North Texas Daily

Recap: Tennis comes up short against Tulane, goes 0-3 in home stand

Recap: Tennis comes up short against Tulane, goes 0-3 in home stand

Recap: Tennis comes up short against Tulane, goes 0-3 in home stand
March 12
21:43 2021

The tennis team failed to defeat Tulane University on Friday as they played their third home match of the week. The loss extends their current losing streak to five as head coach Sujay Lama acknowledged the effect that the recent losses have had on the team’s play.

“When we go on a bit of a losing streak what happens is that doubt creeps in,” Lama said. “When we’ve had opportunities to close matches […] I think that’s when we hesitate.”

Doubles were a close affair. After the top pair of junior Lucie Devier and senior Nidhi Surapaneni lost their match 6-2, the Mean Green (2-8) had chances to clinch the doubles point as their second and third pairs both took the lead in their matches. However, the pair of junior Maria Ponomareva and sophomore Kexuan Zhou lost a close tiebreak, putting the Green Wave (9-4) ahead in the match count.

Despite singles being a competitive affair, North Texas was never able to assert itself over Tulane. Ponomareva was able to win her match 6-4, 6-3, however, it ended up being the only win of the day as Surapaneni fell 6-4, 7-5 to end the match as a 4-1 loss for the Eagles.

With the past three matches being within days of each other, Ponomareva admits that the lack of depth on the roster has been an underrated issue for the team.

“I think it is very tough because we are only six [people],” Ponomareva said. “I am usually pretty healthy but today my foot was hurting a lot. However, I know that there is no one here to come and play for me.”

As the captain, Surapaneni believes that the team needs to step up to the recent challenges together in order to break the recent slump they have been in.

“I think we all need to step up big time,” Surapaneni said. “We win as a team and we lose as a team so everyone needs to get better at their respective spots.”

Next week is the team’s first conference match against Rice University (7-2). While North Texas has a losing record, they have a chance to get to a winning record within the conference if they are able to take down the Owl’s next Thursday.

“It’s a huge opportunity to go out there and make a statement,” Lama said. “That has been our ultimate goal […] everything is about playing our best tennis, at conference, at home, in April.”

Up Next: The team travels to Houston next Thursday to take on Rice University (8-2, Conference USA 1-0).

Featured Image: Senior Nidhi Surapaneni hits the ball during tennis practice on Feb. 21, 2021. Image by Zach Del Bello

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Caleb Yum

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