Tulane men’s tennis starts season 6-2

Jude Papillion, Sports Editor

After their previous season was suspended due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Tulane men’s tennis team has completed the first eight matches of their new season and currently stands with a 6-2 record. 

The Green Wave kicked off their season on Jan. 21 against Alcorn State University in a doubleheader at the City Park Tennis Center in New Orleans, dropping five total games and going 6-0 in doubles. In both matches, Tulane claimed victory in five of six singles contests, including two wins by sophomore Henry Lovett. The Green Wave won both matches against Alcorn State 6-1.  

The next day, Jan. 22, the University of Texas at San Antonio Roadrunners came to New Orleans and were shut out 4-0 by the Green Wave. The day started on court one, where Hamish Stewart and Ewan Moore dominated the Roadrunners, taking the win 6-2. The Roadrunners won on court three; however, Tulane won the team point of the match on court two after the 6-4 defeat of UTSA’s Joao Ceolin and Javier Gonzales by Akos Kotorman and Billy Suarez. Tulane continued dominating in singles with Stewart winning on court one 6-2, 6-1, and Fynn Kuenkler earning a 6-4, 6-1 decision. Rafael de Alba secured the Green Wave’s fourth point with a 7-5 win against Garrett Skelly. 

On Jan. 29, the Green Wave traveled to Tuscaloosa, Alabama, to face the Crimson Tide. Tulane started the day with a 6-2 doubles win by Luis Erlenbusch and Kuenkler and the wave kept rolling with another doubles win by Moore and Stewart. Heading into singles, Stewart won his first frame and dropped the second, but went on to win the next three games, extending the Green Wave’s lead to 2-0. Alabama, however, countered, winning five second sets, collecting three straight set wins and taking a 3-2 lead. The Crimson Tide then took a 4-2 lead after Erlenbusch was defeated by Edson Ortiz. Suarez won his singles match 9-7, but Alabama took the win over Tulane 4-3. 

Luis Erlenbusch hits the ball. (Parker Waters)

Tulane dropped another match, this time against Mississippi State University, on Jan. 31. For the fifth straight match, Tulane won the doubles point with Kotorman and Suarez along with the duo of Stewart and Moore both clinching wins. Mississippi State dominated the Green Wave in singles courts, dropping four with the only win coming from freshman Kuenkler. 

Tulane’s Feb. 5 game against Auburn University was postponed due to inclement weather and is yet to be rescheduled. 

The third time was the charm for the Green Wave against Southeastern Conference competition, as they defeated LSU 5-2 on Feb. 7. Once again, the Green Wave won the doubles point with wins from Kotorman and Suarez along with the senior tandem of Moore and Stewart, taking a 1-0 lead over the Tigers. Tulane extended their lead to 4-0 following singles wins from Kuenkler, de Alba and Erlenbusch. LSU won on court two, but it was not enough as Suarez closed out the match with Tulane’s fifth point. 

The Green Wave kept their momentum as they traveled to Tallahassee, Florida, on Feb. 13 to take a 4-0 victory over the Florida State Seminoles. Tulane won the doubles point again, with duos of Erlenbusch and Kuenkler, and Kotorman and Suarez. The Green Wave went on to shutout the Seminoles in singles games, with de Alba, Erlenbusch and Stewart all winning. 

The Green Wave showed no love to the University of Miami on Valentine’s Day, defeating the Hurricanes 6-1. For the eighth straight time, Tulane won the doubles point with senior duo Stewart and Moore along with Erlenbusch and Kuenkler both claiming victories. Franco Aubone was the only Hurricane to win a singles game, with Stewart, Moore, Suarez, de Alba and Erlenbusch all winning for the Green Wave. 

The Green Wave will face the 24th-ranked Mississippi State Bulldogs again at the City Park Tennis Center on Feb. 21, followed by another match at City Park against the seventh-ranked Longhorns of the University of Texas at Austin on Feb. 27. The team will open American Athletic Conference play against Southern Methodist University on Mar. 6. 

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