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Tennis shines at Sun Belt Conference tournament

Stefana+Andrei+and+Petra+Horakova+show+off+their+awards+at+the+ceremonies+held+before+the+conference+tournament.++Photo+by+ULM+Athletics.
Stefana Andrei and Petra Horakova show off their awards at the ceremonies held before the conference tournament.  Photo by ULM Athletics.

Stefana Andrei and Petra Horakova show off their awards at the ceremonies held before the conference tournament. Photo by ULM Athletics.

Stefana Andrei and Petra Horakova show off their awards at the ceremonies held before the conference tournament. Photo by ULM Athletics.

John Stevens, [email protected]

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After a remarkable season by the ULM tennis program, the team loaded up and went south to New Orleans for the Sun Belt Conference championships. Before the tournament started, the team was honored for many accomplishments.

Starting off the awards was the junior from Romania, Stefana Andrei, who won conference newcomer of the year. Andrei finished the season with a 9-2 record and played all her matches at the one position.

This marked the first newcomer of the year award for the program since 2001 when Julie Perovic earned it from the Southland Conference.

Andrei wasn’t done claiming her awards yet though, as she also went on to win All-Sun Belt singles first team and All-Sun Belt doubles second team along side her doubles teammate Petra Horakova.

Other than the players earning top conference honors, the man behind all of the success of the program was also honored. Head coach Terrence De Jongh was announced as Sun Belt Conference Coach of the Year after leading his team to a 13-1 record on the season and undefeated in conference play.

“It’s great to win individual awards, but the main goal is to win conference. Individual awards are important, but that’s not what’s important to the finals,” De Jongh said.

De Jongh, who graduated from Louisiana Tech in 2003, first arrived at ULM in 2007 where he began his transformation of the team. In 2010, his team went 17-7 and hasn’t looked back since. De Jongh’s six winning seasons have earned him this award after he has proven that the Warhawks can have success in the Sun Belt.

With the Warhawks claiming the number one seed in the Sun Belt tournament, the team is highly favored going in and can make a run that will set them up nicely for the post-season.

In their quarterfinal game against Texas State, the Warhawks swept the Bobcats 4-0 and advanced to the semifinal vs. Troy on Saturday.

In the match vs. Texas State, team leader Petra Horakova improved to 14-0 on the season in dual play. In doubles play, Tiffany Mylonas and Luana Stanciu won their match by a final score of 7-5 to take the doubles win.

“We have to stay humble and tomorrow we have to come back to work,” said Horkova following the quarterfinal match.

The Warhawks matched up well in the semi-final against Troy taking the match Saturday morning by a score of 4-1.

The pair of Madalina Grigoriu and Karolina Snita led the Warhawks when they defeated their opponent by scores of 7-5 and 6-4.

The win clinched the Warhawks a birth in the championship. For results of the Sun Belt conference final match please be sure to visit ulmhawkeyeonline.com

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Tennis shines at Sun Belt Conference tournament