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Women's Tennis: Louisiana Drops Conference Opener, 4-3, To Georgia Southern

LAFAYETTE – Louisiana Women's Tennis (5-7, 0-1 SBC) lost its Sun Belt Conference opening match to the Georgia Southern Eagles (7-6, 1-1 SBC), 4-3, in a Friday morning match at Cajun Courts.

Junior Clara Mantaux, sophomore Floriane Picaut and freshman Hoda Habib all snagged wins in singles for Louisiana, but the doubles point earned by Georgia Southern became the difference maker in the match going the way of the Eagles.  For Habib it was her second straight win, while Picaut and Mantaux improved their records to 8-4 and 6-3 respectively in singles.

HOW IT HAPPENED (Doubles): Georgia Southern began the match by taking a sweep of the doubles point starting at No. 2 doubles, when the Louisiana pairing of Picaut and freshman AK Harvey fell to the Eagles duo of Lindsay Truscott and Luisa Hrda, 6-4.  At No. 1 doubles the Eagles locked up the doubles point with a 6-4 win by Arianne De Winter and Emilia Bujan against Louisiana's duo of Habib and fellow freshman Ai Noa Fabre.

At No. 3 doubles, sophomore Dana Radovanovic and junior Milena Achlamov lost to the Georgia Southern duo of Charlotte Van Diemen and Paula Boixader, 6-4.  The sweep by Georgia Southern gave the Eagles a 1-0 lead heading into singles.

HOW IT HAPPENED (Singles): Georgia Southern added to its lead at No. 6 singles when Achlamov fell to Hrda in straight sets, 6-3, 6-1.  But at No. 1 singles Louisiana got back into the match thanks to Picaut's straight set win over Winter, 6-2, 7-5, making the score 2-1 in Georgia Southern's favor.

The next two matches would fall in Georgia Southern's favor, giving them the win, with Radovanovic falling in straight sets at No. 3 to Boizader, 7-5, 6-3, and Fabre dropping her match at No. 5, 7-5, 6-4, to Elizabeth Goines.  But Louisiana would snag the final two matches of the day, fighting hard through the matches despite the outcome already being decided.

At No. 4, Mantaux worked her way to a straight set win, 6-3, 7-5, over Mila Hartig, to give Louisiana another point in the match.  The true battle of the day came at No. 2 between Habib and Bujan, a match that would be decided in a third set tiebreaker.

Habib, who dropped the first set, fought hard throughout and came back to eventually hold off Bujan in a back-and-forth third set breaker.  Bujan nearly came back in that breaker, and at one point it was tied 9-9, but Habib took the final two points to win the match, 2-6, 6-4, 1-0 (9) to give Louisiana one final victory on the day. 

UP NEXT FOR THE CAJUNS: Louisiana wraps up its conference opening weekend on Saturday, March 16 when the Georgia State Panthers come to Cajun Courts for a 10 a.m. match.

FOLLOWING THE RAGIN' CAJUNS: Follow the Ragin' Cajuns on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook (@RaginCajunsWT) to stay up-to-date with Louisiana Ragin' Cajuns Women's Tennis.