North Texas Daily

Mean Green bounces back with road upset

Mean Green bounces back with road upset

February 07
01:25 2012

Tyler Owens / Staff Writer –

After falling in heartbreaking fashion, the UNT tennis team bounced back by beating its highest ranked opponent in team history this weekend.

The Mean Green (3-3) suffered a 4-3 loss to No. 32 Arkansas (4-1) on Friday, but recovered with a 4-3 win against No. 53 Kansas State Wildcats (2-3) on Saturday.

Photo By Chelsea Stratso / Senior Staff - Junior Valentina Starkova returns the ball to her opponents during a doubles match Jan. 28. The Mean Green lost 7-0 to Stephen F. Austin during UNT’s home opener at the Waranch Tennis Complex.

“We didn’t let the loss bring us down,” senior Nadia Lee said. “I think it motivated us to push even harder for a win the next day.”

Razorback rejection
UNT jumped out to an early lead against Arkansas after winning doubles play. The team of Lee and freshman Franziska Sprinkmeyer and the duo of senior Irina Paraschiv and freshman Kseniya Bardabush took down their Arkansas counterparts, respectively.

Senior Paula Dinuta earned UNT’s second point with a victory in singles play, defeating Catherine Parenteau in a 6-1, 6-1 victory.

The 2-0 lead had the Mean Green feeling confident, but the feeling would not last, as the Razorbacks took the next four points en route to a match victory.

Junior Valentina Starkova, who transferred from Arkansas in the fall, fell to her former team in both singles and doubles play.

Lee earned the final victory in her match against Kate Lukomskaya in a third match tiebreaker 6-1, 4-6, 1-0 (10-6).

“They were sneaky stealing the victory from us,” Paraschiv said. “I was really upset for our loss, but I think it motivated us to play better against Kansas State.”

History made with comeback

The Lee and Sprinkmeyer duo earned the only doubles win for the Mean Green in an 8-4 victory. The tandem of Starkova and junior Barbora Vykydalova and the team of Paraschiv and Bardabush were defeated by their opponents from KSU.

Already having lost the doubles point, Starkova then lost to No. 17 nationally ranked player Petra Niedermayerova 6-3, 6-0 and Karla Bonacic defeated UNT’s Vykydalova 6-0, 6-3.

Down 3-0, the team started to rally.

Paraschiv ignited the comeback, defeating Carli Wischhoff in straight sets.

Dinuta and junior Ilona Serchenko then took down their opponents, leading to a decisive seventh match.

With the match on the line, Lee completed UNT’s comeback with a 7-5, 5-7, 6-3 win against Marketa Trousilova.

“I knew I had my team behind me, and I believed that we were going to take the victory,” said Lee, who finished the weekend with a perfect 4-0 record. “There’s a little pressure, but there’s no great reward without pressure.”

Head coach Sujay Lama said he was impressed with his team’s perseverance.

“I kept telling them not to lose faith,” Lama said. “I was amazed. They showed amazing ability to fight and never give up.”

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