Tennis looks to learn from LSU loss

Senior Dany Raygadas and her partner in doubles category freshman Katya Cornejo recorded a win for the Lady Lions in the match against Louisiana State University. File Photo/The Lion's Roar

The Lady Lions tennis team was handed their fourth loss of the spring season at the road game against Louisiana State University.

The team traveled to Baton Rouge to play on Tuesday, Feb. 20. Head Coach Jason Hayes was pleased with the team’s effort, but he pointed out that LSU played better tennis across the matches.

“We play good,” said Hayes. “The problem is our opponents were just better, but each girl was focused on what they were trying to do and played with a great effort.” 

The 5-1 loss concluded a busy schedule for the team. They played five games in nine days. Hayes described how the matches challenged the team physically and how he managed through the schedule.

Hayes said, “It was very physical, and because our season is long and we had so many injuries last year, we gave them days off between matches, which may have saved their body, but we were unable to practice this last week and a half.” 

LSU won the doubles point and also had four victories in the singles category. Despite the loss, Hayes found positives in facing the Southeastern Conference opponent ahead of the start of Southland Conference play.

Hayes thinks the team has become better with their shot selection, fight and positive attitude. However, he also said that the team has a “long way to go.”

The partnership of senior Dany Raygadas and freshman Katya Cornejo continued their form in the doubles matchup against LSU. They have a 4-2 record for the season. Hayes spoke about how the pair is working ahead of conference season.

“They have potential to be a very good team,” said Hayes. “They’re trying some new things. Some of it is working. Some of it isn’t, but trying new things will make them a better team.” 

The tennis team will play University of Louisiana at Monroe on Wednesday, Feb. 28. They return to the Southeastern Tennis Complex for the game after which the Southland Conference play begins against McNeese State University.

“It will be very difficult,” said Hayes. “We will need to play better than we have in any match so far. ULM is the defending Sunbelt champions, so it’s gonna be tough. I think we have the talent. We need to continue to work hard, and it’s important for each girl to believe in themselves.”