MONROE, La. - ULM enters the Sun Belt Women's Tennis Championship as the No. 5 seed and will play No. 12 seed Western Kentucky in the opening round Thursday at 11:30 a.m., in Denton, Texas. The Warhawks finished the regular season with a 14-3 record, including a 4-0 mark against Sun Belt opponents.
"The seeding caught me by surprise with the success we have been having this season," ULM head coach Terrence De Jongh said. "Our girls are motivated and are looking to go to Denton and win the conference championship. We have come up short in the tournament the past two seasons and we know we have to take care of business and stay on top of our game so we can get further than we have been before."
With a win over Western Kentucky, the Warhawks would advance to face No. 4 seed Denver in the quarterfinals Friday at 11:30 a.m.
ULM racked up a double-digit winning streak for the second consecutive season, posting 10 straight wins earlier this season before losing to No. 58 Tulane on April 15. The Warhawks have a combined record of 32-4 over the past two seasons under De Jongh.
The Warhawks are led by sophomore Medy Blankvoort, who enters the week with a 15-1 singles record. Blankvoort won her first 15 matches of the season before falling to Isabel Fernandez of UAB (6-2, 2-6, 6-4) in the regular season's final week. She is 6-0 at No. 3 singles, 5-1 at No. 2 singles, 3-0 at No. 4 singles and 1-0 at No. 1 singles this season.
Blankvoort and senior Monica Winkel have combined in doubles play to go 11-3 this season, tied for the best mark on the team. Blankvoort and Winkel have a 6-1 mark at the No. 1 position and 5-2 record at the No. 2 position. Senior Vivian Polak and freshman Ema Turudija have also gone 11-3, playing mostly at the No. 3 position.
The Sun Belt will announce its all-conference team Wednesday night at the pre-tournament banquet.
2012 Sun Belt Conference Women's Tennis Championship Schedule
Thursday, April 19
Match 1: 8 a.m. – No. 10 UALR vs. No. 7 Troy
Match 2: 8 a.m. – No. 11 UL-Lafayette vs. No. 6 South Alabama
Match 3: 11:30 a.m. – No. 8 Arkansas State vs. No. 9 Florida Atlantic
Match 4: 11:30 a.m. – No. 12 Western Kentucky vs. No. 5 ULM
Friday, April 20
Match 5: 8 a.m. – No. 2 FIU vs. Match 1 winner
Match 6: 8 a.m. – No. 3 Middle Tennessee vs. Match 2 winner
Match 7: 11:30 a.m. – No. 1 North Texas vs. Match 3 winner
Match 8: 11:30 a.m. – No.4 Denver vs. Match 4 winner
Saturday, April 23
Match 9: 9 a.m. – Match 5 Winner v. Match 6 Winner
Match 10: 9 a.m. – Match 7 Winner v. Match 8 Winner
Sunday, April 24
Match 11: 1 p.m. – Women's Championship Match