North Texas Daily

Tennis comfortably defeats Louisiana Tech in home opener

Tennis comfortably defeats Louisiana Tech in home opener

January 27
22:28 2018

Mean Green tennis entered Saturday afternoon’s match against Louisiana Tech University without its top player and the No. 42 ranked player in the country, junior Maria Kononova. As a result, everyone moved up one spot from their usual position entering the first conference match up of the season.

In the end, it did not seem to matter as North Texas defeated the Lady Techsters handily 5-2 at the Waranch Tennis Complex in Denton.

“[It’s the] first match at home, so there’s a little bit of a jitter,” head coach Sujay Lama said. “The freshmen were a little bit like, ‘How do we compete at home with so many people cheering and supporting us.’”

Despite the change in positions, North Texas (2-1) looked comfortable against Louisiana Tech (0-1) winning the one doubles point 2-1 followed by wins in four of the six singles matches. One of those was sophomore Ivana Babic who won her doubles match 6-2 and her singles match 6-2, 6-1.

“I just have to play my game and fight for each point,” Babic said. “I felt like today my legs worked as well as my forehand and serve. It feels really good to start the season with a win.”

Freshman Sille Tranberg fell short in both her singles and doubles matches Saturday, losing 7-5, 7-6 (7-2) in singles at the No. 3 spot and 6-4 in the No. 2 doubles match.

“I couldn’t really find my game,” Tranberg said. “I felt it was difficult to find a rhythm because it was so windy. It was not because I was nervous, I felt the same as I always do in my matches. It would have been nice to have a line judge for the whole time. Their were some unfair calls [that we had to mediate ourselves].”

While Tranberg struggled to find her rhythm in the imperfect weather, junior Tamuna Kutubidze swept through the doubles set with sophomore Alexandra Heczey 6-1 and pulled out a win at the No. 1 singles spot 6-4, 6-3.

Sophomore Haruka Sasaki won the first set 6-1 in her No.5 singles match, but was unable to pull out the win, falling 1-6, 6-3, 6-3.

“It was good to get the victory, and I think the experience is going to help,” Lama said. “I feel like the team really stepped up, because Maria [Kononova] did not play today. The key was to come in and get a [win]”

Next up: The Mean Green will remain at home to face the University of Iowa this Saturday.

Featured Image: North Texas sophomore Ivana Babic hits the ball during a singles match against Louisiana Tech on Jan. 27. Sara Carpenter

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Stefan Washington

Stefan Washington

UNT Advertising Major| NT Daily sports writer

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