North Texas Daily

Mean Green tennis takes down New Mexico State, wins second straight

Mean Green tennis takes down New Mexico State, wins second straight

Mean Green tennis takes down New Mexico State, wins second straight
January 19
20:30 2020

After a long day of competition, North Texas (2-0) came out victorious in their second consecutive match of the spring semester. With a score of 6-1, the Mean Green handed New Mexico (0-2) their second loss of the season.

“I think it’s just going to be one of those things where we just got to keep growing,” head coach Sujay Lama said. “As you can see, we had a couple of freshmen out there learning what this is all about.”

In doubles play, for the second week in a row, North Texas won all three of their matches. Senior Alex Heczey and freshmen Hala Khaled Bawdy took their time and managed a victory over Texas A&M. On the other court, junior Nidhi Surapaneni and sophomore Maria Ponomareva battled it out to get the win after having to play an extra set.

“It was tricky in the beginning to get back in the groove of outdoor tennis because we have been playing indoor recently,” Surapaneni said. “Today I was pretty strong mentally. I was constantly supporting [Ponomareva] and that helped us get the win.”

Due to the recent bad weather, the Mean Green had recently been playing indoors. Today was technically the first home match for the team, marking head coach Sujay Lama’s 14th home opener.

In singles, seniors and tennis team captions Alex Hezcey and Haruka Sasaki were able to overcome their Texas A&M opponents and tally a win of their own. Ponomareva won her match with the scores being  7-5 and 6-4. Two out of the three freshmen ended up with wins.

Freshman Sophia Hummel won her first set against Bella Nguyen, a Nacogdoches native. In the second set, Kalage managed to edge out a win (6-7,) but lost in the points tiebreaker 14-12.

“It was really tough. I was up in the second set pretty far, then I just started to not feel the ball at all anymore,” Hummel said. “It was hard to overcome the momentum, but I pulled it off and it was a really close one. The crowd really helped me get back in it.”

Lama also announced that North Texas will be hosting the C-USA tournament later this season. The last time the Mean Green hosted the tournament, they had a program-high in attendance with 608 attendees.

UNT’s next match will be this upcoming Saturday, Jan. 25 against Lamar at the Waranch Tennis Center.

Results:

Singles

Heczey def. Challa: 6-0, 6-4

Badwy Lossed def. Torregrosa: 4-6, 4-6

Ponomareva def. Gavino: 7-5, 6-4

Zhou def. Kalaga: 6-0, 6-3

Hummel def. Nguyen: 6-2, 6-7, 14-12

Sasaki def. Josipovic: 6-2, 6-1

Doubles

Heczey/Badwy def. Challa/Kalaga: 6-3

Surapaneni/Ponomareva def. Gavino/Nguyen: 7-5

Zhou/Hummel def. Josipovic/Torregrosa: 6-4

Featured Image: Senior Haruka Sasaki volleys the ball back to New Mexico State during her singles match on Jan. 19, 2020. Image by Isabel Anes

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Jack Brown

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