Feb. 9, 2009

Courtesy of Southeastern Louisiana

RUSTON – The three-time defending Southland Conference regular season champion Southeastern Louisiana women’s tennis team opened its 2009 schedule this weekend with a pair of victories, defeating in-state foes Centenary and Louisiana Tech.

The Lady Lions (2-0), which played with only five players on opening weekend, rolled to a 6-0 win over Centenary on Saturday. On Sunday, Louisiana Tech took an early lead by earning the doubles point, but the Lady Lions rallied with four singles victories.

“We were playing short-handed this weekend, so we knew we had to play well,” Southeastern head coach Jason Hayes commented. “We lost a tough doubles point on Sunday, but we responded by playing at an extremely high level during singles and were able to come up with a nice win.”

Senior Iva Velkovska, along with freshmen Audrey Chelini and Morgane Dadot, started the season with 2-0 singles marks. Junior Ashley Longoria and freshman Annika Hanke also picked up their first singles victories of their Southeastern careers on the opening weekend.

The Lady Lions were too much for Centenary from the start. In doubles play, the No. 1 pair of Velkovska and Chelini rolled past Kate Buchanon and Courtney Meyers, 8-0. Dadot and Langoria clinched the point with an 8-0 win over Stephanie Canady and Arielle Schulman at No. 2.

In singles action, Chelini, Dadot and Longoria all earned 6-0, 6-0 wins at the No. 2, 3 and 4 positions, respectively. At No. 1, Velkovska moved past Meyers, 6-0, 6-1. Hanke earned the last point by default.

Sunday’s match was more difficult, as Louisiana Tech earned the doubles point with an 8-6 victory by Maartie de Wit and Rocio Juarez at No. 2 over Dadot and Longoria. At No. 1, Velkovska and Chelini powered past Mallory Smith and Ashley Wedderburn, 8-3. But, the Bulldogs earned the point due to a default victory at No. 3.

Louisiana Tech took a 2-0 lead with a default win at the No. 6 singles position. But, Southeastern came back, as Velkovska, Chelini and Morgane Dadot  cruised to straight set victories at the top of the singles draw. Hanke clinched the win with a 6-2, 3-6, 6-2 victory over Laura Rodriguez at No. 5.

Southeastern will be back in action on Wednesday, facing UNO at 2 p.m. in New Orleans.

Southeastern Louisiana 6, Centenary 0
No. 1 Iva Velkovska (SLU) def. Courtney Meyers (CC) 6-0, 6-1 No. 2 Audrey Chelini (SLU) def. Kate Buchanon (CC) 6-0, 6-0 No. 3 Morgane Dadot (SLU) def. Stephanie Canady (CC) 6-0, 6-0 No. 4 Ashley Longoria (SLU) def. Arielle Schulman (CC) 6-0, 6-0 No. 5 Annika Hanke (SLU) won by default

No. 1 Chelini/Velkovska (SLU) def. Buchanon/Meyers (CC) 8-0 No. 2 Dadot/Longoria (SLU) def. Canady/Schulman (CC) 8-0

Southeastern Louisiana 4, Louisiana Tech 3
No. 1 Iva Velkovska (SLU) def. Ashley Wedderburn (LTU) 6-1, 6-0 No. 2 Audrey Chelini (SLU) def. Ada Makowska (LTU) 6-1, 6-4 No. 3 Morgane Dadot (SLU) def. Maartie de Wit (LTU) 6-1, 6-1 No. 4 Rocio Juarez (LTU) def. Ashley Longoria (SLU) 7-5, 3-6, 6-4 No. 5 Annika Hanke (SLU) def. Laura Rodriguez (LTU) 6-2, 3-6, 6-2 No. 6 Mallory Smith (LTU) won by default

No. 1 Chelini/Velkovska (SLU) def. Smith/Wedderburn (LTU) 8-3 No. 2 de Wit/Juarez (LTU) def. Dadot/Longoria (SLU) 8-6 No. 3 Makowska/Rodriguez (LTU) won by default