North Texas Daily

Mean Green tennis continues successful fall, brings in three recruits

Mean Green tennis continues successful fall, brings in three recruits

Mean Green tennis continues successful fall, brings in three recruits
December 04
14:26 2018

The North Texas tennis team ended the fall season full notable accomplishments than the program has seen in recent years. Seniors Maria Kononoa and Tamuna Kutubidze were crowned regional champions, and Mean Green players defeated top-notch players from large programs, such as Texas and Texas Tech.

At the end of November, North Texas signed three international players to full ride scholarships.

Head tennis coach Sujay Lama said he’s looking forward to the recruits joining the team.

“I’m so excited about these three recruits,” Lama said. “They are all very talented and skilled, they have that desire and work ethic to really, really improve. I feel like this group has a lot of character, and I think this is going to be a group that gets better every day.”

Louisa Junghanns was the Mean Green’s final signee this fall. Lama said she could be the most superior athlete of them all, she was ranked as high as No. 20 for her age group in Germany and is currently ranked No. 147 out of all German women tennis players.

“[Junghanns] is a physical beast,” Lama said. “She loves working out, eating healthy and being a dynamic athlete.”

Hala Khaled Badwy joined the Mean Green with a career-high Junior ITF world-ranking at No. 157 and is ranked the No. 1 junior and honored as the best player in Egypt in 2017. She is a left-handed player, Lama said could be a huge advantage for North Texas.  

Lama said lefties have is the ability to spin the ball wide to the backhand side of a right-handed player and there is more room for error when a player is constantly hitting a backhand shot rather than a forehand.

“We haven’t had a lefty in a while, but I’m super excited because we face lefties, and it has really bothered us,” Lama said. “Now we will be able to bother opponents, it’s a huge advantage.”

Badwy said she chose North Texas because the coaches and students made it feel like home.

“I found myself at UNT,” Badwy said. “There is good support around athletics, and they can help me improve quickly.”

Another recruit is Sophia Hummel from Buggingen, Germany.  At one point, she ranked No. 7 for her age group in Germany. Now, she ranks three spots ahead Junghanns at No. 144 out of all German women. 

“You cannot teach racquet head speed and Sophia has lots of it,” Lama said. “She’s got an ability to accelerate and finish points from any part of the court. She is a strong athlete.”

Lama said these three recruits have the chance to be the best signing class he’s coached in his 13-year tenure with North Texas.

“At the end of the day, we’ll determine how good they were when they are done in four years,” Lama said. “From my experience and having done this for a long time, the signs are there for these ladies to have a huge impact on our program and be huge ambassadors for the university.”

Assistant coach Jeff Hammond also commented on how vital the three recruits could be for the future of North Texas tennis. He said they are in great physical shape and have the tools to be huge pieces for Mean Green tennis for the next four years.

“These three players are coming in at a very high level and still have a lot of room for development,” Hammond said. “The upside is their potential to grow their on-court games.  We anticipate that they will be in tip-top shape physically and look forward to giving them the proper repetitions and tactics to take their games to the next level.”

Featured Image: The new recruits. Courtesy Mean Green Sports.

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Bronte Hermesmeyer

Bronte Hermesmeyer

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