Men’s Tennis Begins Season at ULL Hidden Duel • The Tulane Hullabaloo

Rahima Olatinwo

For the first time, Tulane Men’s Tennis was invited and competed in the Hidden Duel ULL hosted by Louisiana-Lafayette Ragin’ Cajuns. This weekend, the team traveled to Lake Charles Racquet Club to compete in their first tournament for the Fall 2022 campaign.

Starting hot on Friday, Tulane guaranteed three wins in doubles against the Ragin’ Cajuns, beating them 3-1, and splitting singles sets against the South Alabama Jaguars, earning four victories for Onda Verde.

Saturday was more of the same; doubles teams Fynn Kuenkler/Alex Bancila and Rafael de Alba/Luka Petrovic both took home wins, sharing doubles with the Jaguars. Additionally, strong individual performances from Benji Jacobson and Alex Bancila took Tulane’s win total to 13 at the end of the day.

O final day of the tournament brought Tulane’s best performance yet, securing three of four tag team matches against the Texas-San Antonio Roadrunners to bring his tag team record to 8-4. It was a similar story for singles matches. The team battled the University of Louisiana at Lafayette to secure five wins and bring their singles record to 13-11, led by junior Alex Bancila’s 3-0 perfect day and finishing with 21 total wins over the weekend.

Speaking with senior Benji Jacobson about how the team prepared for this tournament, he emphasized new assistant coach Zaki Abdelrahman, saying: “[Abdelrahman] He’s a great coach, I really like him, all the guys like him, and he’s done a great job so far and he’s been a great addition.”

Going further, Jacobson discussed the new change in training styles from last year, “he’s very intense and expects really high standards for us. Which I think is great… he pushes us every day to give 110% and has elevated the team with his high standards and intense style of training.”

Jacobson also gave some insight into why these fall tournaments are so vital to the team and what they can learn and focus on saying, “It was great that, you know, people won, but the fall is not about winning or losing. It’s about putting yourself out there and competing and playing the right way. Because when we get to spring, we’re playing doubles, as if the pressure and energy are much higher than in the fall. So if you can learn to play the right way, winning or losing in the fall, hopefully that translates well into the spring, when it really matters.”

It’s safe to say that Tulane Men’s Tennis is ready for the challenge ahead and continues to work hard on and off the court.

Nextthe Green Wave will split the team, sending players to Destin, Florida, for Battle at the Beach, September 23-25, and to Hattiesburg, Mississippi, for the Southern Miss Invitational, September 24-25.