Mean Green Unable to Hang With No. 59 Tulsa
Tennis Wins Doubles Point Before Four Singles Losses
DALLAS — Following a 4-3 win at No. 74 Louisville on February 22, the confidence of the North Texas tennis team was quite high. The Mean Green turned right around a week later against a stout Tulsa team ranked No. 59 in the country, but fell 4-1 to the Golden Hurricane on March 1.
Despite the loss, head coach Sujay Lama saw some good from the team on Sunday afternoon. This was especially true of the doubles teams who earned North Texas the first point of the match. After the Golden Hurricane No. 3 team won the first doubles match, the Mean Green stormed back to take the last two and put North Texas ahead 1-0 early on.
The No. 2 pair of Anastasiya Shestakova and Alexis Thoma defeated Marcelina Chichon and Rongrong Leenabanchong 6-1, then the No. 1 duo of Kseniya Bardabush and Franziska Sprinkmeyer grinded out a crucial 7-5 victory over Renata Kuricova and Ksenia Laskutova, who were ranked No. 46 in the nation. Shestakova and Thoma improved to 5-4 on the season, while the senior tandem grabbed its fourth win in 10 tries.
"Down three match points, Franzi and Kseniya played outstanding tennis to rally us back and give us the lead," Lama said.
But things did not go well in singles play, as Tulsa secured four straight-set wins for its ninth victory of the season. Two matches, which included Bardabush and Thona, went unfinished.
"You have to hand it to Tulsa for the way they come out in singles," Lama complimented. "They played aggressively and didn't give us a lot of room to breathe."
The Mean Green's strength of schedule has been very high this season; the Golden Hurricane was the sixth ranked opponent in the first 11 matches for North Texas. Even though the team is 1-5 against those opponents thus far, it is confident this type of play will pay dividends later on.
Next up for the Mean Green will be a trip to Southern California to face San Diego and San Diego St. North Texas will play the Toreros on March 7 and the No. 43 Aztecs on March 8.
1. Bardabush/Sprinkmeyer defeat No. 46 Kuricova/Laskutova, 7-5
2. Shestakova/Thoma defeat Cichon/Leenabanchong, 6-1
3. Cordero/Valenzuela lose to Dadireddy/Saarteinen, 6-3
1. Bardabush vs. Laskutova goes unfinished, 6-3, 3-5
2. Galeiva loses to Leenabanchong, 6-2, 6-0
3. Shestakova loses to Nemchen, 6-0, 6-2
4. Valenzuela loses to Cichon, 6-2, 6-4
5. Thoma vs. Saarteinen goes unfinished, 2-6, 4-4
6. Sprinkmeyer loses to Dadireddy, 6-2, 6-3