The Student News Site of University of Louisiana Monroe

The Hawkeye

The Student News Site of University of Louisiana Monroe

The Hawkeye

The Student News Site of University of Louisiana Monroe

The Hawkeye

Alvaro inspires team, fosters relationships


   For the first tennis match of the 2024 season, the ULM tennis team (1-0) started strong as ever with a grueling, yet rewarding, 5-2 victory over the LSU Shreveport Pilots. The competition on Friday was three and a half hours of pure adrenaline and sweat. The Warhawks went toe-to-toe and wing-to-wing with the Pilots to start the season on a good note.

 Given that the Warhawks faltered last season with a humbling 26.1 percent winning rate in conference, many lowered their bar to the ground for the 2024 season. A new coach and a team full of new players meant a lot of learning needed to be done. The Warhawks quickly began to shape up after being mentored by a winner of six titles in the ITF Junior Circuit, coach Ivone Alvaro.

 “Looking at the start of this year for the girls compared to last year, I think it’s been a huge improvement overall on the court,” Alvaro said. “I think it was really good for them to play and get their confidence built up for the season.”

 Many of the players said they felt their newfound success at ULM came from the unwavering support of their mentor.

 “From my experience with coaches over my years at ULM, she’s the one that I have the best connection with,” senior Giovanna Pereira said. “I even decided to stay one more semester for her and the team.”

Staying an extra semester when she could’ve graduated in the fall says a great deal about just how well Alvaro pulled this team together.

 “[Alvaro] helped us a lot to grow as a team and individually,” said sophomore Tamara Bachmann. She went on to say that coach Alvaro strives to bring out the best of all her players. 

Bachmann’s single win helped tip the scales and push the Warhawks to a victory.But this win could not have been possible without the 2-1 doubles wins pulled off by the Warhawks. Doubles pairs Anglea Del Campo Suarez / Tamara Bachmann and Alice Klinteby / Giovanna Pereira took their matches 6-3, whereas Mariam Hatem and Raquel Alvaro dropped a close 4-6.  

One hurdle Alvaro found early on was the diversity of her players. These athletes came from all over the globe, each with their own culture and background to bring to the table.

 “I think we have girls from seven different countries,” Alvaro said. “It’s a bit of a challenge to get them to understand each other, but at the same time, it’s very rewarding.”

Alvaro’s coaching has brought girls, each thousands of miles from home, together in the best way. The team’s chemistry shone through on the court.

With a confident coach at the helm, the tennis team seems to be on the way up.

The Warhawks are back and ready to take on the spring season.

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