Tennis looks to ace conference preparation

Freshman Jiva de Veer looks to connect her forehand in her singles match against Louisiana State University of Alexandria’s  Adriana Cabezas. She won her singles match 6-3, 6-4 and continued her form with doubles partner senior Fleur Holtkamp with another victory. Nikisun Shrestha/The Lion’s Roar

The Lady Lions tennis team improved their overall record with three wins last week after a losing start to the season.

The team recorded their first victory at home against Louisiana State University of Alexandria on Friday, Feb. 16 as they defeated them 6-1. Head Coach Jason Hayes gave his thought on the victory.

“It was a tough match,” said Hayes. “Alexandria’s a good team, very well coached. We did some things really well, and then we struggled with some other things. But when the match got tight, we were able to come through.”

The team coped with tough playing conditions during the matches and made necessary adjustments to their game plan.

“It was windy,” said Hayes. “So, we had a lot of trouble adjusting to that in the beginning. The more the match went on, we did better. Our footwork struggled in the beginning, and our shot selection struggled. But we got better with that as the match went on.”

Freshman Katya Cornejo explained how she managed to tackle the windy conditions.

“My girl in the singles, she was really tough, but I just kept fighting,” said Cornejo. “I tried to put a lot of balls in when it’s really windy and try not to go to the lines.”

There were five Lady Lions who won in both their singles and doubles matches. Freshman Jiva De Veer was one of the five players to win in both the categories. She described her performance during the matches.

“I think it was a really good match,” said De Veer. “We all worked very hard and did our best, and we got good results.”

The match also saw seniors Dany Raygadas and Madina Vorotnikova return to fitness. Raygadas was ill ,and Vorotnikova had to battle with a foot injury prior to the matches.

The schedule during the spring season has been altered multiple times due to weather conditions with three matches already being canceled this season. Hayes explained the adjustments that the players are making due to these changes.

“It’s an outdoor sport,” said Hayes. “You have to make the adjustments, and you have to make it work. We’ve had to adjust our practice schedule to put matches in. We can learn more from a match than we can from practice if we do the things we need to do, and we do them correctly.”

After the match against LSU Alexandria, the Lady Lions traveled to University of South Alabama. The Lady Lions were beaten 4-0 in the road game, which broke the Lady Lion’s three-game winning streak. 

“They’re a good team,” said Hayes. “They’ve got a lot of girls that can cause a lot of problems for us. It’s gonna be important because we’re gonna need to go out there, and it’s a good test before the start of the conference. We got to play great to be able to win, and that’s where we’re trying to get. We’re trying to get to that level so it gets us better prepared for the conference.”