North Texas Daily

Tennis finishes 5-1 in consecutive home matches

Tennis finishes 5-1 in consecutive home matches

Tennis finishes 5-1 in consecutive home matches
February 22
20:05 2019

The North Texas tennis defeated Northwestern State 4-0 in a match on Friday at Lifetime Fitness in Plano, marking the fifth win in the last six matches, all of which were at home. 

“We were business-like today,” head coach Sujay Lama said. “That was a well-coached [team]. We were ready for it and we took care of business.”

The Mean Green’s victory was the second loss for Northwestern State this season. Prior to playing the Mean Green, the team from Louisiana had not lost a match since their first of the spring against Tulane.

“When you have time to win matches you have more confidence,” Lama said. “I feel like now no one’s looking over their shoulder trying to see if somebody else is gonna get the point.”

The day started with a 6-1 doubles win from seniors Maria Kononova and Tamuna Kutubidze. Senior Minying Liang and sophomore Nidhi Surapaneni clinched the doubles point with a 6-4 win.

“I’m really proud of the way we’ve been playing doubles lately,” Lama said. “Anytime you win the doubles point you put a lot of pressure and once we won the doubles point I thought we got off to a really good start and then we finished the match.”

Senior Maria Kononova prepares serves the ball to the opposing team during her doubles match against Arizona at the Waranch Tennis Complex on Feb. 17, 2019. Image by: Adriance Rhoades.

Despite beginning the match losing, Liang and Surapaneni made a comeback to win their match. Lama said he believes their aggression is what got them back in the contest.

“That’s the only way,” Lama said. “In all three teams, we have to be attacking. We have to be aggressive. We have to be making our opponents react.”

Liang, Surapenini and Kononova won their singles matches in straight sets to finish the day for North Texas. 

“I think our court position has improved a lot,” Lama said. “We used to play more defensive tennis. Now we are closer to the baseline playing offensive tennis. We’ve been working on it. You’re not gonna be really successful if you’re not gonna be aggressive. I’ve seen that improving across the board.”

UP NEXT: North Texas will now go on the road next week to play two conference matches in Miami, Florida. They will play Marshall at 10:30 a.m. on Saturday and Florida International on Sunday. The start time for Sunday’s match is not set at this time.

Featured Image: Senior Tamuna Kutubidze strides across the court in an attempt to return a volley during her doubles match against Arizona at the Waranch Tennis Complex on Feb. 17, 2019. Image by: Adriance Rhoades.

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Caleb Akpan

Caleb Akpan

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