Tennis Downs No. 73 Texas Tech For First Program Win Over Ranked Opponent
DENTON, Texas - Mean Green Tennis downed a ranked team for the first in program history Saturday afternoon at the Waranch Tennis Complex by shooting down No. 73 Texas Tech Red Raiders 5-2.
"First of all, hats off to Texas Tech, they battled hard and made us work for every point," North Texas head coach Sujay Lama. "It was an exciting match that went back and forth the whole day."
North Texas jumped out on top early in doubles when the duo of Catalina Cruz and Barbora Vykydalova turned in an 8-6 victory in the No. 2 slot over Texas Tech's Elizabeth Ullathorne and Caroline Starck.
The Mean Green nabbed the doubles point minutes later when the recently reunited team of Paula Dinuta and Madura Ranganathan completed an 8-5 victory in the No. 3 doubles slot.
"I am proud of the way we fought today especially after the tough loss at Oklahoma," Lama said. "We challenged our team to learn from it and to show courage and positive attitude while facing adversity. They did that today and in the process took a giant step forward. It was a total team effort today."
Already up 1-0 heading into singles, it didn't take the Mean Green long to claim another point.
Sophomore Irina Paraschiv, playing in the No. 1 slot, took care of her match in dominate fashion, downing Texas Tech freshman Sandra Dynka in straight sets 6-0, 6-4.
The Red Raiders took the first of their two overall points when Caroline Starck out-battled junior Amy Joubert in her straight sets victory 6-2, 7-5.
Vykydalova, a freshman, was the next one to finish her match. After taking the first set 6-4, Vykydalova had to fight off a furious effort from Natalie Leitch to square the match. Withstanding the late charge, Vykydalova captured the second set and the match point 7-5.
"I'm happy that I can be here with my teammates and coaches for this match," Vykydalova said. " I want to play for them and play well. I look forward to helping the team win more matches like this in the future."
In true Texas Tech vs. North Texas fashion, the final three matches all went into tie-breakers.
On court two, Ranganathan fought through the cold and her opponent to clinch the match for the Mean Green with a 6-2, 7-6 victory.
Not minutes later, senior captain Catalina Cruz also took another point, wining her tie-breaker and the match 6-2, 2-6, 7-6.
"To have our first win over a ranked opponent is a huge break through for us," added Lama. "It will give these ladies the confidence to aspire for greater heights."
North Texas will return to the court on Sat., Feb. 20 in Mobile, Ala., when they take on Sun Belt Conference rival No. 28 Florida International.