Tulane women’s tennis freshmen have impressive debut

Jude Papillion, Sports Editor

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Since the first serve of the 2019-20 season, the Tulane women’s tennis team has competed in two tournaments. The team kicked off its season on the weekend of Friday, Sept. 27, at the Samford Invitational in Birmingham, Alabama. 

On the first day of the invitational, the Green Wave defeated Memphis in doubles and won five of seven singles matches against Samford. The Green Wave picked up where it left off on Saturday morning, defeating South Alabama in two of three doubles matches. As the day progressed, however, the team finished 1-6 in singles. 

On the final day of the invitational, the Green Wave defeated Samford in doubles and South Alabama in singles. The biggest star in the invitational for the Green Wave was Mackenzie Clark, a freshman competing in her first college matches. Clark finished the weekend 3-0 in singles and 3-0 in doubles along with freshman Lahari Yelamanchili. 

Two weeks after the Samford Invitational, the Green Wave traveled to Baton Rouge, Louisiana, on Thursday, Oct. 17, to compete in the 2019 Intercollegiate Tennis Association Southern Regional. On the first day of the tournament, senior Christina Sisti was the only Tulanian to take the court. She finished 1-2 against Southern Mississippi’s Katy de la Garza and defeated Jacksonville State’s Balsen Kayla in the back draw. 

On the second day of the tournament, Lahari Yelamanchili defeated 11th-ranked Eden Richardson of LSU in a three-set singles victory, pulling off one of the biggest upsets in program history. Yelamanchili won the first set 7-6(4), lost the second set 6-1, and came back to win 6-1 in the final set.

On day three of the tournament, Yelamanchili continued her domination, winning in the second round of singles and advancing to the round of 16 after defeating McNeese State’s Dalia Ahmed 7-5, 6-1.

In addition, Daniela La Fuente defeated University of Louisiana Monroe’s Emma Billon in a 6-2, 6-2 victory, Clark defeated Mississippi State’s Tamara Racine 6-4, 6-2, and Yelamanchili and Clark defeated Samford 8-5 in doubles.

Courtesy of Tulane Athletics
Redshirt Sophomore Lauren Gish returns a shot.

On day three of the tournament, Yelamanchili continued her domination, winning in the second round of singles and advancing to the round of 16 after defeating McNeese State’s Dalia Ahmed 7-5, 6-1.

Unfortunately, the Green Wave’s run came to an end with Yelamanchili and Clark losing to Auburn in a second-round doubles match and Auburn’s Selin Ovunc defeating Yelamanchili in the round of 16. 

On Sunday, the Green Wave competed in consolation rounds, with sophomore Adelaide Lavery taking the Green Wave’s lone singles win, defeating Auburn’s Lindsay Song. Lavery, along with redshirt sophomore Lauren Gish, won Tulane’s only doubles victory of the day against LSU. 

The Green Wave women’s tennis team looks to improve on the weekend of Nov. 1-3 in the UNC Invitational in Chapel Hill, North Carolina, and in the Roberta Alison Invitational at the University of Alabama in Tuscaloosa, Alabama.