Austynn Crocker has her eye on the ball during a tennis match. (photo provided by

Lady Tigers tennis: a balance of experience and youth

April 11, 2024

By Isaac Bourne, Sports Editor

The Ouachita  women’s tennis team is in good hands for the next three years.With seniors such as Austynn Crocker and Olivia Gaston on their way out following this year, three of the Lady Tigers’ top five singles performers this season are underclassmen. Led by freshman Sadbaroy Kholdarova, the team has already outperformed last season despite its youth.

“From the beginning we had some experienced players who had played quite a bit of college tennis, and now we have some young talented players who have been added to the bunch,” head coach Kourtney Chumbley said. “I think what we’re seeing at the beginning of conference play is now 10 people who are prepared and ready to go.”

Now, just two games into their conference schedule, the team looks to rebound from two losses on the road with two matches at home with Southern Arkansas and Harding on the horizon. 

“We will end up being indoors with Southern Arkansas, which is always kind of nice because we’re the only team that has indoor courts,” Chumbley said. “We feel like it’s an advantage and we are excited to play inside and just do something that’s normal for us. Home court advantage is huge.”

Kholdarova has had a monster of a season for the Lady Tigers, posting 26 singles wins with only four losses to go with that, while freshman Ruxandra Tolescu and Crocker have picked up 18 and 13 wins in singles on the season as well.

In doubles, the duo of Crocker and Kholdarova lead the way with seven wins on the season, followed by Tolescu and sophomore Natalia Zamora Caprirolo with six on the year.

A team with a perfect balance of experience and youth, the Lady Tigers will be dangerous in late April with the GAC tournament on the horizon.

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