TU women’s tennis wins during Senior Night

Sports writer Carlota Soler Vázquez discusses Laia Conde Monfort’s and Lian Benedejcic’s wins during Senior Night.

With just two more matches before women’s Tulsa Tennis departs for Florida to defend the AAC title. The team made Senior Day a memorable win against Cincinnati, who could not leapfrog the Tulsa players and returned to Ohio with a demolishing loss of 4-0.

After a victory by freshmen Amy Leather and Myroslava Zlenchuck at the third position and a defeat by Marian Berlanga and Lily Hutching at the first position, Laia Conde Monfort and Ana Naranjo Martinez determined the outcome of the double point at the second position. In a fiercely contested set, they emerged victorious with a 7-5, thus securing the match’s first point.

Exceptional performances in singles play by Monfort and Zelenchuk raised the Hurricane’s score to 3-0 with only two sets. Sophomore Ana Naranjo Martinez sealed the win for the team and ended the dual match at 4-0 after seizing the advantage of the first set and holding it until the very end.

The Michael D. Case Tennis Center has been a center of physical and mental development for many tennis players. Results have proven how the team culture enhances academic and athletic performance, having three players playing professionally recently after graduating and an average GPA of 3.35 for the 2021-2022 academic year. Head Coach Dean Orford has succeeded in developing exemplary athletes and recruiting individuals who possess the qualities to contribute to the team’s values.

“The bigger picture is promoting a growth mentality of getting better every day,” says Head Coach Orford.

Commendable scores validate that not even the deliberately planned demanding schedule for this season is an impediment to keep celebrating victories for these ladies, and head coach Orford takes great pride in it. In his sixteenth season as a head women’s tennis coach at TU, Orford has excelled at recognizing and strengthening talent in new players. However, he knows that distinction requires more than just natural easiness; it is “the deep desire of winning that separates many of the players from being merely good.”

This insatiable thirst for victory has fueled the women’s Tulsa Tennis team’s growth mentality and allowed them to commemorate games such as the one on Senior Day this past Apr. 8,. Seniors Laia Conde Montfort and Lian Benedejcic received a heartwarming welcome to their last home game with a symbolic ceremony, acknowledging their loyalty to the TU colors. According to coach Orford, replacing such quality leadership from both seniors is challenging as “they have outworked considerable college-level sports captains with their sterling ethics.”

The excitement from a win, the frustration from a loss and all the following bittersweet feelings after games will soon end for Monfort and Benedejcic at the University of Tulsa. The Michael D. Case Tennis Center has been home to countless smiles of joy and post-game hugs caused by tense matches played by both seniors. As Conde Monfort and Benedejcic enter their new era, the team will persist in turning players into powerful young women who keep feeding the flame of competitiveness and commitment to excellence.

Post Author: Carlota Soler Vázquez