Tennis loses another doubles point in loss to Kansas State

Tennis loses another doubles point in loss to Kansas State

February 10
12:02 2018

Joshua Paveglio | Staff Writer

North Texas traveled to Manhattan, Kansas to take on Kansas State University Friday evening. The match resulted in 4-1 victory for the Wildcats with the lone Mean Green victory coming from No.2 singles player junior Tamuna Kutubidze (6-1, 7-5) who improved her singles record to 4-0 this season.

The Mean Green (3-2), fresh off of back to back home wins last weekend including a 4-3 victory against the University of Iowa, struggled against the seemingly comfortable Kansas State.

Despite a winning record through five matches, including a conference win, head coach Sujay Lama expects more from the girls.

“I would not say we are pleased with the 3-2 record” Lama said. “We schedule these tough teams because we believe we are capable of beating them.”

The Wildcats (3-1) handled the Mean Green in doubles to begin the match, defeating North Texas’ No.1 doubles team 6-3 and their No.2 team 6-0. The Mean Green have now won the doubles point in only one of their first five matches.

“Digging a hole by losing the doubles point is not a recipe for success against good teams,” Lama said.

In singles matches, the Mean Green did not fare much better outside of Kutubidze, who kept her undefeated season unscathed with the win. She now has a 4-0 singles record on the season.

“Tamuna has put a lot of hard work and it is paying off,” Lama said. “She is also finally healthy which makes a huge difference.”

Last weekend Kutubidze clinched the Mean Green’s win against Iowa with a victory for the team in a winner-take-all match, earning her Conference USA’s Women’s Tennis Athlete of the Week on Wednesday.

Lama praised Kutubidze efforts after the match, but the team loss overshadowed her convincing win.

Junior No.1 for North Texas Maria Kononova lost her singles match in three sets, 4-6, 6-1, 6-3.

The showdown with this Power Five school was nothing new for the Mean Green as they have faced Kansas State plenty of times in the past three years. With the loss, North Texas has now fallen to the Wildcats three seasons in a row.

The team returns to the same courts on Saturday to take on Washington State University at 3 p.m. This time, Lama needs, and expects, his upperclassmen to take charge.

“We need our juniors to step up and be leaders,” Lama said. “We [also] have to do a better job of playing doubles [in order to win].”

Next up: North Texas takes on Washington State in Manhattan, Kansas Saturday at 3 p.m.

Featured image: North Texas junior Tamuna Kutubidze hits the ball during a singles match against Louisiana Tech on Jan. 27.

About Author

Matthew Brune

Matthew Brune

Matthew Brune is the Senior Sports Writer for the North Texas Daily, covering football and men's basketball.

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