North Texas Daily

Recap: Tennis sustains tough loss after a rainy Thursday match in Houston

Recap: Tennis sustains tough loss after a rainy Thursday match in Houston

Recap: Tennis sustains tough loss after a rainy Thursday match in Houston
February 26
00:20 2021

The Mean Green lost a closely contested match against the University of Houston after beating Texas State University a day earlier. While it was a quick turnaround, head coach Sujay Lama believes that it was an important experience for his team

“When you play conference championships, you might have to play back-to-back-to-back matches,” Lama said “You have to be physically tough and you have to be mentally tough. This was a good test.”

North Texas (2-4) got off to a strong start in doubles, with the pair of junior Lucie Devier and senior Nidhi Surapaneni winning 6-1 at the No. 1 spot. Sophomore Sophia Hummel and freshman Saki Oyama were able to finish off at No. 3 doubles with a solid 6-2 win and put North Texas up 1-0.

However, things changed when it came to singles. Rain forced the match indoors halfway through singles play and the Cougars (5-2) came alive. Despite Devier and Oyama forcing their opponents to go to three sets, Houston would win the match by a score of 5-2. North Texas was only able to capture one singles point from junior Maria Ponomareva.

While the rain was a factor, Ponomareva decided that she was not going to let it affect her as she quickly asserted her will against her opponent with the score being 6-2, 6-0.

“I was not making any mistakes,” Ponomareva said. “I knew it was raining, so my focus was just to get every ball in before the rain came.

Lama says that Ponomareva has the instinct to finish off her opponent whenever she senses weakness, which was on display in her singles match. 

“She has a really good sense of when to go for the kill,” Lama said. “When she senses you’re bleeding … she’s going to finish you. That’s something that we need as a team.”

After playing five of their six matches away from Denton, the Mean Green will be coming back home for their next couple of matches. 

“Now we get back home,” Lama said. “We better make the adjustment, we have to train correctly and improve and then let’s go. Let’s go home and convert these close matches into wins.”

Up Next: The team is returning home on March 7 to host Wichita State University (3-6) at noon at Waranch Complex. 

Featured Image: Freshman Saki Oyama begins her serve during tennis practice on Feb. 21, 2021. Image by Zach Del Bello

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Caleb Yum

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