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Recap: Southern Methodist hands North Texas their fifth loss after lopsided tennis match

Recap: Southern Methodist hands North Texas their fifth loss after lopsided tennis match

Recap: Southern Methodist hands North Texas their fifth loss after lopsided tennis match
March 03
22:27 2021

The North Texas tennis team lost to Southern Methodist University on Wednesday in a dominant affair that saw the Mean Green pick up one win in the match. Head coach Sujay Lama admitted today’s loss was a mixture of a good performance on behalf of the Mustangs and a slight lack of fight from his players.

“I did not feel like our team today had the mojo for whatever reason,” Lama said. “[SMU] had more energy, they fought harder than us and they deserve the victory.”

The Mean Green (2-5) started off fast in the doubles points, with their No. 1 and No. 2 doubles pairs taking early leads. Their leads soon dissipated and the Mustangs (5-6) took first blood as the No. 3 pair of freshman Saki Oyama and sophomore Sophia Hummel lost 6-2. They were then followed by the No. 2 pair of sophomore Kexuan Zhou and junior Maria Ponomareva, who lost their contest by a score of 6-4.

While the singles saw most of the team go down in straight sets, Oyama and Devier were the two players who fought to bring their matches to three sets and Oyama was able to pick up the win.

While she played well in the first set, Oyama says she lost the second off of some bad mistakes. Despite this, she kept her cool in the third set tiebreak and narrowly won 6-3, 4-6, 1-0(8).

“I was under a lot of pressure because everyone else was watching me and there were so many people cheering for my opponent,” Oyama said. “However, my opponent was nervous too. I was just thinking ‘I can do it.'”

Devier also played a marathon of a match with a long first set tiebreak that she eventually lost 14-12. While she bounced back in the second to win it 7-5, she fell in the third set tiebreak 10-7 after being up 5-1.

The French native believes she played well but was also frustrated that she was unable to win the important points that would have helped her win the match.

“I was up 5-1 in the tiebreak and I gave my opponent so many free points,” Devier said. “In that kind of moment, I need to be tougher with myself.”

Lama believes that while the team is not playing well, they need to win more of these high-pressure points in order to get to where they want to be at the end of the season.

“How many 40-all points did we lose? We were in commanding positions, 40-30, 40-all, then we lost. Now instead of 4-2, it is 4-3,” Lama said. “I think for us, that is the most important aspect moving forward. We need to be able to close these kinds of games.”

Up Next: North Texas’ tennis squad (2-5) plays host to Witchita State University (3-9) in what will be their second home match this season.

Courtesy North Texas Tennis

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Caleb Yum

Caleb Yum

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