North Texas Daily

Tennis runs into hot nationally ranked Horned Frogs without Kononova

Tennis runs into hot nationally ranked Horned Frogs without Kononova

March 06
01:16 2018

North Texas lost 4-0 to the nationally ranked No.42 Texas Christian University on Monday evening in Fort Worth.

The Mean Green (4-7) knew the match was not going to be an easy one as they entered without their number one player, junior Maria Kononova, who was resting a shoulder injury.

“We were at a bit of a disadvantage because we had to sit out our number one player Maria, just as a precaution because she’s had a strained shoulder and we have a long week here,” head coach Sujay Lama said. “I was really, really proud of the way people stepped up today knowing there was a bit of adversity not having our number one player. ”

TCU (9-5) controlled the greater part of the matches, apart from junior Tamuna Kutubidze (6-4, 5-7) who managed to win her first set against Aleksa Cveticanin who entered ranked No.82 in the country.

“It was a really close match, and I won 6-4, but then the second set started and it was still close.” Kutubidze said. “Unfortunately I was not able to finish but it was still a really nice match.”

Kutubidze faced her toughest opponent of the year but certainly rose to the occasion.

“This semester I’m not really thinking about who I’m playing against, before each match I’m thinking keep improving, keep doing what you do, just don’t worry about what your opponent does,” Kutubidze said. “I’m feeling really good physically and mentally and I’m trying to take care of my body.”

No other Mean Green player managed to take a set off of TCU but Lama loves the competitiveness he’s seeing from his team in every match.

North Texas is now at the half-way mark of their season as they prepare to face a conference opponent Middle Tennessee State University on Wednesday afternoon.

“The first half of the season was all about discovering ourselves, fighting through adversity, improving games better, finding the right combinations, finding the right rotations, and we’ve done that,” Lama said.

The challenges faced by the team this season stem from their challenging schedule made up of several nationally ranked women’s tennis programs, which have helped the team grow and adapt.

North Texas hopes to overcome these challenges as Wednesday’s crucial match quickly approaches.

“This team, I really really think is due,” Lama said. “We’ve been close, close, close, but we have been getting better. We have been discovering ourselves, we have been coming together as a team. I truly believe starting Wednesday this teams going to put up a nice run because we are prepared.”

Next up: The Mean Green return home to face Middle Tennessee on Wednesday at 2 p.m.

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

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Simreen Kheraj

Simreen Kheraj

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