North Texas Daily

North Texas tennis takes tough loss to Texas Christian

North Texas tennis takes tough loss to Texas Christian

North Texas tennis takes tough loss to Texas Christian
February 02
21:02 2019

The North Texas Mean Green tennis team traveled to Fort Worth on Friday for a match against Texas Christian, losing 6-1. The team remains winless on the road this season and is now 2-3 on the year overall.

“There were a lot of missed opportunities,” head coach Sujay Lama said. “6-1 isn’t a sign of how competitive this match was.”

A chance presented itself early on for the team to gain some momentum. The Mean Green started the day with a 6-3 loss for seniors Maria Kononova and Mingying Liang. It was the first time the duo was defeated in a doubles match this season after going 4-0 to start 2019 off.

Senior Tamuna Kutubidze plays a singles match against Abilene Christian University on Jan. 15, 2019. Image by Will Baldwin.

The team recovered when juniors Ivana Babic and Alexandra Hezcey won their match 6-3. A third match would end up deciding the one doubles point up for grabs, North Texas lost two points , as senior Tamuna Kutubidze and sophomore Nidhi Surapenini lost 4-6.

“After that second match, I don’t feel like we took advantage of the opportunity,” Lama said. “We didn’t put our foot down, we relaxed.”

The Mean Green would lose seven straight matches on Friday after the one win in doubles, going 0-6 in singles. The senior trio of Kononova, Kutbudize and Liang saw their three matches go to a third and deciding game, loosing 6-4, 6-2 and 6-4, respectively. North Texas’ three underclassmen lost their singles matches in straight sets.

“It’s about confidence,” Lama said. “Against a solid team like [Texas Christian], you have to come prepared and after that second match, I think we lost focus.”

The close singles loss was Kutubidze’s first loss in singles on the season. Going into Friday’s match, she was ranked No. 45 among collegiate players in the country by the International Tennis Association. For Kononova, the senior suffered her first loss against Texas Christian in singles for her career at North Texas.

“In college tennis, you cannot underestimate anybody,” Lama said. “You’ve got to be ready. It’s gonna be a quick turnaround, we don’t have a lot of time to regroup.”

The Mean Green will be back in action less than 24 hours after the loss to Texas Christian, to play Western Kentucky at noon on Saturday, Feb. 2. The match will have North Texas return to Waranch Tennis Complex to begin a six-game homestand through the rest of this month. North Texas is currently undefeated at home.

Featured Image: Senior Minying Liang returns the ball in a doubles match against Abilene Christian University on Jan. 15. Image by: Will Baldwin.

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Caleb Akpan

Caleb Akpan

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