Oct 29, 2012 7:42 PM by UL Sports Information
Nicole Breaux and Sophie van den Aarssen each won their respective consolation draws over the weekend at the Southern Miss Halloween Classic as the Ragin' Cajuns women's tennis team closed out its fall season.
"This has been a productive fall," head coach Greg Harkins said. "We challenged some of the teams in the region and conference, but there has also been room for improvement. For us to compete for a conference title in the spring we are going to have to become more consistent."
Breaux suffered a 6-3, 6-3 loss in her opening match against Kate Lanier of Southern Miss, but bounced back to win her next two contests. The freshman defeated Natalia Mayahoita of Lamar 6-1, 6-1 before winning a hard fought consolation final against Carla Suga of Murray State, 5-7, 7-6(4), 10-5.
"Nicole has shown a ton of improvement since we started this fall," Harkins noted. "She works hard and has helped raise the level of the other girls on the team. Obviously you can see her hard work paying off on the court with her performances this fall."
This fall Breaux has a team best 7-5 record in singles competition finishing the season on a strong note with wins in four of her last five matches.
Like Breaux, van den Aarssen also won her consolation final notching a 6-4, 6-4 victory over Raphael Lime of Jackson State.
Melissa Burckhartt picked up a win in her opening match defeating Olga Leyshyna of Northwestern State 6-2, 6-2.
"Melissa has been battling an injury all fall and was able to gut out a gritty win against a quality opponent," Harkins added. "Efforts like that are what embodies the kind of mindset and atmosphere we are creating in this program."
In doubles, both of the Cajuns teams picked up wins on the first day as van den Aarssen and Breaux had an 8-3 win over Krizia Buck and Allison Murphy of Central Arkansas. Hannah Appleyard and Burckhartt teamed up to defeat Isabel Brito and Nastya Tokareva of Southeastern La. in their first round match, 8-5.
"I'm pleased that we are improving, but I want to challenge the team to get even better," Harkins said. "We still have a long way to go to get to where we like to be. The good thing is that I think this team can get there if they continue to work hard and improve."
The Cajuns open the 2013 spring season in Denver, Colo. on Jan. 25 when they face former conference foe Denver in the team's first dual match of the year.