The Pirates are gearing up for Fall Tennis…


Five Lady Pirates have arrived in Greenville and are ready to don the purple and gold. While it will take them some time to adjust to their new lives and schedules, they will use the Fall season to get their feet wet and learn what “team” tennis is all about. 

This year’s team hails from all over Europe and North Africa. Leading us off is a returning 5th year senior from Germany. Alisa Diercksen is back with the program and hungry to pick up where she left off before shoulder surgery sidelined her in early 2020. She will be working on her CPA while also filling an important leadership role amongst a team of freshmen.

Next is Alisha Hussain from Denmark. Alisha spent one semester as a Kaiser University Seahawk where she gained NAIA All-America status in singles and doubles. Alisha is an excellent doubles player and will more than likely lean on that semester of experience as a source of confidence this Spring.

The next two are quickly becoming best friends off the court. One is from Italy and the other from France but between the two, the team is constantly laughing. Martina Muzzolon will likely fill our top singles spot this year. This powerful player creates a heavy topspin that drives most of her opponents all the way to the back fence. With a beautiful single handed backhand and a fiery on court presence, she will probably become a fan favorite to watch.

Her partner in crime, Anne Lou Champion is an almost 6ft breath of fresh air. Fans who come to watch this Frenchie will hear the very distinguishable “Allez” while she is on court. Lou Lou never gives up and also never shields her emotions. Her play combined with her on court actions will no doubt lead her to become another fan favorite.

Rounding us off is a freshman from Morocco. Ines Bachir el Bouhali has a very distinctive look and a rock solid game on court. If I can describe her in two words, they would be intelligent and coachable. Ines will certainly bring stability to the top or middle of the lineup.

The Pirates will be looking to add Laura Becker from Advance, NC as a walk-on this Spring. Laura had a very successful freshman campaign at Siena College in New York before CoVid hit and she decided to return home to North Carolina. Laura will be continuing her role as Assistant Pro at River Birch Tennis Club this Fall before fully joining the Pirates in the Spring.

The team opened their Fall at Liberty University where they tested their mettle against the hosts as well as William & Mary, and Marshall University. This first event was definitely a learning curve and our youth was more evident than ever. We managed to pull out a few singles victories but fell victim in 7 of 8 third set tiebreak contests.

We returned home to Greenville more determined to improve than ever. After a strong week at practice and many, many doubles drills, we took our skills to Elon University where the team competed in flighted draws against Elon, UNC Charlotte, UNC Greensboro, UNC Asheville, Navy, Kennesaw State and NC Central. The team finished with a 12-7 record with Alisha, Anne Lou and Ines all making their flight finals in singles and Anne Lou and Ines winning a doubles title.

The marked improvement has provided some great motivation and the team will use the next month to prepare for our annual Carolina Regional Tournament which will be hosted by Wake Forest University this year.

Wish us luck and Go Pirates!