Tennis Remains Undefeated At Home With Win Over Penn
North Texas Takes 4-3 Win After Match-Clincher From Freshman Kutubidze
North Texas remained undefeated from the Waranch Tennis Complex with a 4-3 win over Penn on Sunday. (Photo by Rick Yeatts)
DENTON — Playing on a breezy afternoon at the Waranch Tennis Complex, the No. 68 North Texas tennis team took down Penn, 4-3, in the final moments of Sunday’s match to remain undefeated at home in the 2015-16 season.
North Texas was tied with the Quakers at three points each before freshman Tamuna Kutubidze clinched the match for the Mean Green at the No. 2 spot. After dropping the doubles point to open the day, the home team stormed back by winning four singles contests to move to 6-7 on the year and 4-0 from its home court.
“It was great to be back at home again,” head coach Sujay Lama said. “We love the energy that our fans give us and that was the difference today. These ladies competed their hearts out and wanted to protect our house. Tamuna came through big to clinch the match. That was a big effort from a freshman.”
Penn (5-3) controlled doubles play to take a 1-0 advantage into singles action, but North Texas answered back with a quick 6-2, 6-3 win for senior Agustina Valenzuela over Penn’s Lina Qostal that tied things at a point apiece. From there, control of the match flip-flopped with every turn, as the only back-to-back points on the day came with the match-clincher.
Junior Alexis Thoma, playing at the No. 5 spot, took down Marta Kawolska by way of a controlling 6-2, 6-3 score and was followed soon after by a closely-decided 6-1, 3-6, 7-5 win for senior Anastasiya Shestakova over Sonya Latycheva at the No. 3.
That’s where the stage was set for Kutubidze’s clutch victory, and it came over Ria Vaidya at the No. 2 spot. It wouldn’t come easy, though, as the freshman stormed back from a first set loss to take a 2-6, 6-4, 6-3 victory.
“I felt a lot of energy from my teammates and it helped me a lot,” Kutubidze said following the win. “As a freshman, it was my first match-clincher and when I saw my teammates standing there for me and people supporting me, I got extra energy from them. I adore playing under pressure and it ended with a win today.”
The Mean Green will be back at the Waranch Tennis Complex for its next four matches. North Texas will take on the Lobos of New Mexico in its next match, set for 3 p.m. on Friday, March 11, in Denton.
1. Maria Kononova falls to Kana Daniel; 6-4, 6-2
2. Tamuna Kutubidze def. Ria Vaidya; 2-6, 6-4, 6-4
3. Anastasiya Shestakova def. Sonya Latycheva; 6-1, 3-6, 7-5
4. Agustina Valenzuela def. Lina Qostal; 6-2, 6-3
5. Alexis Thoma def. Marta Kowalska; 6-2, 6-3
6. Laura Arciniegas falls to Luba Vazhenina; 7-6(1), 7-6(4)
1. Kononova/Kutubidze fall to Daniel/Latycheva, 6-3
2. Shestakova/Liang vs. Vaidya/Kowalska, 3-4 (unfinished)
3. Valenzuela/Arciniegas fall to Vazhenina/Qostal, 6-4