North Texas Daily

Recap: Tennis team falls to Texas-Arlington in narrow contest

Recap: Tennis team falls to Texas-Arlington in narrow contest

Recap: Tennis team falls to Texas-Arlington in narrow contest
April 08
18:39 2021

Despite fighting through the match, the tennis team fell to the University of Texas-Arlington — a competition that boiled down to a 3-3 decider.

Freshman Saki Oyama was the final match and despite taking the first set, she eventually lost to a player who has yet to lose a singles match the entire year.

“UTA has had a really good year,” head coach Sujay Lama said. “It just came down to Saki, a freshman, playing a senior. Experience was the difference.”

Conditions were also tricky for the Mean Green (6-11, C-USA 2-1) today. Blustery winds were blowing in strongly from the northwest, causing players to have to adjust their game accordingly.

The bright spot of the day for the Mean Green was the way they dominated the Mavericks (15-3) in the doubles point. Oyama and junior Lucie Devier won 6-1 on the top court and Kexuan Zhou and Sophia Hummel also defeated their opponents 6-1 on the third court. Lama acknowledged the Mavericks have had a fantastic season thus far.

“Doubles was looking great, but we knew it was going to be a really close match,” Lama said.

While Surapaneni went down early in the match, her aggressive play with the wind helped her win the match.

“I got off to a slow start in singles,” Surapaneni said. “But I just told myself to be aggressive with the wind, like controlled aggression.”

While she was annoyed by the weather, she was able to work her way around it in order to win the match.

“It was disturbing,” Surapaneni said. “I was complaining in my mind about it, but I told myself ‘relax, it’s the same for her'[…]it was just about finding a way to keep the ball inside the court.”

While the team has grown over the year, Lama still believes that winning the conference will be dependent on the team’s ability to close out the end of matches.

“All season long, we are putting ourselves in positions to win,” Lama said. “The key here is knowing how to finish when you have momentum.”

Featured Image: Freshman Saki Oyama swings at the ball during tennis practice on Feb. 21, 2021. Image by Zach Del Bello

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Caleb Yum

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