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Women’s Tennis Set for Senior Day Match Against No. 14 Auburn

Women’s Tennis Set for Senior Day Match Against No. 14 Auburn

BATON ROUGE, La.  – The LSU women’s tennis team (14-8, 6-6 SEC) will conclude the regular season in a Tigers vs. Tigers matchup when LSU and No. 14 Auburn (14-9, 8-4 SEC) face off at noon CT on Sunday at the LSU Tennis Complex.

Admission to all matches at the LSU Tennis Complex are free of charge with fans required to follow the university’s clear bag policy. The first 100 fans will receive free Whataburger on a first come, first served basis. Around 15 minutes before the start of the match, LSU will honor its two seniors, Aran Teixidó Garcia and Maya Tahan, in a senior day ceremony on center court.

No. 14 Auburn (Apr. 14)
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Notes on Auburn
In the series history between the two Tigers, LSU holds a 30-16 advantage. When the teams met last season in Auburn, the hosts squeezed out a 4-3 win.

The Auburn Tigers come into Sunday’s season finale with a 14-9 overall record, 8-4 SEC mark and a ranking of No. 14 by the ITA. Strong wins such as a 4-2 win over No. 15 Duke and a 4-0 win over No. 8 Florida at the ITA National Indoor Championship lead the resume for the team. In conference play, Auburn’s four losses have all come against foes in the Top 25 (No. 16 Florida, No. 19 South Carolina, and No. 24 Tennessee in March). Their most recent defeat came on Friday, where they fell 6-1 at No. 11 Texas A&M.

2023 ITA Singles All-American Carloyn Ansari leads the way for Auburn with an 18-9 mark on the season and a 12-5 tally at the No. 1 singles court. Ansari is ranked No. 6 by the ITA and is joined by No. 54 DJ Bennett and No. 71 Ariana Arseneault as Tigers ranked in singles.

In doubles, Arsenault and Bennett have an 8-3 record at the top doubles court for Auburn and are ranked No. 8 in the latest ITA doubles rankings. They’re joined in the rankings by the pair on the team of Adeline Flach and Angella Okutoyi, who have earned seven wins this spring and a ranking of No. 46.

Last Time Out
The Tigers opened the final weekend of the regular season with a 4-2 win over the Alabama Crimson Tide on Friday night at the LSU Tennis Complex. Maya Tahan and Gaby Rivera won 6-3 at the No. 3 doubles court before Anita Sahdiieva and Kenna Erickson clinched the doubles point with a 6-3 win over the No. 14-ranked duo of Anne Marie Hiser and Loudmilla Bencheikh.

LSU’s three points in singles came from Erickson at the No. 6 court, Rivera at the No. 5 spot before Florentine Dekkers took down No. 51 Bencheikh at the top singles court to get the fourth and clinching point of the match.

Senior Day Tributes
Before the start of Sunday’s match, LSU will honor two players in a senior day ceremony. Graduate students Aran Teixidó Garcia and Maya Tahan joined the program for one season, but both have been a pivotal part of the success the team’s had this year with their performances on the court and their leadership off it.

Teixidó Garcia came to Baton Rouge after four strong seasons at Memphis, where she most notably helped her team pick up the 2021 AAC conference title for the first time in program history with strong singles and doubles performances at their top courts. A Tiger with new stripes, Teixidó Garcia has been at the heart of success this season for LSU, posting an 11-5 singles record playing at the top singles courts and a team-leading 12-8 doubles record playing primarily at the No. 2 court.

Tahan made the move to LSU after four years at the University of Miami, where she was a key starter all four years in one of the school’s most successful runs in program history. This spring, Tahan has never left the lineup and has posted a 9-5 singles record playing at the No. 4 and 5 courts. In doubles, Tahan has posted a 10-7 record playing with a team-high three different partners.

Both players are set to earn their Master of Business Administrations from the LSU E.J. Ourso College of Business this upcoming August.

Tiger Tidbits
In the latest ITA team rankings, the Tigers moved up six spots to No. 33. In the now-weekly individual rankings, LSU had two players ranked in singles and one doubles duo. In singles, Aran Teixidó Garcia and Dekkers are ranked No. 91 and 109 respectively while Kenna Erickson and Anita Sahdiieva checked in at No. 81 in the doubles rankings.

Dekkers enters Sunday’s match in the strongest singles form of the team with a four-match winning streak. In her past four wins, three have come against ranked foes, including a 6-4, 6-4 straight set win over No. 14 Nicole Khirin of Texas A&M. Despite missing two matches due to illness the previous week, Dekkers slotted right back into the lineup and picked up the vital fourth point of the night in Friday’s 4-2 win against Alabama by defeating No. 51 Bencheikh.

The freshman-junior doubles pair of Erickson and Sahdiieva have played at the No. 1 doubles spot for the Tigers since February, where they have picked up six wins together. With Friday’s win over the No. 14-ranked duo in the nation, the LSU pair has won their past three matchups in as many matches with all the wins coming against opponents ranked by the ITA.

Sahdiieva’s success in singles leads the team this spring, posting a record of 12-2 playing primarily at the No. 3 spot for the Tigers. Her 12 singles wins in the dual season rank the most on the team and her five wins in SEC play are tied with Erickson and Gaby Rivera for the most on the team.

Erickson has found strong form at the business end of the season, winning three straight in doubles with Sahdiieva and three straight in singles dating back to last weekend. The freshman has earned nine singles wins this season and has scored in every SEC win that the Tigers have earned this season.

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