Women’s tennis finishes shortened fall season, looks ahead to spring

Mark Keplinger, Sports Editor

The Green Wave women’s tennis team has concluded its fall season after competing in four tournaments. Fans must now wait until Jan. 20 to see the team in action again, when Tulane hosts Alcorn State at the City Park Tennis Center in New Orleans. 

Tulane enters this season off the back of a quarter final exit at last season’s American Athletic Conference Championship at the paws of the Houston Cougars. The Green Wave finished last year ranked sixth-best in the Intercollegiate Tennis Association Southern Region rankings. Against other opponents in the region, Tulane went 9-4 including going undefeated on home court.

Tulane had a late start to the fall season due to the effects of Hurricane Ida, competing in their first tournament, the ITA Southern Regionals, in the middle of October. “We knew it was going to be very challenging being our first tournament since we had to cancel two tournaments due to the hurricane,” Head Coach Maria Brito said.

Despite this, the Green Wave had a solid display at the tournament. Junior Lahari Yelamanchili advanced to the round of 16 in the singles bracket before bowing out to the eventual runner up Safiya Carrington of LSU. Mackenzie Clark also played well, making the round of 32.

In the doubles bracket, Kristen Borland and Adelaide Lavery reached the round of 16 before falling short to Emmanouela Antonaki and Tamara Racine from Mississippi State.

Over the Halloween weekend, the team was back in action for the Roberta Alison Fall Classic. On the doubles side, every Tulane duo had at least one victory, with one duo, Lavery and Brooke Theis, winning all three of their matches. On the singles side, seven out of the 10 women competing won their matches.

The next weekend, the Green Wave traveled to Lafayette, Louisiana to compete in the Ragin’ Cajuns Invitational. As a team, Tulane collected 30 wins over the two-day competition, including going 15-2 in the final day of competition.

Tulane concluded their fall season in Jacksonville, Florida, competing in the University of North Florida Fall Invite. The Green Wave started slowly, with wins seemingly hard to come by on the first day of competition. The second day went better, with the team winning five of nine matches. It was more of the same on the third day of competition, with the team picking up four wins from seven.

Looking forward to next spring, Green Wave tennis opens against Alcorn State. The Bravehawks have never won against Tulane, being shut out in all four previous meetings with the Green Wave.

Tulane does face tougher competition later in the season, including LSU, the University of Alabama, Mississippi State and Auburn University. Historically, the Green Wave has struggled immensely against all of these programs.  

The Green Wave will open AAC play on Feb. 11 against the University of Tulsa before traveling to face the Wichita State Shockers. Last time Wichita State played Tulane, they looked shell-shocked as they lost 4-0 in New Orleans.