New coach, youthful group ready for final D2 tennis season


For the first time in two decades, the Tarleton Women’s Tennis program will start a spring season with a new head coach.

But unlike most first-year head coaches with a slew of youth and inexperience in the roster, Elianne Douglas-Miron has lofty goals for this group of Texans entering Tarleton’s final season in NCAA Division II.

“This group is ready to start competing,” said Douglas-Miron. “The team has been consistent in practice and we are buzzing with positive energy. We are looking forward to improving our Lone Star Conference record and making a push for the regional.”

Tarleton returns three key student-athletes from last year’s squad that pulled off upsets of Cameron and No. 18 Angelo State to advance to the LSC Tournament Championship match in Douglas-Miron’s coaching debut as the interim head coach last May.

Senior Alicia Barbaroux leads that group as the team’s lone senior. The native of France is a two-time All-LSC and the 2018 LSC Player of the Year. She enters her final season with a career singles record of 36-18 overall including a 12-4 mark against LSC opponents and a career doubles record of 33-24 including an 8-7 mark against LSC foes.

She also enters the season as the No. 35-ranked individual in the nation by the Intercollegiate Tennis Association (ITA) and has four career wins against nationally-ranked opponents. She is also ranked No. 3 in the South Central region.

“Alicia had a very strong fall,” said Douglas-Miron. “We’ve worked hard on defining her game and making sure she is ready to compete against the best this season. She is very coachable and is always looking to improve her game. As a senior, she will have some pressure guiding this young group, but there is no doubt in my mind that she’s up for the challenge.”

Joining Barbaroux back for Tarleton are sophomores Faustine Palatte and Nathalie Ulander, who were both All-LSC selections last year. Ulander was also the LSC Sportsmanship Player of the Year. Palatte was 11-6 in singles and 9-7 in doubles while Ulander led the team with a 15-4 singles mark and was 10-8 in doubles a year ago.

“Nathalie and Faustine are crucial players for our team,” said Douglas-Miron. “They are leaders in their own ways and have defined the culture and daily expectations for us. Having played in their first LSC championship last year, they know what it takes to win. I know they are hungry for a title and I’m excited to see them in action.”

Rounding out the team will be junior transfer from India Gaayatri Shankar and freshmen Delfina Rodriguez (Argentina) and Celia Vaudiau (France).

“I am so excited for our newcomers to take the court,” said Douglas-Miron. “They have embraced our culture from the first day of practice and have been open to learning about college tennis. They have a wonderful positive attitude and fans should expect some high-quality tennis from this group.”

Tarleton will begin the season at home on Friday, January 31 at 3 p.m. against Texas Wesleyan. Tarleton will be competing for the final season in the Lone Star Conference before joining the Western Athletic Conference (WAC) next year as a member of NCAA Division I.

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