North Texas Daily

North Texas tennis splits weekend of home matches

North Texas tennis splits weekend of home matches

North Texas tennis splits weekend of home matches
February 17
21:23 2019

North Texas tennis played Kansas State and Arizona this weekend in an attempt to extend their winning streak to five games. On Friday, that effort ended as Kansas State pulled out a 4-3 win, ending the Mean Green’s win streak at three.

“Close but not quite enough to get the victory,” head coach Sujay Lama said. “Doubles looked great today and we are battling as one unit. Now we need to learn to finish matches.”

Finishing matches would be key to the Mean Green bouncing back. They defeated Arizona 4-0, due to 7-5  win of juniors Ivana Babic and Alexandra Heczey doubles match, stopping a potential comeback by their opponents.

“That was a very difficult doubles match,” Lama said. “They very easily could’ve lost that one. They just stayed so calm and they communicated and stayed together. I think that they now know they need to step as juniors and you can see the maturation of our juniors.”

Extended to serve, senior Maria Kononova fights the wind at the match against Kansas State at the Waranch Tennis Complex. Image by: Kara Dry.

The Mean Green’s seniors continued their winning play. Maria Kononova and Tamuna Kutubidze won their doubles match 6-1. Both followed that with a win in singles. Kutubidze beat her opponent in straight sets (7-5, 6-4) while Kononova used the third set to get singles victory No. 75 of her career (6-3, 1-6, 6-3).

“They have done this for all four years,” Lama said. “The thing with them is weathering the storm. You’ve got to weather the storm in difficult moments and they did that.”

North Texas played Sunday’s match in cold conditions. The high temperature stayed in the 40s, but the team was used to the weather.

“We have no choice but to train in difficult conditions,” Lama said. “We’ve had 7:00 and 6:30 practices in colder conditions honestly. Hopefully, we’ve become stronger from all of those difficult practices.”

The Mean Green will look to start another winning streak this week. The team has not had consecutive losses since their tournament in Iowa against Xavier and Iowa.

“It’s time to get on a roll,” Lama said. “Use this and even the last match even though we didn’t win it. We played well and you’ve got to use that momentum you have and believe now that you’re a good team. We’ve got to just use this victory and run with it.”

UP NEXT: North Texas will play their next match against Northwestern State at 2 p.m. at on Friday. It will be the final match of their six-game homestand.

Featured Image: Senior Minying Liang returns a volley to her Kansas State opponent nearing the end of the tournament. Liang went down fighting and lost the match 6-2, 7-6. Image by: Kara Dry.

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Caleb Akpan

Caleb Akpan

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