A young, yet experienced individual will be the new face of Missouri Western women’s tennis.

Olaya Garrido-Rivas is the university’s next head women’s tennis coach.

“I thought it would be a good opportunity and I applied,” Garrido-Rivas said. “I’m really excited for the years to come.”

Garrido-Rivas is a native of Gijon, Asturias, Spain, where she began playing tennis at the age of 4.

The Spain-born athlete competed in women’s tennis at the University of South Florida in 2014. In two seasons at USF, she posted 36 wins across singles and doubles and was named to the American Athletic All-Conference team as a freshman.

She then transferred to Texas Christian University and was named the Big 12 Women’s Tennis Newcomer of the Year in 2016. Garrido-Rivas was named second team All-Big 12 selection the following year.

“I know what it’s like going through it every day being a student-athlete,” Garrido-Rivas said.

The TCU graduate not only has playing experience, but coaching knowledge as well.

Garrido-Rivas spent two seasons as an assistant women’s tennis coach at NCAA Division I member Middle Tennessee State. She helped the team jump 121 spots in the Intercollegiate Tennis Association rankings during her first season coaching there.

When she wasn’t coaching, Garrido-Rivas was working as an instructor with the Rafa Nadal Tennis Academy. She then received her master’s degree at Middle Tennessee in leisure and sport management.

“(Garrido-Rivas) will always have a passion for competing throughout her career no matter what she does,” said former Middle Tennessee head coach Charlie Ramsay. “She will run a program with high standards and will make everyone around her better.”

Western’s Athletic Director Josh Looney said he believes Garrido-Rivas will bring competitiveness as well as enthusiasm to the women’s tennis program.

“She was a high-level collegiate player and has been influenced by impressive mentors that will benefit her, as well as current and future women’s tennis student-athletes at Missouri Western,” Looney said. “We are fired up for Olaya to take the reins of Griffon Tennis and join our family of coaches.”

The incoming tennis coach already has met the women of Western’s tennis team and is looking forward to working with them.

“I spoke with them over video chat and they seem like a really good group of girls, so that’s very exciting,” Garrido-Rivas said.

Kristen Carver can be reached at kristen.carver@newspressnow.com Follow her on Twitter: @NPNowCarver