer period for the team at 6:15 p.m. in the CSU athletics media room, located on arena level floor of the Jones Convocation Center. Refreshments will be served.
If you need additional information, past articles, and/or pictures about honorees please contact either CSU SID Corey Miggins at (773) firstname.lastname@example.org or CSU Tennis head coach Jack Bartonat email@example.com.