Metroplex Rival TCU Too Much For Mean Green
Maria Kononova Takes Team’s Only Win In 6-1 Loss
Maria Kononova picked up the team's only win of the day on Wednesday. (Photo by Rick Yeatts)
FORT WORTH, Texas — The No. 68 North Texas tennis team renewed a 37-year rivalry with TCU on Wednesday, but the day’s results were anything but historic as the Mean Green fell, 6-1, at the hands of the Horned Frogs from the Friedman Tennis Center.
On a day plagued by slow starts, North Texas had only one win in the match, but it came in a showdown at the top singles position that served as the highlight for the Mean Green’s day.
For TCU (4-2), the Horned Frogs came hot out of the gates and used its superior skill in doubles play to gain early momentum on the day.
“TCU played a very strong match today,” head coach Sujay Lama said. “That was perhaps the best doubles we have seen from an opponent all year long. By the time we matched their intensity we were in a hole.”
For the Mean Green, that hole was too much to crawl out of as freshmen Maria Kononova and Tamuna Kutubidze fell 6-1 to the nation’s 16th-ranked doubles duo in Caroline Wegner and Seda Arantekin. A 6-2 loss for Anastasiya Shestakova and Minying Liang at the hands of Marie Norris and Alexis Pereira sealed the doubles point for the Horned Frogs.
TCU’s momentum didn’t slow from there, as the Frogs needed only two sets to win five of the six singles matches. The exception was a showdown at the No. 1 spot between two of the state’s top freshmen. North Texas’s Maria Kononova needed three frames to take down TCU’s Marie Collins. Collins - a former blue chip recruit who had been ranked as high as the No. 3 American player in the 2015 class - fell to the Mean Green’s top singles player by a 6-4, 3-6, 10-8 decision.
“I am really proud of the way we battled in singles,” Lama added. “Everyone fought and never gave up. Maria’s gutsy win over one of the top players in our region was definitely the highlight of the match.”
The Mean Green returns to the Waranch Tennis Complex this weekend for a match against Pennsylvania at 1 p.m. on Sunday, March 6, in Denton.
1. Maria Kononova def. Marie Norris; 6-4, 3-6, 10-8
2. Tamuna Kutubidze falls to Seda Arantekin; 6-2, 6-2
3. Anastasiya Shestakova falls to Caroline Wegner; 6-3, 6-1
4. Agustina Valenzuela falls to Olaya Garrido-Rivas; 7-5, 6-2
5. Alexis Thoma falls to Aleksandra Zenovka; 7-5, 6-0
6. Minying Liang falls to Alexis Pereira; 6-1, 6-2
1. Kononova/Kutubidze fall to #16 Wegner/Arantekin, 6-2
2. Shestakova/Liang fall to Norris/Pereira, 6-2
3. Valenzuela/Arciniegas vs. Garrido-Rivas/King; 2-5 (unfinished)