Men’s Tennis starts season at ULL Hidden Duel

Henry Diamond, Contributing Reporter

Rahima Olatinwo

For the first time ever, Tulane’s Men’s Tennis was invited to and competed in the ULL Hidden Duel hosted by the Louisiana-Lafayette Ragin’ Cajuns. This weekend, the team traveled to Lake Charles Racquet Club to compete in their first tournament for the 2022 fall campaign. 

Starting off hot on Friday, Tulane secured three doubles victories against the Ragin’ Cajuns, beating them 3-1, and splitting singles sets against the South Alabama Jaguars, ultimately capturing four victories for the Green Wave. 

Saturday was more of the same; doubles teams Fynn Kuenkler/Alex Bancila and Rafael de Alba/Luka Petrovic both took home wins, splitting doubles with the Jaguars. Also, strong single performances from Benji Jacobson and Alex Bancila brought Tulane’s total wins to 13 by the end of the day. 

The final day of the tournament brought out Tulane’s best performance yet, securing three out of the four doubles matches against the Texas-San Antonio Roadrunners to bring their doubles record to 8-4. It was a similar story for the singles matches. The team battled University of Louisiana at Lafayette to secure five wins and bring their singles record to 13-11, led by junior Alex Bancila’s perfect 3-0 day and finishing with 21 total victories for the weekend.   

Talking to Senior Benji Jacobson about how the team prepared for this tournament, he emphasized new assistant coach Zaki Abdelrahman, saying, “[Abdelrahman] is a great coach, I really like him, all the guys like him, and he’s done a great job so far and has been a great addition.” 

Going further, Jacobson discussed the new change in coaching styles from last year, “he’s very intense and expects really high standards for us. Which I think it’s great … he pushes us every day to give 110% and has brought the team up a level with his high standards and intense coaching style.” 

Jacobson also went on to give some insight on why these fall tournaments are so vital for the team and what they can learn and focus on saying, “it was great that, you know, people won, but the fall isn’t about winning or losing. It’s about putting yourself out there and competing and playing the right way. Because when we get to the spring, we’re playing in dual matches, like the pressure and the energy is way higher than what it’ll be in the fall. So if you can learn to play the right way, winning or losing in the fall, it’s gonna hopefully translate well into the spring when it actually matters.” 

It’s safe to say Tulane’s Men’s Tennis is ready for the challenge ahead and is continuing to work hard on and off the court. 

Coming up next, the Green Wave will split up the squad, sending players to Destin, Florida for the Battle at the Beach on Sept. 23-25, and to Hattiesburg, Mississippi for the Southern Miss Invitational on Sept. 24-25.

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