LAFAYETTE – Coming from a strongly bonded and talented tennis family, Babette Burgersdijk's journey from Holland to Louisiana will begin this fall.
Growing up around the game of tennis is an understatement for Buergersdijk. Her father, an accomplished tennis player in Holland, is in his 15th year of owning a tennis academy, while her sister has ambitions of playing collegiate tennis. Some of her best friends also play college tennis around the United States. "When people ask about my family, I always say we are like one big tennis ball because everything is surrounded by tennis," Buergersdijk explained. From picking up a tennis racquet at age four to playing in multiple high-ranking tournaments, tennis has brought Burgersdijk's all over the world. "I played a lot of national tournaments," Burgersdijk's said. "At age 14, I was at my best. I played a lot of Tennis Europe and international tournaments. I think I've played in almost every country in Europe." Her high talent level should lead to some strong expectations for this upcoming season. "I just want to develop myself as best as I can, physically and in school as well," Burgersdijk's said. "I think it's a difficult year for everyone. At the fall tournaments, I just want to get some matches in." Even though she has many tennis accolades to her name, her bond with her father is really what keeps her going. "My dad has been my example because he did so much in his career," she said. "He is just really important to me because I just want him to see how nice it is here and how excited I am to be here. He has been really important for me in my life." Burgersdijk said her relationship with head coach Stephanie Vallejos was one of the main reasons she ended up at Louisiana. "She's eager to be out here and wants to work hard," Vallejos explained. "I'm looking forward to adding her into the team and exploring the different elements in her game that we could really gain from." Louisiana's newest will have her first opportunity to compete in a Ragin' Cajuns uniform when the team opens its fall season at ULM on October 9-10.
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