DENTON, Texas (1/4/13) - The Intercollegiate Tennis Association debuted North Texas tennis No. 53 on Thursday in the first women's tennis team poll of the year. This marks first time North Texas has began the season ranked.
Sixth-year head coach Sujay Lama returns five members of the 2012 squad that won the Sun Belt Conference Championship and reached the NCAA Championships for the second time in school history.
"Each year, we've continued to move up in the regional and national rankings and this is the highest we've ever started the spring season. However, we are hungry for bigger things this year," Lama said. "I believe we have a group that is capable of being a top 25 team if we stay healthy, hungry and take advantage of the opportunities that our schedule presents."
Senior Valentina Starkova leads the Mean Green ranked No. 12 in the Texas region, followed by sophomore Kseniya Bardabush at No. 16.
Doubles duo Barabora Vykydalova and Starkova break through to No. 10 in the Texas region women's tennis poll.
"The Texas region is one of the toughest in the country and to have two players ranked in the top 20 and a doubles team ranked in the top 10 is exciting. Val, Kseniya and Bara make a formidable line-up at the top of the order. They are capable of going toe-to-toe with the best in the nation and are deserving of their rankings."
The Mean Green begins 2013 in Fort Meyers, Fla. for the Florida Gulf Coast Invitational January 19-21.