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Kononova breaks school record as tennis cruises to win over Memphis

Kononova breaks school record as tennis cruises to win over Memphis

Then-sophomore Maria Kononova returns the ball to a Kansas State opponent last season. Kononova picked up North Texas' only win of the day. Samantha Hardisty

Kononova breaks school record as tennis cruises to win over Memphis
April 01
16:43 2017

In its first match back in nearly two weeks, the North Texas tennis squad came out swinging hard and routed the University of Memphis 4-1.

The victory gave North Texas its second win this season in matches where it lost the doubles point.

“By the end of the doubles I thought we kind of got into the match grove a little bit,” head coach Sujay Lama said. “Overall in singles, I thought that we got off to a really good start. We played with a lot of energy and I thought towards the end of the match I could tell that we were the fresher team.”

Sophomore Tamuna Kutubidze led the charge for North Texas in the singles portion, notching the first point with a 6-2, 6-1 victory over Tiger’s Gabrielle Paul.

But the spotlight quickly shifted to No. 61 ranked Maria Kononova. After having some trouble with Tiger’s Hanna Sohn in the first set, Kononova rolled past the junior in the second to earn her 16th win of the season.

The victory allowed Kononova to break the school record for the most wins by a player in the No. 1 slot during a spring season. The record was previously held by Madura Raganathan.

To close out the match, the Mean Green got wins from both freshman Alexandra Heczey and sophomore Minying Liang.

Liang continues to quietly have success despite dealing with a nagging shoulder injury. Her 6-4, 6-2 win against Josephine Cao put the sophomore at 8-7 on the season and marks her third win in her last four matches.

“We still have another [long break],” Lama said. “What we have to do is we have to come in with a little bit more competitive mindset in doubles because we just kind of walk into doubles thinking that things are going to come to you.”

Next up: The Mean Green host SMU at 5 p.m. on April 13.

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Cesar Valdes

Cesar Valdes

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