LAFAYETTE, La. – The Ragin' Cajuns women's tennis team bounced back from a pair of losses to defeat Samford 5-2 on Tuesday afternoon at Cajun Courts.
"Really proud of the effort today," head coach Greg Harkins said. "We did it the hard way after dropping the doubles point. They easily handled us 6-1 last year and we were able to get on top this time around. I've challenged the girls so much this year and they have responded well. This was a whole team effort."
Samford (6-8) earned the doubles point after sweeping competition on all three courts.
Despite falling behind in the match, Louisiana (11-8) bounced back to win the first set on all six courts in singles competition.
"I have to give the girls credit," Harkins stated. "They bounced back from the gut check in doubles to win the first set on all of the courts. That really pushed the momentum our way in the match."
Sandra Ahlqvist was the first to come off for the Ragin' Cajuns as her 6-2, 6-3 victory on court four evened the contest at 1-all. The win gives Ahlqvist a team-best 11 on the season.
The Cajuns went in front 2-1 after senior Hannah Appleyard defeated AnnMarie Lyon at the No.6 position, 6-3, 6-3. Appleyard is now 6-6 on the season in singles.
Sophie van den Aarssen moved Louisiana a point away from clinching as she pulled out a 6-3, 7-5 straight-set triumph on court one against Kristin Lewis.
After Samford cut the Cajuns lead to 3-2, freshman Nicole Breaux clinched the match for Louisiana at No.2 singles gutting out a 7-5, 7-5 decision against Jessica Northcutt to give her nine wins on the season.
"Nicole Breaux really played big for us today," Harkins mentioned. "She was able to clinch yet another match for us when we needed it."
Bailey VanDyke notched the final point of the match for the Cajuns on court five defeating Emily Mallory in three sets, 6-4, 6-7 (3), 6-3.
"This has to be the toughest stretch we have played all year long with five matches in the last eight days," Harkins noted. "They were all tough matches and stretched us to our limits. I know the girls are looking forward to some time off before we start the final part of the season."
The Ragin' Cajuns will have 10 days off before continuing their nine-match homestand on Friday, March 29 at 2 p.m. against conference foe Arkansas State.
Louisiana 5, Samford 2
1. Sop. Van den Aarssen (UL) def. Kristin Lewis (SAM) 6-3, 7-5
2. Nicole Breaux (UL) def. Jessica Northcutt (SAM) 7-5, 7-5
3. Stephanie N'tcha (SAM) def. Melissa Burckhartt (UL) 5-7, 6-2, 6-0
4. Sandra Ahlqvist (UL) def. Carita Moolman (SAM) 6-2, 6-3
5. Bailey VanDyke (UL) def. Emily Mallory (SAM) 6-4, 6-7 (3), 6-3
6. Hannah Appleyard (UL) def. AnnMarie Lyon (SAM) 6-3, 6-3
1. Kristin Lewis/Stephanie N'tcha (SAM) def. Sop. Van den Aarssen/Nicole Breaux (UL) 8-0
2. Carita Moolman/Adri Lochner (SAM) def. Melissa Burckhartt/Sandra Ahlqvist (UL) 8-7 (7-4)
3. Jessica Northcutt/Emily Mallory (SAM) def. Hannah Appleyard/Bailey VanDyke (UL) 8-5
Order of finish: Doubles (1,3,2); Singles (4,6,1,3,2,5)