Rebeka Mertena Season 2023-24
Rebeka Mertena, a five-year standout for the Tennessee Lady Vols from 2019-2023, has joined the LSU women’s tennis program as a graduate assistant, head coach Taylor Fogleman announced on Aug. 11, 2023.
Mertena will move into a coaching role after concluding a successful five-year playing career at Tennessee this past spring. The Liepaja, Latvia native enrolled in the spring of 2019 and remained ever-present in the lineup all five seasons. During that time, she tallied a 99-60 singles record and a 70-55 doubles mark while helping the Lady Vols make the NCAA Tournament four out of her five seasons in Knoxville (the 2020 NCAA Tournament was cancelled due to COVID-19).
In a stellar freshman year in 2019, Mertena went 20-5 in singles matches, a season-high for the Lady Vols, and 19-6 in doubles. She earned a spot on the SEC All-Freshman team for her efforts. The 2019-20 season was off to a strong start for Mertena with a 22-11 record in singles and a runner-up finish in the ITA Ohio Valley Regional Singles Championship before COVID-19 shut down the remainder of the season in March.
Mertena picked up 15 singles wins, 11 doubles victories and a spot on the All-SEC Second Team in 2020-21 before enjoying a senior season in 2021-22 that saw her qualify for the NCAA Singles Championship and finish the year with a 23-17 mark playing primarily at the No. 1 court. She earned All-SEC First Team honors and finished ranked No. 38 in the final ITA Singles Rankings as well as No. 23 in doubles with partner Esther Adeshina.
In her final season as a Lady Vol, Mertena posted a 19-12 singles record while playing at the top singles courts and was vital for the Lady Vols in a historic season for the program. Tennessee finished the season 21-6, the most wins for the program in a single season since 2003, and advanced to the Sweet 16 in the NCAA Tournament for the tenth time in program history and the first since 2010. Mertena’s 14-5 record in dual matches playing at the No. 1&2 courts as well as team-leading 15-7 doubles mark playing at the top doubles court was vital for the team’s success. Individually, she earned All-SEC First Team honors for the second straight year as well as qualified for the NCAA Singles Championship.
The Latvian was no stranger to individual accolades throughout her career, earning spots on All-SEC teams four times throughout her career (2019, 2021, 2022, 2023) as well as SEC Player of the Week honors twice (2020 and 2023). Success also followed for Mertena in the classroom as she was a four-time member of the SEC Academic Honor Roll and a three-time ITA Scholar Athlete.