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Spring 2010 Features

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Czech mates
Brooks Monaghan’s women’s soccer team will look to win a fourth straight C-USA championship this fall, a feat unprecedented in U of M history.

During preseason training that began in August, many storylines began surrounding the Tigers in the build up to the new season. Besides the obvious quest for a “four-peat,” some sisterly love has been added to the team.

Meet Vendula and Alena Strnadova, the first sister Tiger pairing since the 2001-2002 duo of Tamika and Raven Rogers on the basketball court. The sisters, who come to the U of M by way of Las Cruces (New Mexico) High School, were born in the Czech Republic. Both are looking forward to the opportunity of playing together in college.

“It’s exciting because we played together in high school but we played different positions, one forward and one midfield,” said Vendula. “Now we will both get the chance to play midfield together as defensive mids.”

“The opportunity to play with my sister wasn’t my only reason to come to Memphis, but it certainly is a bonus,” said Alena, a freshman.

Vendula, a senior, was named the C-USA Freshman of the Year in 2007. She has also raked in C-USA Offensive MVP and All C-USA honors.

Both sisters are members of the Czech Republic National Team for their age groups.

“This program has been successful in the past few years and I want to keep the success going by continuing to win,” said Alena.

Added Vendula, “I want us to win C-USA again and I would love for us to make it to the Elite 8.”

The past three seasons ended in disappointing first round exits in the NCAA Tournament. With some sisterly love, that may change.

— by Brennan Somers

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