St. Mary’s City, Md. – In a move that solidifies the future of the men’s and women’s tennis programs, St. Mary’s College of Maryland has officially appointed Sona Hussian as the head coach. The announcement was made by Crystal Gibson, the Director of Athletics and Recreation, on Wednesday morning.

Hussian, who previously served as the interim head coach for the 2023 season, has proven herself to be a valuable asset to the St. Mary’s College of Maryland athletic department. She had previously held the position of assistant coach during the 2021-22 season and the first half of the 2022-23 campaign.

Credit: Bill Wood

“We are excited to welcome Sona to our staff full-time. She has already proven herself to be a winner and valuable piece of the St. Mary’s College of Maryland athletic department puzzle. We can’t wait to begin this next step in the journey and continue the growth of our tennis programs,” said Gibson.

Under Hussian’s interim leadership, the men’s and women’s tennis teams showcased their prowess by clinching the United East Conference regular season and tournament championships for consecutive years. Furthermore, the teams made their presence felt at the NCAA Division III Men’s and Women’s Tennis Tournaments. Hussian’s outstanding coaching abilities earned her the United East Men’s and Women’s Tennis Coach of the Year recognition.

Reflecting on her accomplishments, Hussian expressed her gratitude for the opportunity to lead both teams and conveyed her excitement about assuming the permanent head coaching position. “It was a great season, and I was honored to be the interim head coach for both teams. I’m excited to remove the interim title and look forward to supporting the teams to have another successful year,” she stated.

Hussian’s tenure as the interim head coach commenced on March 3, and she wasted no time in making an impact. Just two days later, the men’s squad secured a significant victory, defeating Goucher College with a score of 5-4. As the spring semester unfolded, the Seahawks maintained their winning momentum, concluding the season with an impressive combined record of 17-9. The men’s team achieved a 9-4 record, while the women’s team went 8-5 between March and May.

Under Hussian’s guidance, the players on the men’s and women’s teams flourished and received recognition for their exceptional performances. Boris Palmade ’26, hailing from Bethesda, Md., stood out by earning the United East Player and Rookie of the Year awards. Seven men’s players also secured All-United East honors, while six women’s team members received All-United East accolades.

The Gorel siblings, Hannah and Devon from Jessup, Md., left an indelible mark on the tennis scene. Both siblings were honored with the United East Elite 14 Award, and Hannah received the prestigious College Sports Communicators Academic All-American title.

Off the court, Hussian actively works as a yoga instructor (RYT 200) at Evolve Yoga Studio in California, Md. She also conducts tennis lessons in California, focusing on form, technique, and overall game improvement.

Hussian graduated from The Pennsylvania State University in 2018, earning a B.A. in psychology. Apart from her extensive tennis knowledge and expertise, her background allows her to prioritize the mental, emotional, and physical well-being of the student-athletes. By promoting a holistic approach, Hussian aims to ensure that student-athletes have the best possible experience during their time at St. Mary’s College.

With Hussian assuming the head coach role, the future looks bright for the St. Mary’s College of Maryland tennis programs. Her proven track record and dedication to the sport make her a valuable asset in pursuing continued success.

Hussian’s passion for tennis can be traced back to her time as a travel club tennis team member at The Pennsylvania State University from 2014 to 2018. Prior to her college years, she showcased her skills as the No. 1 singles player at Pennsbury High School in Fairless Hills, Pa., for four consecutive years.

Beyond her achievements on the court, Hussian’s diverse background brings a unique perspective to her coaching approach. As a certified yoga instructor (RYT 200) at Evolve Yoga Studio in California, Md., she understands the importance of physical and mental well-being in athletic performance. She incorporates her yoga expertise into her coaching philosophy, providing student-athletes with a well-rounded experience that fosters growth and development both on and off the court.

With Hussian at the helm, the St. Mary’s College tennis programs are poised for continued success in the upcoming seasons. Her dedication to the growth and improvement of the teams, coupled with her ability to mentor and guide student-athletes, will undoubtedly positively impact the players’ performance and overall experience.

As the head coach, Hussian will develop and implement strategic training programs, refine players’ skills, and foster a positive team culture. Her leadership and expertise will play a pivotal role in shaping the future of the St. Mary’s College tennis programs and ensuring the continued success of the student-athletes.

Director of Athletics and Recreation Crystal Gibson expressed her confidence in Hussian’s abilities and the positive trajectory of the tennis programs under her guidance. The college administration and the athletic department are thrilled to have Hussian join the coaching staff full-time, recognizing her as a valuable asset who has already proven her capabilities as an interim head coach.

The St. Mary’s College community eagerly anticipates the upcoming seasons with Hussian at the helm. Under her expert guidance, the student-athletes will have the opportunity to develop their skills, compete at the highest level, and create lasting memories as part of the Seahawks tennis programs.

Hussian’s dedication, experience, and passion for the sport make her the ideal candidate to lead the men’s and women’s tennis teams into the future. As she assumes her role as head coach, there is an air of excitement and optimism surrounding the St. Mary’s College of Maryland tennis programs. With Hussian’s guidance, the teams are poised to achieve even greater heights and continue to make their mark in the world of collegiate tennis.

David M. Higgins II is an award-winning journalist passionate about uncovering the truth and telling compelling stories. Born in Baltimore and raised in Southern Maryland, he has lived in several East...

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