North Texas Daily

Tennis kicks off SBC competition in Mobile

Tennis kicks off SBC competition in Mobile

February 14
22:04 2013

Caitlyn Alvarado / Staff Writer

The rackets are coming out for the first time in almost two weeks as the No. 56 Mean Green tennis team will be traveling to Mobile, Ala. for its first conference matches of the season.

In preparation for this weekend’s matches with Florida International University and the University of South Alabama, head coach Sujay Lama has the team honing in on two elements he feels are important to the team’s success.

“We focus on two things,” Lama said. “One is improvement, because every battle, every match presents a challenge. So embrace that because it will make you better. Second, you only have so many matches left. We only have seven home matches, seven road matches. Enjoy it.”

Florida International

According to Lama, FIU has been the Mean Green’s rival since his start at UNT (3-1).

“We have had a great rivalry with FIU,” Lama said. “When I first came here six years ago, FIU was the dominant program in the Sun Belt Conference and we were always chasing each other.”

In the past two meetings with FIU last season, UNT came out on top, beating the Panthers 4-3 and 4-2.

For sophomore Kseniya Bardabush, this weekend is about revenge.

“I have been practicing hard,” Bardabush said. “I have lost to one FIU girl two times so I am ready to beat her and get her back.”

South Alabama

The previous two times UNT met University of Southern Alabama on the court last season when UNT beat the Jaguars, 5-2 and 6-1. Senior and team captain Barbora Vykydalova said she expects a weekend of tough matches.

“You always have to be ready every single match, anything can happen,” Vykydalova said. “We should win, but you never know. From the statistical point of view, we are the better team, but you always have to expect what could happen.”

Lama said the team knows what to expect this weekend and that it will be ready for the conference foes.

“We expect two very competitive teams that are going to come at us this weekend so we have to be ready to fight.”

UNT will take on FIU on Saturday and USA on Sunday, with both matches beginning at 11 a.m.

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