For a spring season that just started, the women’s tennis team is already dominating. They have only lost one game so far, but quickly redeemed themselves with their next victory.
The team started their first match on Jan. 23 against the University of Incarnate Word. Just like seasons in the past, Louisiana came out ready to win. In a 6-1 bout, the Ragin’ Cajuns won in both single and double play.
The powerful duo composed of Clara Mantaux and Isabella Kierkegaard sailed past Incarnate Word’s No. 2 doubles pair. This was Kierkegaard’s debut as a Cajun, and she also snatched a singles victory, giving her two wins in her first day of Louisiana gameplay.
Four matches of singles competition were also played. The No. 5 and No. 6 singles lineup spots remained unplayed as Incarnate Word did not have the players needed to compete. In the game-winning match, Louisiana’s Floriane Picaut won 6-3 and 6-0.
Louisiana’s next matchup showed that even after such a decisive victory, there is always room for more practice and improvement. They lost to Rice 4-0 on Jan. 24.
Neither the Mantaux and Kierkegaard pair nor Louisiana’s other double pair, Floriane Picaut and Dana Radovanovic, were able to dominate in double play. All four competed in singles matches as did Babette Burgersdijk and Lucie Raquin, but the losses outweighed the wins.
In their next matchup, Louisiana came back with a vengeance. In a full single and double sweep, they demolished Southern 7-0. The Ragin’ Cajuns played in every match and won every set without ties or unfinished sets.
Radovanovic and Nandi Munyulwa won 6-0 while Mantaux and Raquin won 6-0 and 6-1 respectively. In doubles, Mantaux and Kierkegaard won 6-1 in their first match at No. 1. Louisiana’s other double team, Picaut and Raquin secured a 6-0 win.
For a roster that is only 10 members long, small compared to other sports, Head Coach Stephanie Vallejos is doing a great job. She has a knack for selecting the best players and doubles teams for certain matches.
With the win against Southern, Vallejos earned her 50th win as a Louisiana coach. She is only the third coach in program history to reach this milestone and only 11 wins away from becoming the most winning coach in program history.
The Ragin’ Cajuns now have a record of 2-1 and showed that they can deliver, even after a tough loss. Their next matchup will be on Feb. 6 in New Orleans against Tulane. Sun Belt Conference play will start in March.