Malik Tabet begins his fourth full season at the helm of the Indiana State University women’s tennis program with a senior dominated team and high expectations. The 2007 Midwest Region Coach of the Year and the 2005 Missouri Valley Conference Coach of the Year guided the 2006-2007 team to their first national ranking and their first win over a nationally ranked opponent. The Sycamores climbed as high as 59th in the Intercollegiate Tennis Association poll and finished the 2007 spring season ranked 67th. During the season, the Sycamores defeated 72nd ranked Western Michigan 4-3 and 59th ranked Iowa 4-3.
The 2007-2008 season began with the Sycamores dominating the 2007 Missouri Valley Conference Individual Championships, winning six of the seven events they were entered in, and just missing making it a clean sweep. Senior Jennifer Migan won her third straight No. 1 singles title while freshman Sarah Meghoufel won the No. 2 singles title, senior Fadzai Masiyazi the No. 4 singles, and senior Marie Caujolle the No. 5 singles. It was Caujolle’s second title after winning the No. 2 singles title in 2004. In addition, Migan and doubles partner and fellow senior Joanne Schickerling combined to win their third straight No. 1 doubles title while Meghoufel and Masiyazi joined forces to win the No. 2 doubles crown. Shickerling lost a close match in the No. 3 singles championship.
Since Tabet has been the ISU coach, the Sycamores have won 12 singles championships and six doubles titles at the MVC Individuals. A total of 10 players have received All-Conference recognition, and 11 have received MVC Scholar-Athlete awards. Indiana State has also had two players named MVC Freshmen of the Year (Migan in 2005 and Ariane Masschelein in 2007). Tabet was named MVC coach of the Year following the 2004-2005 season.
Indiana State also had their first players in the ITA All-Americans this past fall defeating top 20 players from UCLA, Georgia Tech and Mississippi State. Migan participated in the singles division and then joined Schickerling in doubles competition.
The Sycamores enter the spring season ranked 72nd in the nation and 10th in the Midwest Region. Migan opens the spring season ranked 49th nationally in singles and is ranked 24th in doubles with partner Schickerling. Migan is also ranked fourth in the Midwest Region in singles while the Migan-Shickerling doubles team is ranked 10th.
The 2006-2007 team finished 15-9 during the dual meet season and tied for second in the Missouri Valley Conference with a 6-2 record. Indiana State reached the championship match of the MVC Team Championships, losing to 35th ranked Wichita State 4-2 in the final match.
Migan, who became the first ISU women’s tennis player to be nationally ranked during her freshmen season with a 114th national ranking, was ranked as high as 82nd in singles, winning 13 straight matches including four straight over ranked opponents, in finishing the spring season 20-3 and posting an overall mark of 30-5, tying the record for most wins in a season by a women’s’ tennis player. At the start of the 2006-2007 season, Migan was ranked 26th in the Midwest Region in singles and was ranked 15th in the Midwest Region in doubles with partner Joanne Schickerling.
Tabet led the 2005-2006 Sycamores to their best season in just his second year at the helm as Indiana State team went 8-1 in the Missouri Valley Conference, taking their second straight MVC regular season championship and finishing as runner-up in the MVC Tournament. The overall record of 19-5 (.792) gave the Sycamores their best winning percentage in school history. In addition, the school was ranked 13th in the Midwest Regional, the first time that has happened in school history. Two Sycamores finished 9-0 in MVC play, Migan at number one singles and Schickerling at number two singles, while Sarah Garapoli was right behind at number three singles with an 8-1 record. All three were among the top 10 in conference singles play and among the top 10 of the overall singles leaders.
Three years ago, Tabet took over a team that was in the middle of the Missouri Valley Conference standings and quickly turned them into championship contenders, winning the MVC regular season championship for the 2004-05 season. In three years, Tabet has compiled a 47-25 mark overall and 22-4 record in the Missouri Valley Conference.
Tabet has stressed the importance of academics. The team received the ISU Athletic Director Cup for having the highest GPA of any team in the ISU athletic department for the third straight year at the Scholar-Athlete Banquet in April 2007. In fact, in the last eight semesters, every member of the women’s tennis team at Indiana State has had a GPA of 3.0 or higher.
Tabet took over the Indiana State University women’s program in January 2004 after the retirement of veteran coach Mary Ann Stadler. Before joining the Sycamores, Tabet served as an assistant coach of the women’s tennis team at the University of Arkansas in 2003. Tabet also had experience as the men’s associate head coach at the University of New Orleans from 2001-03. While with the Privateers, he brought personalized instruction and developed a new team atmosphere which enabled the team to reach new heights. UNO jumped from seventh to third in just one season before earning a second-place finish in the Sun Belt Conference during his second year in charge. Along the way, the Privateers earned a national ranking (No. 62) for the first time in school history. UNO’s No. 1 singles player was ranked in the top 50 nationally, while the No. 1 doubles team climbed into the nation’s top 40.
After enjoying a successful collegiate career, the native of France went directly into coaching, landing the head position of both the men’s and women’s tennis teams at West Georgia from 2000-01. In addition to his coaching duties, Tabet served as the primary fundraiser for the program, generating revenue through clinics and pro-am tournaments. While at West Georgia, the women’s team qualified for the Division II Gulf South Regionals. His efforts to promote tennis extended off campus as well, as he generated a renewed interest in the program within the community.
Tabet also enjoyed a standout career as a player, competing for the Algerian National Team from 1991-95, as well as the Algerian Davis Cup team. He won over 90 tournaments in France since he began playing tennis. Tabet won the 1995 Sham International Tennis Open in Damascus Syria before taking top honors at the 1995 Gillette International Tennis Open in Rosas, Spain. In 1996 and 1997, he was champion of the French Rhone-Alps Region and qualified for the French National Championship, held at Rolland Garros, in Paris.
As a collegiate athlete Tabet played a key role in propelling the University of Mobile (Ala.) to the 1997 NAIA National Championship. Ranked as high as fifth in the nation in singles, and twelfth in doubles for the Rams during 1997, Mobile finished the 1998 season as NAIA National Runners-Up, the same season in which Tabet was ranked as high as tenth in singles, and eighth in doubles. In 1997 and 1998 the University of Mobile won the Gulf Coast Athletic Conference Championship and Tabet was named an NAIA All-American each year.
After transferring to the University of West Florida for his senior season, Tabet helped UWF earn the 1999 Gulf South Conference Championship and a third-place finish at the 1999 NCAA Division II National Tournament. He was named an NCAA Division II All-American after attaining rakings in singles (No. 12) and doubles (No. 18) play.
A 1999 magna cum laude graduate of the University of Mobile, Tabet earned a bachelor’s degree in foreign languages and holds a master’s in applied linguistics from the University of New Orleans, where he worked in the foreign language department as a French instructor. Tabet also earned a baccalaureate in accounting from CUEFA in Grenoble, France.