Riza Zalameda, a former WTA Tour player and one of the best women’s players in collegiate tennis in the past decade, joined the Columbia women's tennis program as an assistant coach in the summer of 2012.
"I’m thrilled to have Riza Zalameda join our program," head coach Ilene Weintraub said. "With the success she’s had at both the collegiate and professional levels, I know she will be an outstanding addition to the Columbia women’s tennis program. With two NCAA titles under her belt, Riza has shown that she has what it takes to beat the best in the nation, and I look forward to her passing that knowledge on to the student-athletes in our program. We raised the bar of Columbia women’s tennis this year, and Riza is going to help us take the next step."
Zalameda spent four years on the WTA tour after her graduation from UCLA, and has played in all four major tournaments, achieving a top-100 ranking in doubles as a professional. She has two ITF singles titles and six doubles titles on the women’s circuit, and won five medals at the Southeast Asian Games, representing the Philippines.
Prior to her professional career, Zalameda was one of the most highly decorated players in UCLA women’s tennis history. An eight-time ITA Division I All-American in singles and doubles, Zalameda capped a fantastic career with a standout senior season.
In 2008, Zalameda helped lead the Bruins to the program’s first-ever NCAA team championship title, clinching the 4-0 win with a victory in the No.1 singles spot over Susie Babos of Cal. That spring, she also won an NCAA Doubles Championship, finishing the year as the top-ranked team in the nation, with partner Tracy Lin. She was named the NCAA Tournament’s Most Outstanding Player in 2008, was named the ITA Doubles Team of the Year with Lin, and the ITA National Senior Player of the Year. And in her conference, she not only won PAC-10 Championships in both singles and doubles, but she was named the PAC-10 Player and Scholar-Athlete of the Year.
Following her 2011 retirement from professional tennis due to injury, Zalameda returned to school to finish her education, as she is pursuing a master’s degree in contemporary global ethics and Human values at the University of London King’s College School of Law.
A native of Beverly Hills, Calif., Zalameda graduated from UCLA in 2008, and attended Beverly Hills High School, where she was named the Los Angeles Times Player of the Year in her final season.