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Tennis defeats Louisville at home to get back in the win column

Tennis defeats Louisville at home to get back in the win column

Senior Anastasiya Shestakova returns a serve from Central Arkansas. Dylan Nadwodny | Staff Photographer

Tennis defeats Louisville at home to get back in the win column
March 15
16:27 2016

Reece Waddell | Senior Staff Writer

@ReeceWaddell15

After nearly two hours, freshman Tamuna Kutubidze watched a shot from her opponent fall just beyond the white line and out of play. Almost instantaneously, she collapsed on the court before giving a subtle fist bump.

With the win in her match 6-4, 4-6, 6-4, Kutubidze gave North Texas the victory against the University of Louisville, defeating the Cardinals (6-7, 0-4) by a final of 5-2.

“A victory always feels great,” Kutubidze said. “But this one was special for me because I was in so much pain. The last point was really amazing.”

Kutubidze said she is dealing with shin splints but expects to be okay and ready to play for the Mean Green’s (7-8, 1-0) next match against the University of Memphis on April 1.

North Texas began the day by dropping the point in the doubles matches, losing on courts two and three before abandoning the match on court one with the Mean Green in the midst of a rally.

Kutubidze and freshman Maria Kononova were caught in a back and forth affair with the Cardinals’ duo, exchanging points in nearly every game. With their backs against the wall, Kutubidze and Kononova staved off defeat to force a 10th game before the match was called off.

“We fought hard,” head coach Sujay Lama said. “We put ourselves in a hole with the doubles’ point again. But I tell you what, our kids are so resilient.”

Despite the struggles in doubles, North Texas managed to fight back and seize control of the match. The Mean Green won five of its six singles matches, headlined by Kononova, who was coming off of a win against a nationally ranked foe from the University of New Mexico.

Kononova won her match on Tuesday in straight sets to get North Texas on the board and the comeback trail.

“At first I was struggling with my serve, but when I found the solution, I did great,” Kononova said. “We care more about our game than the result. We need to play our game and show what we are able to do. The wins will come. That’s tennis.”

With the victory, North Texas now sits at one game below .500 and will get a two week break before its next match.

“We have a good 15 days to fix our doubles,” Lama said. “I’m really pleased. We needed a win to go into this break where we can heal our bodies and minds.”

Next up: North Texas hosts Memphis on April 1 at 3 p.m.

Featured Image: Senior Anastasiya Shestakova returns a serve. Dylan Nadwodny | Staff Photographer

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