tennis

The Ragin’ Cajuns women’s tennis team started their 2020 season on Jan. 18. To say they started off strong would be an understatement.

By the early looks, this could be one of their best seasons. Since the start of the program, the women have had over 15 winning seasons and six straight winning seasons in the 90s.

So far this season, they have won every game. The team is now 5-0 and conference play hasn’t even started yet.

All the games have been at home held at Cajun Courts so far. Louisiana kicked off with a game against Grambling. The Ragin’ Cajuns won 6-0 for a singles-match sweep of their opponents. Doubles matches were not played due to this.

Top singles-match players were Dana Radovanovic and Floriane Picaut. Radovanovic played the first match of the day, while Picaut defeated Grambling’s top player.

The next two games were both against Prairie View A&M on Jan. 19. Both games saw Louisiana participate in doubles and singles matches.

The first was at 12 p.m. and resulted in a 6-1 win. Unlike their first game of the season, the games started with doubles play and this time it was not a clean sweep. There was also an unfinished match with a 5-5 tie.

All Louisiana competitors won except for Radovanovic, who lost in a prolonged match.

The second was at 3 p.m and ended with a 4-0 win. Four games ended unfinished, but the wins the Ragin’ Cajuns earned were hard-fought.

For the first game of February, the Ragin’ Cajuns took on Southern. An impressive 7-0 sweep took place.

Only two doubles matches were played to earn a point due to Southern only having five competitors. One match for Louisiana was won due to forfeit.

Still, again Radovanovic and Picaut were impressive. Radovanovic is a junior from France with 6-9 and 7-9 singles records in previous seasons.

Picaut is also a junior from France. She went 10-9 last season and placed at No. 1 singles, finishing with the most overall singles wins for the Ragin’ Cajuns.

So far this season, she is 5-0 in singles play.

A week after the Southern win, Louisiana played Northwestern State. This victory was won 4-1.

Due to rain, the games once again started with doubles. The Ragin’ Cajuns secured their two doubles wins and went unfinished in the third.

Picaut started singles play with a win and Radovanovic ended it.

The team’s head coach is Stephanie Vallejos. She’s in her fifth season in the position and, though she has not been with the Ragin’ Cajuns for long, she has coached multiple No. 1 singles players to eight wins.

She has previous experience before working for Louisiana and her earliest memory on a tennis court comes from a young age. “I think I was 9 or 10 years old, and I was on the tennis court with my dad and my older brother. I tried and I never stopped. I played every day since then and started competing,” Vallejos said.

Up next, the Ragin’ Cajuns face Southeastern on Feb. 13 and Mcneese on Feb. 15. This will be the team’s first away games of the season. Following that, Louisiana will travel out of the state to take on UIC in Chicago.

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