Honorable Mention: Ceci Mercier, Southeastern Louisiana; Sarah Jurakova, McNeese; Jelana Dzinic, Texas A&M-Corpus Chrisi; Gabi Guilarte, Stephen F. Austin; Jelena Dordan, UIW. Women’s Tennis Player of the Week – Polina Ivanova, Northwestern State – Sr. – Moscow, Russia Ivanova did not surrender a set across her four matches in Southland singles and doubles competition this past weekend. She improved her singles record to 5-1 while remaining undefeated in doubles with junior Polina Mutel at 5-0. Ivanova and Mutel’s 6-2 doubles victory at the top slot in Saturday’s match against Southeastern helped the Lady Demons earn the 1-0 advantage heading into singles play. The senior from Moscow, Russia, gave up just one point across the two sets at the No. 2 flight, defeating the Lions’ Dany Raygadas 6-0, 6-1. On Sunday against New Orleans, the tandem of Ivanova and Mutel garnered every point to win 6-0 and clinch the doubles match point. Ivanova then finished singles first for the second time in as many singles matches, defeating the Privateers’ Anja Luethi 6-3, 6-2. FRISCO, Texas – Northwestern State’s Polina Ivanova is the Southland Conference Player of the Week, the league announced Tuesday. Southland Conference Players of the Week are presented by UniversalCoin.com. NSU has now claimed three consecutive weekly awards. Polina Mutel earned the honor March 6, and Ela Iwaniuk won the award a week ago. The Lady Demons (10-5, 6-0 SLC) strung together their third straight weekend sweep of Southland opponents, winning Saturday 5-2 against Southeastern Louisiana and Sunday 6-1 over New Orleans. Ivanova and her side sit atop the standings as one of three league teams – Texas A&M-Corpus Christi (8-5, 3-0 SLC) and Central Arkansas (9-2, 2-0 SLC) – unbeaten in conference action. In their lone match this week, the Lady Demons will host Stephen F. Austin on Saturday at 1 p.m. CT. Southland weekly award winners are nominated and voted upon by each school’s sports information director. Voting for one’s own athlete is not permitted. To earn honorable mention, a student-athlete must appear on at least 25 percent of ballots.
The 5: Takeaways from the Coyotes’ introduction of Alex Meruelo The Cardinals’ path to the postseason is rather simple, if unlikely. A Cardinals win along with a New Orleans Saints loss or tie to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers will get Arizona in, just as a Saints loss along with a Cardinals tie. A Cardinals loss or a Saints win, though, would mean the season ends Sunday. “It’s strange, man,” rookie running back Andre Ellington said. “It’s been a long season and you know, just to come to an end is not something you want to do right now. You obviously want to make it to the playoffs. “We’ve just got to handle business on Sunday and see where it goes from there.”At the very least, the Cardinals are in a position to where their final regular season game could be for something, which has not been the case the last few seasons. “It’s fun to have the last one count,” Arians said. “That’s what we wanted all year, for this game to matter, and it matters.” TEMPE, Ariz. — Obviously, the Arizona Cardinals do not want Sunday’s game against the San Francisco 49ers to be their last of the season. However, that does not mean they are unaware of the possibility that they have held their last Friday practice of the season and could be in the mist of their season’s final days.“I’ve been in a bunch of these, where the last one counts and you don’t know what’s going to happen on Sunday with the other teams,” Cardinals coach Bruce Arians said. “But this team has a chance to make history and that’s all we talked about all week, is the possibility of tying the franchise record for wins and let the rest of the chips fall where they may.”