Women’s tennis opens fall season, impresses at Samford Invitational

Scott Houtkin, Contributing Writer

tulane women's tennis
Charlotte Russell hits with her forehand in a previous tournament. (Courtesy of Parker Waters)

The Green Wave women’s tennis team opened its fall season after competing in the Samford Invitational in Birmingham, Alabama. The team finished with a winning record following all three days of competition and went 29-8 overall for the weekend.

 Tulane enters this season coming off a quarter-final exit to the Memphis Tigers at last season’s American Athletic Conference Championship. The Green Wave finished last year with a 12-9 record, including a 9-2 record at home. However, the Wave finished just 2-4 in conference play, making them a fifth seed entering the conference championships. 

 The Green Wave got off to a fast start at the Samford Invitational tournament. Tulane went 8-1 in their singles matches and undefeated in all four doubles matches, finishing day one with an overall record of 12-1. 

The Wave kept it rolling into day two, going 7-2 in singles matches. However, Tulane struggled in doubles going winless, and finished the day with an overall record of 7-6.

 After two consecutive days of impressive tennis, Tulane finished the weekend strong, going 7-1 in singles matches. After a disappointing 0-4 showing in doubles on day two, the Wave responded in a big way by going undefeated in all three doubles matches. Tulane dominated day three with a record of 10-1 and finished the weekend 29-8.

Tulane’s success this weekend was truly a collective effort. Senior Lahari Yelamanchili led the way for the Wave going 3-0 in her singles matches and 2-1 in doubles with her partner, junior Charlotte Russell. Both Yelamanchili and Russell were Louisiana Sports Writers Association First Team members and were ranked as the No. 29 doubles team in the nation last season.

Brooke Theis, a former five-star recruit out of Illinois, dominated in her sophomore season debut, going 3-0 in singles and 1-0 in her lone doubles match with fellow sophomore Sean Mullen.

The Tulane women’s tennis team started the season playing some of their best tennis, setting the stage for a big season this year. Every player who participated won at least one match this weekend, a huge testament to the talent of this team and coaches. The Green Wave will try to continue its success at the Ita Riviera All-American Championships in Cary, North Carolina, beginning Oct. 1.

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