Women’s tennis stumbles into early March, looks to gain traction

Grant Barnes, Senior Staff Reporter

Courtesy of Parker Waters
Sophomore Daniela La Fuente high fives a teammate after a match.

After a turbulent 1-7 February record, women’s tennis continued to struggle in its first three matches of March. Since the team’s last win came Feb. 24 against the University of Alabama at Birmingham, the Green Wave will look to regain some momentum this Sunday, when it returns home to take on Middle Tennessee State University.

The team has faced three opponents this month, including conference opponents the University of South Florida Bulls and the University of Central Florida Knights. Its singular out-of-conference foe was the University of Pennsylvania Quakers.

The Green Wave started the month with back-to-back matches against USF and UPenn in its two-game trip to Tampa, Florida. USF, Tulane’s first opponent, came in quite vulnerably, having lost three out of its last four matches.

Things started off well for the Green Wave in its bout with the Bulls, as the team was able to take two out of three doubles wins after some hard-fought competition. The team, however, faltered completely in singles, taking only one out of five finished singles slots from USF and dropping the match.

Tulane’s subsequent match against UPenn proved to be much closer of a battle. The Quakers grabbed the lead on the Green Wave, emerging victorious in the doubles competition and clinching the first point of the match. The match heated up in singles battles, with UPenn ultimately ensuring a win in the final of six singles sets.

Following its trip to Tampa, Tulane headed east to Lake Nona, Florida, to take on No. 27 UCF, a match that proved quite similar to the Wave’s prior competition with USF. Tulane took the doubles by storm, with the No. 62 duo Elena Muller and Ivone Alvaro upsetting UCF’s No. 18 pair Ksenia Kuznetsova and Valeriya Zeleva 6-4. The Wave went on to clinch doubles competition, only to be swept once again in singles, giving UCF a sizable winning margin.

While these losses are certainly a disappointment, women’s tennis still has plenty of time to get its spark back. As the team’s first four season wins show, it has what it takes to be a true southern powerhouse.

Women’s tennis will next compete against Middle Tennessee State University on Sunday, March 17. The competition will begin at noon at the City Park Tennis Center in New Orleans.

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