North Texas Daily

Tennis faces Columbia for the first time

Tennis faces Columbia for the first time

March 21
18:51 2013

Caitlyn Alvarado / Staff Writer

After a spring break full of tennis, the No. 73 Mean Green tennis team will take on No. 61 Columbia University at 11 a.m. tomorrow at the Waranch Tennis complex.

Both teams are coming off wins – UNT (10-4, 4-0) has won its last three matches and Columbia (7-3, 4-0) has won it’s last four.

“It helps to play with winning behind you,” senior team captain Barbora Vykydalova said. “It helps you play with confidence, but we don’t really care about their record and if they won. We just focus on the match.”

UNT and Columbia have not faced each other before. Head coach Sujay Lama said all he can do is check out the scouting reports and practice like they do for every other match.

“We just need everyone on the same page and to have everyone invested fully,” Lama said. “If they all take care of business like they are capable of, then we got it.”

The Mean Green fell from being ranked No. 54 to No. 73 after its loss against Tulsa. Senior Valentina Starkova and the team agrees that rankings are of little importance.

“I don’t really bother myself with rankings,” Starkova said. “As long as I am doing well and playing good tennis I know I am OK.”

Tomorrow UNT will be facing one of Columbia’s three nationally-ranked players. Sophomore Kseniya Bardabush will take on No. 61 senior Nicole Bartnik in the No. 1 singles position.

“I just have shoulder injuries and so I have been doing rehab and working on it,” Bardabush said. “But I have won my last three matches so I feel pretty confident about this weekend.”

The No. 37 doubles team of junior Bianca Sanon and freshmen Kanika Vaidya are not in the top six for Columbia and will not be playing this weekend.

“I have played one girl in a tournament in New York and I can tell they are a good team,” Vykydalova said. “No match is easy. Since I started playing tennis I haven’t played an ‘easy’ match.”

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