Feb. 15, 2011
NEW ORLEANS - The Tulane University women's tennis team returns to action on Wednesday, Feb. 16, when the Green Wave play host to in-state rival LSU at the Goldring Tennis Center. First serve is slated for 2 p.m. and admission is free.
Fans can pick up a free hot dog while they enjoy the action while Hebrew National franks and bratwursts can be purchased for $1 and $2, respectively. The Wave enter the midweek match-up 2-4 on the year and looking to snap a four-match losing skid dating back to a 4-1 loss to Texas Tech on Feb. 4. Wednesday's match marks the 34th meeting between the two teams on the court and LSU holds a 29-4 advantage in the all-time series. Last season, Tulane went to Baton Rouge on March 17 and nearly pulled the upset before falling, 4-3.
"With them being just an hour away from us, there has always been a Tulane/LSU rivalry in every sport so we always look forward to playing them," Tulane head women's tennis coach Terri Sisk said. "Last year, we went to them and lost 3-4 as a second-year program. We were very excited about our performance then, and to be honest, we expect another battle tomorrow. They're going to come here and be ready to play, as are we. They're a good team and it should be a battle for sure."
As a team, Tulane is 74-57 in singles play and 39-24 in doubles action, including singles and doubles marks of 16-19 and 7-7 in dual-match play so far this spring, respectively. Junior Mariam Kurdadze paces the Wave with a 12-8 overall singles record and shares team-high dual-match marks at 4-2 with fellow junior Lindsay Dvorak.
In doubles, the tandem of Kurdadze and sophomore Emma Levy lead the way with a 13-6 overall record. The duo shares team-high dual-match doubles win totals at two along with pairs Hila Elster and Elizabeth Hamlin along with Dvorak and Emma Helistén.
"When we went to Denver, we played at such a high altitude that we actually had altitude sickness," Sisk said. "A lot of girls were complaining of nausea and headaches. We played two teams who were used to that altitude and we still barely lost. We're excited about that. I tell the girls all the time that I'm not concerned about what our record is. I'm concerned with the development phase of what we're going here and I couldn't be any prouder.
"They gave those teams indoors, on a fast-court surface and in a high altitude everything they could hand and then some. I'm not worried with being 2-4 on the year. I'm excited about the progress we're making and where we're going, and tomorrow is just another chance to see how good we've gotten."
LSU, meanwhile, comes to town 0-3 on the year after dropping consecutive matches to Texas Tech (5-1), Texas A&M (4-3) and Rice (4-3). As a team, the Tigers are 43-86 in singles play and 20-40 in doubles competition, including marks of 7-11 and 0-6 in singles and doubles action in dual matches, respectively.
Whitney Wolf paces LSU with an 11-7 overall singles mark and is tied with Kaitlin Burns and Ebie Wilson for the team's best dual-match singles record at 2-1. The tandem of Wolf and Keri Frankenberger lead the Tigers with a 4-5 overall doubles mark. LSU did not play doubles in the spring opener against the Red Raiders and are all three doubles teams are 0-2 so far during the dual-match schedule.
"To come away with a win against LSU and it being such a big rivalry, it's going to be a couple of things," Sisk said. "How mentally tough are you? How are you going to act if something doesn't go your way? What happens if you get a bad call from a ref? You've got to be mentally tough. I think we're going to have to play with a lot of heart.
"There is so much parity in college tennis. There are so many teams from 30-80 that on any given day can beat each other. It all comes down to who show up, who's ready to play and who's ready to battle. It'll be a true battle."
Following Wednesday's match vs. LSU, the Green Wave return to action over the weekend when they travel to Greenville, S.C., for Saturday and Sunday contests against Winthrop and host Furman, respectively. From there, Tulane will continue its four-match road swing on Feb. 26-27 against Georgia State and Troy before returning home to take on Conference USA rival UAB on March 5.