DENTON, Texas (2/23/13) - No. 57 North Texas (6-1) defeated No. 30 Arizona (6-5), 4-3, in Denton on Saturday afternoon.
"I am so happy for the ladies right now," head coach Sujay Lama said. "This was a hard earned victory over a quality opponent. We had Arizona on their heels all day long but they just kept fighting, coming back hard. Our kids are fit and they know how to battle. That combination paid off for us today."
North Texas won the doubles point after dropping the point in the previous two matches.
Although Ilona Serchenko and Dané Joubert dropped their doubles match in the No. 3 slot, Valentina Starkova and Barbora Vykydalova defeated Lacey Smith and Shayne Austin, 8-2, in the No. 1 slot.
Kseniya Bardabush and Franziska Sprinkmeyer clinched the doubles point for North Texas, defeating Kim Stubbe and Inge Hendrikx 8-6.
"Winning the doubles point was big but more importantly it's good to get back our confidence," Lama added. "We still have room to improve on our execution but the good thing is we know we are capable of playing aggressive doubles."
Although Bardabush dropped her singles match against No. 108 Lacey Smyth, Sprinkmeyer rolled past Shayne Austin in straight sets, 6-3, 7-5, in the No. 5 spot to bring the score to 2-1. Then Starkova picked up her sixth singles victory at the No. 3 slot over Laura Oldham 6-3, 7-5.
Arizona took the next two single games to bring the score to a 3-3 tie. The match came down Agustina Valenzuela and Susan McRann in the No. 6 singles slot game.
Valenzuela defeated McRann in dramatic three-set fashion. Valenzuela took the first set 6-4, dropped the second set 5-7 then battled back to win the third set 7-5 and clinch the match for North Texas.
"I cannot say enough about Agustina's effort to clinch the match for us," Lama added. "To see a freshmen have that poise in a deciding match was amazing. She has been doing extra work on her own every day and that gave her the confidence to execute under pressure. This was definitely a breakthrough match for her."
North Texas returns to action Wednesday when it hosts cross-town rival No. 28 TCU at 2 p.m. at the Waranch Tennis Complex.
No. 57 North Texas 4, No. 30 Arizona 3
February 23, 2013
Waranch Tennis Complex
1. Lacey Smyth (Arizona) def.>Kseniya Bardabush (NT) 6-1, 6-2
2. Kim Stubbe (Arizona) def. Barbora Vykydalova (NT) 3-6, 6-4, 7-5
3. Valentina Starkova (NT) def. Laura Oldham (Arizona) 6-3; 7-5
4. Akilah James (Arizona) def. Ilona Serchenko (NT) 6-3, 6-2
5. Franziska Sprinkmeyer (NT) def. Shayne Austin (Arizona) 6-3, 7-5
6. Agustina Valenzuela (NT) def. Susan McRann (Arizona) 6-4, 5-7, 7-5
1. Starkova/Vykydalova (NT) def. Smyth/Austin (Arizona) 8-2
2. Bardabush/Sprinkmeyer (NT) def. Stubbe/Hendrikx (Arizona) 8-6
3. McRann/James (Arizona) def. Joubert/Serchenko (NT) 8-2
Order of Finish
Doubles: 3, 1, 2
Singles: 1, 5, 3, 4, 2, 6
North Texas: 6-1