MONROE, La. -- The ULM women's tennis program will begin its spring season on Sunday when Central Arkansas visits Monroe. Head Coach Terrence De Jongh is in his seventh season at the helm and the Warhawks look to build upon last season's success. De Jongh is 77-46 in his six seasons at ULM.
Last spring, ULM went 15-4 including a first round Sun Belt Tournament victory over Western Kentucky. The Warhawks collected eight points towards the Sun Belt Vic Bubas Cup All-Sports Award, the most of any ULM program for the second straight year. In 2009-10, ULM collected 11 points towards the award.
Freshman Petra Horakova joins the program at semester and will look to see action this spring.
Following a strong fall season, Coach De Jongh sat down with ULM Media Relations to discuss the team and the upcoming season.
"I thought we had a solid fall. In singles, we pretty much dominated all the tournaments we went to. We had both returners and newcomers winning their flights. The only tournament we struggled somewhat was the ITA Southern Regional but we were playing some of the top talent in the country."
"Doubles is something we are working on improving. We had some sparks in the fall but we could not find consistent play and need to find teams we can count on this spring."
"It is always a challenge to put together a spring schedule because we do not have a Sun Belt schedule so it is entirely open. As of right now, we have one nationally ranked program in North Texas and solid programs like Texas State, Middle Tennessee and Northwestern State. We have a balanced schedule and I look forward to the challenge."
"I look at it this way; I have a larger pool to recruit from. I look at both local and international student-athletes but it just happens this season we have an all-international roster."
"I tell the girls that we need to take care of all of our home matches. That is how you build the fan base around the school and create some excitement in the community. Next, we want to win all the Sun Belt matches as a way to prepare for the conference tournament. If you can take care of those two parts of the schedule you are at 60% to 70% of your spring season."
"We have good returning players and solid newcomers but we do not have a senior and just one junior, so we are very young. At the same time, we have players that can do some damage in the spring."
Sun Belt Conference Tournament
"A challenge will be the changes in the Sun Belt as far as members go. We might be facing teams we have never seen before. We have had some good programs leave, like Denver but some solid programs will be joining. For example, Georgia State has always been a strong program. What I always want is to be towards the top five programs, because then you have the opportunity to push towards a title."