Courtesy: UALR Sports Information
Senior Yana Kakovkina kicks off the spring portion of her final season with the Trojans Saturday.
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UALR Tennis Opens Spring Campaign with Trip to Tulsa, Okla.
UALR Sports Information
Release: 01/18/2013

TULSA, Okla. - The Trojan tennis team will begin the second part of the season this weekend when it travels to take on both universities in Tulsa, Okla. UALR begins play Saturday at 9 a.m. against Oral Roberts before taking on Tulsa Sunday (Jan. 20) at 8:30 a.m.

"I am very excited to start our spring season. We play a tough schedule with some teams being ranked in the top 25. This will give us great competition and experience for our conference play," head coach Abby Wilson said. "We start the season with a tough road trip against Oral Roberts and Tulsa, who are both strong teams. Tulsa has a great tennis program and is ranked No. 25 to start the season.

"The match against the Golden Hurricane will only help us improve our skills," Wilson added.

After a strong fall showing which included a pair of trips to Kansas and a journey to Arkansas State, the Trojans welcome a pair of newcomers for spring competitions. Sophomore Dané Vorster hails from Australia and is a transfer from Texas A&M. She went 1-8 in singles play while 2-4 in doubles in the fall of 2011 for the Aggies.

Kamilla Galieva is also beginning play in the spring. In 2011, she was victorious in three tennis tournaments in Russia.

The two newcomers will join a nucleus of five players who saw action for UALR in the fall. Senior Veronique Luksich claimed a singles bracket championship at Arkansas State (Nov. 2-4, 2012) after freshman Christel Amsallem and sophomore Michaela McShane shared a singles championship at the Second KU Fall Invite (Oct. 19-21, 2012). Luksich also claimed a runner-up finish at KU while senior Yana Kakovkina and Amsallem both claimed runners-up honors at ASU.

Junior Viktoriya Plyuta finished 2-6 in fall play.

"Veronique, Yana and Viktoriya all played in the top three last year," Wilson explained. "With that experience, I am expecting leadership and high-level play from them. Michaela and Christel both bring great work-ethic and attitudes to the court.

Wilson added, "With the addition of Kamilla and Dane', I am looking forward to having strong players throughout the line-up."

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