Mean Green Roll To 5-2 Win In Home Opener
North Texas Beats LA Tech
DENTON — The North Texas tennis team cruised to a 5-2 win over Louisiana Tech Saturday afternoon in its 2018 home opener.
The Mean Green (2-1) clinched the win early in the match when it took a 4-1 lead after sophomore Ivana Babic won her singles match at No. 6. North Texas won the first three points in Saturday’s match, earning their first doubles point of the season and winning at No. 1 and No. 2 before LA Tech (0-1) scored its first point.
Tamuna Kutubidze won her first career singles match at the No. 1 spot with a straight-set victory, 6-4, 6-3, despite preferring the No. 2 position.
“I didn’t care for the No. 1 spot, because I love my No. 2 spot,” Kutubidze said jokingly. “It felt good, of course. Especially in today’s conditions.”
The Mean Green dealt with morning rain, cold weather and wind throughout the match that made certain shots difficult.
“We’re playing really good to start the season and feel really good about how we’re playing, especially since the start of our schedule is really tough.”
Due to a heavy fall schedule, North Texas’ usual No. 1, Maria Kononova, was forced to sit out Saturday’s match and with the lineup change, junior Minying Liang moved up to No. 2 where she also had a straight-set win, 6-3, 6-2.
Babic earned her first singles win of the year as she dominated at the No. 6 spot with a 6-2, 6-1 win.
North Texas’ fifth win came at No. 4 when freshman Nidhi Surapaneni won a very tight match, 7-5, 5-7, 10-6. It’s her first dual match victory of her collegiate career.
“There were a lot of good things today,” Kutubidze said. “And a lot we can still improve on, which is encouraging.”
North Texas took care of business early on by grabbing the doubles point.
Kutubidze and sophomore Alexandra Heczey made quick work of their opponent at the No. 1 spot with a 6-1 victory. At No. 3, Babic and sophomore Haruka Sasaki clinched the doubles point with a 6-2 win against their opponent.
“Winning at home is extra important,” Kutubidze said. “And getting the first one feels good.”
North Texas remains at home and hosts Iowa on Feb. 3 at noon.
MEAN GREEN QUICK HITS
- North Texas has won six straight matches versus LA Tech
- Kutubidze improved to 2-0 on the year in singles
1.Tamuna Kutubidze (NT) def. Claudia Oravcova (TECH) 6-4, 6-3
2.Minying Liang (NT) def. Andrea Perez-Lopez (TECH) 6-3, 6-2
3.Nadja Manjon (TECH) def. Sille Tranberg (NT) 7-5, 7-6 (7-2)
4.Nidhi Surapaneni (NT) def. Sonia Chen (TECH) 7-5, 5-7, 10-6
5.Karla De La Luz (TECH) def. Haruka Sasaki (NT) 1-6, 6-3, 6-3
6.Ivana Babic (NT) def. Paulina Cota (TECH) 6-2, 6-1
1.Tamuna Kutubidze/Alexandra Heczey (NT) def. Paulina Cota/Andrea Perez-Lopez (TECH) 6-1
2.Nadja Manjon/Sonia Chen (TECH) def. Nidhi Surapaneni/Sille Tranberg (NT) 6-4
3.Ivana Babic/Haruka Sasaki (NT) def. Karla De La Luz/Claudia Oravcova (TECH) 6-2