AUBURN, Ala. - Lamar women's tennis coach David Wong had a lot to like about his team on Friday as all four Lady Cards to make the trip picked up a victory on the first day of play at the Auburn Invitational at the Yarbrough Tennis Center.
"I was very pleased with our performance," Wong said. "Alicia Porte missed the last fall due to shoulder surgery last year, so seeing her come out strong and beat a very good player from Tulane is nice. The other three girls lost in the second round, but overall, I think we were really solid."
Porte started things off by defeating Claire Mulyadi of Chattanooga in Flight 4 singles, 7-6 (5), 6-2. She followed up later in the day with a hard fought 5-7, 6-3, 7-5 decision over Caroline Magnusson of Tulane. Porte will take on Auburn's Plamena Kurteva for the title on Saturday.
In other singles action, Carolina Salas knocked off Auburn's Jen Pfeifler, who was ranked No. 102 in the ITA rankings in the opening round of Flight 1, 6-7 (3), 6-4, 6-3 before falling 6-2, 6-3 to No. 57 Klara Vyskocilova of Tulane.
Dariya Dashutina, who was making her LU debut on Friday, started off positive, defeating Nicole Breaux of Louisiana 6-3, 6-3 in Flight 5 singles. The Ukrainian fell to Auburn's Ashley Kitchen in the second.
In Flight 6, Helene Czudek picked up a 6-0, 6-2 victory over Sarai Flores of Mississippi State, but also saw her run come to an end in the second round with a 6-7 (7), 6-7 (8) loss to Auburn's Lauren Levant.
Salas, Dashutina and Czudek will each compete in the third place match of their respective flight on Saturday.
In doubles, the duo of Porte and Dashutina started off positively in Flight 4, defeating Therese Lagerkvist and Isabela Castro of Kennesaw State in 8-3 fashion. Salas and Czudek dropped their match 8-4 to Auburn's Pfeifler and Jacqueline Kasler in Flight 1.
"I think we have a lot that we can learn from today," Wong said. "I saw improvement from everyone and they gave everything they had. I feel really good about tomorrow, and I'm looking forward to seeing how they adjust."