Tennis Can’t Upset Kansas, Falls 5-0
North Texas Moves To 1-3 In Dual Season After Facing Jayhawks
LAWRENCE, Ks. — The North Texas tennis team entered Saturday’s match with Kansas hoping to find a way to upset the Jayhawks, but the Big 12 opponent was too much for the Mean Green to handle in a 5–0 loss from the Jayhawk Tennis Complex.
As has become customary early in this spring dual season, doubles play was once again the highlight of the Mean Green’s day. While North Texas did not seize the doubles point, the team did pick up one doubles win at the top position and the other two contests were lost in 7-6 decisions.
“We got off to a fast start in doubles and had plenty of opportunities to close and seize the momentum,” head coach Sujay Lama said. “A few execution errors at the end were costly in what were some very close matches.”
The freshmen duo of Maria Kononova and Tamuna Kutubidze picked up the team’s only win of the day at the No. 1 doubles position, comfortably knocking off the Jayhawk duo of Nina Khmelnitckaia and Janet Koch, 6-3. The win moves the Kononova/Kutubidze team to a 5-2 record in the spring to lead North Texas, including a 3-1 mark in dual matches.
While the remaining doubles teams didn’t pick up wins, their play on the court was equally as competitive as each dropped 7-6 duals with KU duos. At the No. 2 spot, freshman Minying Liang and junior Alexis Thoma fell to Maria Jose Cardona and Summer Collins. Likewise, seniors Anastasiya Shestakova and Agustina Valenzuela fell to Smith Hinton and Anastasia Rychagova at the No. 3 position.
Kansas (5-0) took each of the day’s completed singles matches in two sets. Liang was the only Mean Green player that was in a position to win, but the first four singles matches concluded before the Jiangmen, China, native could finish off Summer Collins. Her match went unfinished with a 5-2 score in the first set.
Despite another loss, Lama is satisfied with the progress his team is making and is looking forward to getting back on the courts.
“Our overall effort and level of play in singles was much better than last weekend,” Lama concluded. “Kansas was just tough as nails on a few spots and put us on our heels. This team is learning and growing with each match. Our freshmen are starting to adapt to the dual match environment and it’s a matter of time until we have a breakthrough.”
Lama & Co. hope that breakthrough comes tomorrow, when North Texas will take on the No. 34-ranked Wichita State Shockers at 11 a.m. from the Wichita Country Club.
• No. 1 Maria Kononova falls to Anastasiya Rychagova; 6-3, 6-4
• No. 2 Tamuna Kutubidze falls to Smith Hinton; 6-1, 6-0
• No. 3 Anastasiya Shestakova falls to Janet Koch; 6-2, 6-1
• No. 4 Alexis Thoma falls to Nina Khmelnitckaia; 6-3, 7-5
• No. 5 Minying Liang vs. Summer Collins; 5-2, unfinished
• No. 6 Kamilla Galieva vs. Maria Jose Cardona; 2-3, unfinished
• No. 1 Kononova/Kutubidze def. Khmelnitckaia/Koch, 6-3
• No. 2 Liang/Thoma fall to Cardona/Collins, 7-6
• No. 3 Shestakova/Valenzuela fall to Hinton/Rychagova, 7-6