Tennis takes first two wins

Dakota Ratley

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The Warhawks women’s tennis team took the court against Southern last Thursday after rounding out a victory over Alcorn State earlier that morning.

ULM got the victory in both matches.

Coach Terrence De Jongh seemed pleased with the effort of his team.

“The afternoon match against southern was the toughest one. We needed to get the first match under our belt,” De Jongh said.

The Warhawks are unbeaten against Southern holding a 9-0 overall record against the Lady Jaguars.

The Warhawks are led this season by senior Sophie Rufyikiri who comes in ranked 18th in the Southern Region rankings released by the Intercollegiate Tennis Association on Jan. 6. Rufyikiri enters the 2015 season after having posted a 10-5 dual singles record and 12-4 doubles record the previous year.

Petra Horakova also looks to anchor the Warhawks and comes in with a 13-2 singles record and 10-8 dual doubles record.

Joining the Warhawks this year are Jana Duhanova and Amy Olivier.

The afternoon started off with Horakova and Rufyikiri dominating their opponents in doubles play with a 6-0 court victory. Letha Gaigher and and Jana Duhanova also took care of their opponents with a similarly dominating 6-1 performance to clinch doubles points for ULM.

As singles got underway, Horakova smothered her opponent 6-0, 6-0 on court four while Gaigher took care of her game 6-1, 6-3 on court five. Duhanova then clinched the match for the Warhawks with a 6-0, 6-0 victory on court six.

Match two proved more difficult as Horokova and Rufyikiri won a tight game 7-5 in doubles but saw Olivier and Botha lose 7-6. Gaigher and Duhanova won a close game 7-6 to give the Warhawks the doubles points for the second straight match in a row.

Singles began with more Warhawk victories as Rufyikiri capturing a 6-0, 6-2 win and Horakova garnering a 6-0, 6-2 win give the Warhawks a commanding singles lead. Duhanova then closed the deal with a 6-2, 6-2 win in her game.

The Warhawks came away with a decisive 4-0 win over Southern with commanding performances in both their doubles and singles matches.

De Jongh said that this is just the beginning of the process.

“It’s good to get these under our belt so we can work harder and fix some stuff that we need to fix and continue on with the season. I’m glad we got the two wins but we still have a lot of work ahead of us,” De Jongh said.

The Warhawks travel to Northwestern State Tuesday Feb. 3 to take on the Demons. They will return back to Monroe to face off with the University of New Orleans next Saturday.