Sasaki Shines In Day One Of Metroplex Mania
North Texas Freshman Showing Great Improvement From Fall Season
DALLAS -- Haruka Sasaki of North Texas women's tennis ended day one of the Metroplex Mania at SMU with two wins.
The Mean Green freshman defeated SMU's Macie Elliott 6-4, 6-3 and then teamed up with Alexis Thoma in doubles to beat Rice's Fernanda Astete and Savannah Durkin 6-3.
"I really want to thank my partner Alexis, because she helped me a lot during the match," Sasaki said. "I was a little tight when we started playing but she gave me advice and made me relax."
During the fall, Sasaki won six singles matches and three doubles matches. Saturday was just the third match Sasaki and Thoma had played together. The two split the two matches in the middle of November at the San Diego State Fall Classic.
In singles, the Fujisawa, Japan, native faced a familiar foe in SMU's Elliott. The two played each other in September at the OU Invite and it was Elliott who got the better of Sasaki then. However, on Saturday it was Sasaki's turn.
"I went in to the match knowing I was a different player since I lost to her," Sasaki explained. "I trained hard and improved a lot. I played well and showed improvement on each shot. I'm excited for tomorrow."
Fellow North Texas freshman Alexandra Heczey won her singles match. Heczey defeated the Mustangs' Mary Wright (7-5, 6-1). And Mean Green sophomore Maria Kononova defeated SMU's Sarai Monarrez (7-6, 6-4).
North Texas returns to the SMU Tennis Complex, Turpin Stadium and Brookshire Family Pavilion on Sunday at 11:00 a.m.
SMU's Tennis Complex, Turpin Stadium and Brookshire Family Pavilion can be found at 5669 N Central Expy, Dallas, TX 75205.
SINGLES vs. SMU
Kononova defeated Monarrez, (7-6, 6-4)
Perez beat Thoma (3-6, 3-6)
Sharapova defeated Arciniegas, (2-6, 3-6)
Anselmi beat Liang, (3-6, 7-5, 1-6)
Sasaki defeated Elliott, (6-4, 6-3)
Heczey beat Wright, (7-5, 6-1)
Zogg defeated Babić (2-6, 3-6)
DOUBLES vs. Rice
Kononova/ Heczey lost Hodge/Zheng, (3-6)
Liang/Arciniegas lost Ho/Niezgoda, (0-6)
Sasaki/Thoma defeated Astete/Durkin, (6-3)