NEW ORLEANS – Fresh off an impressive inaugural campaign at the helm of the resurgent Tulane University women’s tennis team, head coach Terri Sisk announced the addition of international standout Emma Helistén for the 2009-10 season.
A native of Helsinki, Finland, and a 2009 graduate of the Swedish Tennis Academy in Båstad, Sweden, Helistén signed a National Letter of Intent to play for the Green Wave following a stellar Juniors career which included trips to the Junior Olympics in 2005, the ITF (International Tennis Federation) Yucatan World Cup and ITF International Casablanca Junior Cup in 2006, and the Copa del Café in 2007, as well as a stint on the 2007 Finnish Fed Cup.
“We are thrilled to have Emma join our Tulane family,” Sisk said. “She exemplifies all the characteristics I look for in a student-athlete: solid academics, great character, a hard worker and a great tennis player with goals. Her vast international experience will help tremendously with adding the depth we need in our line up to take us to the next level. She will make an immediate impact in both singles and doubles. She is a great addition to our young Green Wave team.”
Helistén sat as high as No. 287 in the IFT rankings, ranked in the Top 100 among European females under 16 and ranked first in Finland in the 12, 14 and 16 age groups. After moving to Sweden at age 16, she was accepted to the highly-respected Swedish Tennis Academy, an elite high school for the best tennis players in the country aged 16-22.
In her native Finland, Helistén singles slate includes trips to the national championship for girls 12-, 14-, 16-, and 18-and-under , the Junior Grand Prix Masters Championship in 2002, and the BMW Cup inter-scholar championships for elementary and lower secondary students.
In doubles play, she participated in the Finnish National Championships in every age group and ITF tournaments in Montenegro, Turkey and Sweden. In addition, Helistén played in the Division I Båstad Malens Tennissällskap and in the Sata-Tennis Finland as part of the Finnish Junior Championship League.
Helistén is one of two incoming freshmen to join the Tulane women’s tennis program next season, joining Emma Levy of Princeton Junction, N.J., who signed during the NCAA’s Early Signing Period back in December.
The freshman duo will join a Tulane team which is slated to return all eight lettermen from the 2008-09 team which finished its first season back on the court 12-12 on the year and 3-4 in Conference USA play.