Women’s tennis starts 3-3 in 2023

Mark Keplinger, Sports Editor

Tulane women’s tennis started 2023 with a 3-3 record, after being swept on the road but playing well at home. With Lahari Yelamanchili leading the way, the Green Wave will start their conference schedule in March.

The Wave started the year with a Texas road trip to College Station and Austin to play the Texas A&M Aggies and Texas Longhorns, respectively. On Jan. 20, Tulane’s trip to Aggieland turned south when Texas A&M, the No. 5 ranked team in the nation, dispatched the visitors 7-0. In singles play, the Texas Aggies had a clean sweep and did not drop a set. In doubles play, the Maroon and White won the second and third pairings. However, Yelamanchili and Charlotte Russell were able to outscore A&M top pair Salma Ewing and Jayci Goldsmith.

On Jan. 22, the Wave took on the No. 1-ranked Texas Longhorns and lost 5-0. For the second-straight match, Tulane failed to take a set off their opponents. It went better in doubles play — Tulane second pairing Adelaide Lavery and Kristen Borland were leading their match, but it went unfinished due to the Longhorns taking the first and third pairing before the second finished.

From the Lone Star State, Tulane returned to New Orleans for a five-game homestand. Looking for a rebound, Tulane completely turned around on Jan. 28 with a 7-0 sweep of the Southern Jaguars. Tulane won every set in both singles and doubles, and Yelamanchili was particularly impressive with a 6-0, 6-0 win.

On Feb. 4, Tulane played against an in-state rival and secured a 6-1 victory over the Louisiana-Monroe Warhawks. Tulane took the doubles point by winning the top two pairing and leading in the third. In singles play, the visitors only victory was at the third spot when Alice Klinteby beat Borland.

Two days later, cross town rivals, the New Orleans Privateers, were sunk by the Wave 5-2. In doubles play, the Privateers took the third pairing but lost the top two. In singles play, top player Didi Bredburg defeated Yelamanchili, and sixth player Raluca Puscas beat Brooke Theis. Tulane managed to win every other singles match.

Feb. 10 saw Sam Houston State come to New Orleans; however, rain canceled the event halfway through the match. At the time of the cancellation, the Wave had already captured the doubles point and were winning in three of the six singles matches.

On Feb. 12, the South Alabama Jaguars visited Tulane and came away with a narrow 4-3 victory. In the doubles point, Tulane either won or was leading in all three pairings. In the singles, Yelamanchili won her match at the No. 1 spot and Borland won at No. 3. The Jaguars rattled off three victories at the No. 2, No. 4 and No. 5 spots to level the overall match 3-3.

That left the No. 6 pairing, Chems Doha Zeghlouli for the Jaguars against Theis for the Wave, to decide the match. The visitor took the first set 6-4, but Theis struck back in the second set with her own 6-4 win. In the third and deciding set, Zeghlouli was able to hold off Theis 6-2 to give her team the overall match.

Tulane has two Southeastern Conference teams coming up next. On Saturday Feb. 18, the Wave travels to Tuscaloosa, Alabama to take on the Alabama Crimson Tide. They will then host the LSU Tigers on Feb. 24.

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