In case you didn't know...
UL Tennis is hot! The men's and women's teams are heating up the courts
UL men's head tennis coach Mark Jeffrey introduced me to freshman Javier Pulgar-Garcia last week over at Cajun Courts and said, "He's from Madrid, Spain."
We chatted and I found out he's a huge Rafael Nadal fan...one of the best tennis players in the world, who also hails from Spain. Immediately I turned to fellow freshman Yanick Mandl, who is from Switzerland (home of Roger Federer), and asked, "Any competition there?"
Yanick laughed and said, "Yeah."
Even when they're joking, that's the kind of competitive culture vibing around the men's tennis team right now. Mandl claims that Federer is king while Garcia swears its Nadal. After all of the sideline debating is over, it's time to play some tennis.
Both freshmen have been playing well. Actually, the entire team is playing near-flawless tennis right now. Winners of their last six matches, UL is steam-rolling towards a Top-75 ranking in the nation and anxiously awaits the thick of the conference race.
Coach Jeffery recognized that his team would be special early on this season and hopes that more fans will come out to see his squad before the conference tournament starts next month. He said he wants to see more competition in practices to get ready for tough matches...
..like Federer vs. Nadal. Oh, and by the way, Pulgar-Garcia and Mandl are roommates.
Things are just as breezy on the women's side of things. First year head coach Tina Samara's girls keep snapping off forehand winners and backhand saves no matter who is on the other side of the net. The team has won 6 of their last 7 matches after starting the season with a wobbly 1-and-7 record.
It pays to get hot at the right time and the ladies couldn't be any hotter right now. They have a crucial road swing coming up this weekend in the Sunshine State against Central Florida and conference opponents FIU and FAU.
If UL can win two matches this weekend, they'll finish with a .500 record this season.
You've got two chances to catch UL tennis teams in action before the Sun Belt Conference Championships in late April: