North Texas Daily

Recap: Women’s tennis suffers loss in first match of the season

Recap: Women’s tennis suffers loss in first match of the season

Recap: Women’s tennis suffers loss in first match of the season
January 19
19:26 2021

The Mean Green tennis team fell to UT Austin in their first dual match of the spring season. The Longhorns came into this matchup with the No. 3 ranked tennis squad in the nation. Despite the loss, head coach Sujay Lama stated playing against difficult opponents is an invaluable experience for his players.

“This was a step in the right direction to get our players to believe in themselves,” Lama said. “Ultimately, they need to get out there and experience how close they are to the top competition.”

Senior Nidhi Surapaneni played the top player for Texas in Peyton Stearns, who is ranked No. 66 in the country. Even though she lost in straight sets, she believes she is capable of playing at the level required from the best players in the nation.

“I think that even though she played great tennis, I managed to keep her on her toes,” Surapaneni said. “If I keep working hard, I think it will be possible for me to play at that level.”

Junior Lucie Devier also lost her match to the second-ranked UT Austin player in Lulu Sun, who is ranked No. 94 in the country. However, Devier was able to capture the first set from Sun before subsequently losing the next two. Devier believes the next time she plays top competition she will be able to go in with a stronger winning mentality than before.

“It will be different now that we know that we are not that far from the top players,” Devier said.

Junior Maria Ponomareva and freshman Saki Oyama also went to the third set against their opponents despite eventually losing. Lama hopes these results continue to give the team confidence in themselves to keep pushing their limits.

“Hopefully this will give our girls the confidence to want more,” Lama said. “As a coach, I could not have asked for more fight.”

Overall, Lama is trying his best to stay in the moment and not look too far ahead. It reflects in the team and the slogan they have adopted for this unpredictable season.

“We say ‘right here, right now,'” Lama said. “My focus is right now let’s enjoy this ride back home, let’s enjoy our break tomorrow and then let’s make Tuesday great.”

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

Caleb Yum

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