North Texas Daily

Tennis team struggles in singles matches, falls to Kansas State

Tennis team struggles in singles matches, falls to Kansas State

January 31
23:16 2016

Courtney Anderson | Staff Writer

@CPaigeA23

After losing to Kansas State University 6-1 the day before, the Mean Green was not able to bounce back against the Washington State Cougars after failing to clinch any singles wins.

Once again, North Texas (1-2) was ready for the doubles matches, securing the win for all three. Freshmen Maria Kononova and Tamuna Kutubidze dominated over senior Lize Leenknecht and sophomore Donika Bashota in their match, defeating the duo 6-1.

Later on, Washington’s Bashota avenged her doubles loss, taking down Kononova while Kutubidze lost to freshman Barbora Michalkova in the WSU singles sweep.

“I started 4-0, but there were so many things that were against me,” Kutubidze said, who ended her two matches 4-6 and 3-6 respectively. “There were so many distractions outside of the court, and it was my first singles road match. Nerves were already against me.”

The doubles matches were the Mean Green’s most consistent part of this Sunday’s matches. Kononova said her strong communication with Kutubidze plays a key role in their chemistry on the court.

“I can understand her action and movement so much to where we don’t even have to talk to each other,” Kononova said. “I think next time we can play more aggressive though.”

Head coach Sujay Lama recognized his players’ struggles Sunday, saying they need to have more energy throughout the entire match going into next weekend.

“Competing with four freshman today, there’s still a lot we don’t fully understand about ourselves,” Lama said. “Off the court, all of the ladies have good chemistry together. On, we need to develop the game a bit better.”

Coach Lama said the upcoming challenges against Kansas University and Wichita State University next weekend on the road will require the Mean Green’s utmost attention.

“We really, really have to prepare for next weekend, especially when both teams are nationally reanked,” Lama said, “We’re competing at just as high levels as they are.”

North Texas will travel to Kansas Saturday, Feb. 6 and then to Wichita State the following day. Saturday’s contests against Kansas begin at 1 p.m, while Sunday’s matches with Wichita State will begin at 11:00 a.m.

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