SLU focuses on the season ahead after tennis match vs. LSUA


Yumi Domangue

Freshman Nadia Hitzman (left) and sophomore Bogi Csordas (right) play Doubles match in the opening game of the Spring season against LSUA. (Jan. 27, 2023)

The match against LSU-Alexandria kicked off the women’s tennis spring season at noon this past Friday. Despite nerves, SLU’s women’s tennis team aimed to do their best for the season opener.

Despite losing 4-3 against LSUA, the Lions’ grit and loyalty to one another were on display throughout the contest.

During doubles, senior Gabrielle Dekkers and freshman Panatchakorn Suanarsa claimed victory in their match against LSUA’s Candela Bonviardi and Patricia Martinez (6-4).

The teams on courts one and three fought to the end, but SLU ultimately lost in the other two doubles matches. Each ended in (7-5) to LSUA, putting LSUA 1-0.

The duos made an effort to connect at the end of each play to congratulate or console each other.

The teams moved on to the intense singles matches. LSUA won the first match (6-2, 6-4). However, Dekkers on court two and senior Putri Insani on one followed up with wins for each of their matches (6-2, 6-2) and (6-3, 6-4) respectively.

LSUA then solidified their win on courts four and five in the matches between LSUA’s Annemart Kleijn and SLU’s Kate Oborina (6-1, 7-5) and LSUA’s Maria Alvarez and SLU’s Flory Bierma (6-4, 7-6).

Bogi Csordas was in the lead on court 6 (5-7, 5-4), but the match ended when LSUA’s Belen Blasco had to retire due to an injury.

All of the players showed great teamwork and support for each other despite being on separate courts.

Gabrielle “Gabby” Dekkers shared her thoughts about her team.

“I feel like every practice we were there for each other. During the matches we constantly hear each other screaming each other’s names. If you win a serve game you say ‘go lions’ and if you hear ‘go Southeastern’ you won a return game. So that way we can kinda hear from each other because it’s so spread out. If I haven’t heard anything for a while from one person I know they are kind of struggling, so I will support them a little bit more than usual.”

After the match, the team and coach planned to discuss what went well and what they need to improve on for the season ahead.

Dekkers and Insani reflected on their performances.

“I think mentally today I was pretty strong. First game of the season I’m always a little bit nervous, good nerves though. Physically I was good too, but I feel I can still improve on that and I think I will during the season,” Dekkers said.

Insani similarly assessed what she felt she had to work on.

“Personally I did not get the results that we want, but we can learn from that. We know what we have to do for the next match in two weeks. I just need to be able to control myself better because being emotional is just going to affect me in negative ways, so I need to improve my calmness.”

She continued to share her thoughts for the rest of the spring season.

“..Even though we might not have the best results from today, I hope we can learn from it and improve for this next semester, especially in March for the conference match,” Insani said.

Dekkers disclosed her goals for the season.

“It’s my last season as a student-athlete, so I hope to accomplish something great with this team and I feel like we can. We’re a good team. The beginning of the season is always a struggle, but we will come out strong. I know that for a fact,” Dekkers.