Local rivals and tough non-conference opponents make up the spring season slate.
Lauren Leo, a St. John’s alumna, enters her third season as the head coach of the women’s tennis team after being named the 15th head coach in program history in August 2015.
Last season, Leo led the Red Storm to a 18-4 finish and an appearance in the BIG EAST Championship Match where the Johnnies fell, 4-3, to DePaul. The 18 wins were the program's most wins since the 1981-82 season. Her combined 32-9 mark also gives Leo the most-wins ever by a St. John's head coach in their first two seasons. For the first time in St. John's program history, Leo helped coach freshman Jessica Livianu to the NCAA Division I Women's Singles Championship. Livianu, who was named BIG EAST Player of the Year and Freshman of the Year, was joined by senior Anna Morozova in earning All-BIG EAST Team honors. Eight student-athletes were also honored with BIG EAST All-Academic Team honors.
In her very first season at the helm of her alma mater, Leo guided the Johnnies to a 14-5 finish including a third-place finish in the BIG EAST Championship tournament. Under her guidance two upperclassmen, Anna Morozova and Natallia Vavulina, earned All-BIG EAST Team selections for the second-straight year. The team also went a perfect 7-0 during their campaign, the first time St. John’s has accomplished that feat in 10 seasons. Leo also helped lead the Johnnies to a perfect 5-0 record in BIG EAST Conference play and saw two student-athletes win more than 28 matches during the regular season.
Leo is no stranger to the Red Storm women's tennis program as she played for the team from 2003-2007. During her Red Storm days, Leo posted a combined 48-29 record in both singles and doubles play. Following her successful playing career, the Staten Island, N.Y., native has continued her tennis career as a coach. Leo most recently worked as the Director of Tennis at Hofstra University from 2013-2015.
During her tenure with the Hofstra teams, Leo posted an overall mark of 27-22 with the women's team and 20-25 with the men's team. Each year the teams improved upon their records, including winning seasons for both in 2014-15. Under Leo's tutelage, five athletes earned All-Colonial Athletic Association honors and two athletes earned All-CAA Academic Team honors.
Prior to working at Hofstra, Leo served as the head coach of the men's and women's tennis teams at Adelphi University in Garden City, N.Y., from 2011-2013. During her first season at the helm at Adelphi, the women's team went 17-6, shared the regular season Northeast-10 Conference championship, had six players named all-conference and earned a No. 6 seed in the 2012 NCAA Division II Tennis Championship. In 2012 she also coached Andreas Hammar to the 2012 Northeast-10 Conference Men's Tennis Player of the Year Award.
From 2010-11 Leo served as an assistant coach at Adelphi. Preceding this coaching venture, Leo was the head coach of the Hunter College women's tennis program from 2008-09, and served as USTA/Eastern National Coach from 2005-2008. Leo was also the tennis professional at The West Side Tennis Club in Forest Hills, N.Y., and Point Set Indoor Racket Club in Oceanside, N.Y.
Prior to Leo's playing days with the St. John's women's tennis team, she played one year for the University of San Diego and led the team in winning percentage. Leo holds a master's degree in physical education from Adelphi and graduated from St. John's in 2007 with a degree in Sports Management.
"We are very excited to welcome back Lauren to her alma mater. It seems like only yesterday she was representing us on the court as a player. Now she gets to continue doing that as our new Women's Head Coach," said Associate Vice President for Athletics Kathy Meehan. "I see only good things ahead for our tennis program."
The Lauren Leo File Year-By-Year Coaching Record at St. John's Year Record BIG EAST Finish
2015-16 14-5 3rd 206-17 18-4 2nd
Coaching Experience • St. John's (2016-Present) • Hofstra Men’s and Women’s (2013-15) • Adelphi Men’s and Women’s (2011-13) • Hunter College Women (2008-09)
Playing Experience • University of San Diego (2002) • St. John’s (2003-07)
Personal • Education: St. John’s, B.S. in Sport Management; Adelphi, M.S. in physical education.