Tennis opens season with loss against the Ragin’ Cajuns

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Freshman Jiva de Veer won in the doubles category with senior Fleur Holtkamp 6-4. File Photo/The Lion's Roar

The Lady Lions tennis team started off the spring season with a road loss at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette.

Head Coach Jason Hayes described the team’s performance in the season opener.

“It was a tough loss,” said Hayes. “We did what we needed to put ourselves in position to get a victory, but you have to credit Lafayette because they came up with the shots when they needed them.” 

The 4-3 loss started off with a doubles win for the Lady Lions. Then the hosts came back with four singles victories to take the overall win.

Hayes credited the team’s effort during the matches and took it as a positive from the loss. However, Hayes thought the team could have improved in finishing the opportunities that were handed to them by the opponents.

“They fight for every single point,” said Hayes. “That’s very important, but we need to raise our level when we have the chance to finish a match.” 

Senior Dany Raygadas led the team from the front by winning in both the singles and the doubles category. 

The team is coming off from the fall season, which finished with the George E. Fourmaux Fed Cup Invitational. Hayes described the preparation of the team after that.

“We’ve had two good weeks of preparation despite the weather,” said Hayes. “Our fitness is really strong, and our tennis will continue to improve.”

Hayes pointed out the team’s fitness to be an important aspect of the game that he is working on.

“Fitness is key,” said Hayes. “We have a great strength coach, and each day we want to get a little stronger and a little quicker.”

Hayes also spoke about how the new recruits in the team are performing.

“They’re doing a great job, and all of them are contributing in doubles,” said Hayes. “As the season progresses, expect them to get better and get smarter.” 

The Lady Lions will return to home court to play Alcorn State University. Hayes gave his thoughts on the match up.

“They beat us last year, so it’s going to be important for us to get off to a good start, stay aggressive and fight for each point,” said Hayes. 

The scores from the matches provided by Sports Information are below..

 

Singles:

No. 1 Kelly Drew (Cajuns) def. Ceci Mercier (SLU) 7-5, 6-1

No. 2 Dana Radovanovic (Cajuns) def. Fleur Holtkamp (SLU) 6-2, 6-3

No. 3 Floriane Picaut (Cajuns) def. Jiva de Veer (SLU) 6-1, 6-2

No. 4 Dany Raygadas (SLU) def. Elena Sava (Cajuns) 6-4, 4-6, 6-2

No. 5 Dalina Dahlmans (SLU) def. Abby Johnson (Cajuns) 4-6, 6-2, 6-2

No. 6 Marina Garcia (Cajuns) def. Katya Cornejo (SLU) 6-4, 3-6, 6-2

 

Doubles:

No. 1 Dahlmans/Ximena Yanez (SLU) vs. Picaut/Radovanovic (Cajuns), unfinished

No. 2 Holtkamp/de Veer (SLU) def. Johnson/Morgan Forshag (Cajuns) 6-4

No. 3 Cornejo/Raygadas (SLU) def. Drew/Garcia (Cajuns) 7-5