North Texas Daily

RECAP: Tennis team captures first win of the season on their home court

RECAP: Tennis team captures first win of the season on their home court

RECAP: Tennis team captures first win of the season on their home court
February 01
16:50 2021

The Mean Green tennis team captured their first win of the season against Sam Houston State University on Sunday. The team won 4-1 in what was also their first home game of the season.

The conditions were windy and cold on Sunday causing the match to be pushed back an hour to 1:00 p.m. However, head coach Sujay Lama said he was proud of the focus his players showed despite the distractions.

“There were a lot of distractions, and it would have been easy for us to get lost,” Lama said. “You can lose focus. I thought we did a really good job handling that.”

North Texas grabbed the doubles points by winning at their No. 1 and No. 2 spots by the scores 6-1 and 6-2, and finished off singles with a win at their No. 5 spot from sophomore Kexuan Zhao.

Juniors Lucie Devier and Maria Ponomareva both had notable performances, winning both their doubles and singles matches in convincing fashion. Devier played No. 1 doubles and No. 2 singles, while Ponomareva played No. 2 doubles and No. 3 singles.

According to Devier, focusing 100 percent on the match is something that can be a challenge for her. She was locked in on Sunday though, dominating in a 6-1 6-0 victory. Despite the easy win, she believes she still has room to find her groove as she continues to play matches.

“Today was good because it was a pretty easy match, however, I still needed to stay focused,” Devier said.  “I am getting better with the rhythm of the matches though. The more matches we play, the more rhythm I develop.”

Ponomareva was able to battle through the tough conditions to win her match with the fairly lopsided score of 6-2, 6-1.

“I had some difficulties with my serve because of the wind, it was crazy,” Ponomareva said. “It was pretty bad in the beginning but I adapted. I was just working on small things.”

The team plays Baylor University, another top 25 team on Feb. 12. It gives North Texas another chance to grab a victory from one of the best teams in the nation.

“It’s early in the season, we’re going out there and seeing where we stack up,” Lama said. “When you get challenged, when you get pushed, you tend not to be complacent.”

UP NEXT: The team travels to Waco to play No. 23 Baylor on Feb. 12.

Featured Image: Senior Nedhi Surapaneni and junior Maria Ponomareva celebrate during the UNT vs. LA Tech Tennis match on Feb. 14th, 2020. Image by Ryan Cantrell

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Caleb Yum

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