Mean Green Fall Short Versus Georgia State

March 14, 2017

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DENTON — The North Texas tennis team lost 4-3 to Georgia State Tuesday afternoon at the Waranch Tennis Complex.

The Mean Green (5-10) battled through adversity and another lineup change to take a 3-1 lead midway through the match. After back-to-back victories at No. 3 and No. 6 for the Panthers (6-5), the match came down to No. 5 where freshman Haruka Sasaki eventually fell 7-6(2), 6-2.

“Having changes in the rotation is tough,” said head coach Sujay Lama. “You have people playing maybe up a spot or in positions they aren’t usually comfortable playing. I thought we did a fantastic job competing, though.” 

North Texas’ typical No. 4, freshman Alexandra Heczey, did not compete in singles on Tuesday due to illness. Classmate Ivana Babic who filled in for her played at the No. 6 spot. Babic lost 6-2, 7-5. Making a return to the Mean Green lineup was sophomore Minying Liang. After missing the past two matches, Liang won on Tuesday 6-2, 6-3 at the No. 4 spot.

North Texas has had a different lineup in each of the last three matches. 

Despite the loss, Lama was proud of Sasaki’s effort at No.5 and glad she was able to play a important clinching match with everyone watching. 

“She gained valuable experience,” Lama said. “She’ll be more comfortable in future clinching matches and she’s learned what she needs to do differently.”

North Texas’ No. 1 doubles team of Maria Kononova and Tamuna Kutubidze won their 11th straight match on Tuesday and are now 11-0 on the season. The No. 77 ranked doubles team in the nation won pretty handily Tuesday afternoon, 6-2. 

North Texas remains at Waranch as they host Columbia on Thursday at noon. 


  • North Texas’ No. 1, sophomore Maria Kononova, won her third straight singles match and improved to 12-3 on the season. The No. 82 ranked player in the country was named Conference USA’s Women’s Tennis Athlete of the Week Tuesday. 
  • Sophomore Minying Liang has won five of her last six singles matches. 
  • North Texas has lost six matches this year by one point.




1. #77 Maria Kononova/Tamuna Kutubidze (NT) def. Arina Taluyenko/Tarani Kamoe (GSU) 6-2
2. Kristin Rehse/Damira Muminovic (GSU) def. Alexandra Heczey/Alexis Thoma (NT) 6-2
3. Laura Arciniegas/Ivana Babic (NT) def. Anastasia Grosheva/Daniela Ramirez (GSU) 6-4 

1. #82 Maria Kononova (NT) def. Kristin Rehse (GSU) 6-3, 6-1
2. Arina Taluyenko (GSU) def. Tamuna Kutubidze (NT) 6-2, 6-2
3. Daniela Ramirez (GSU) def. Alexis Thoma (NT) 6-3, 6-2
4. Minying Liang (NT) def. Damira Muminovic (GSU) 6-2, 6-3
5. Anastasia Grosheva (GSU) def. Haruka Sasaki (NT) 7-6 (7-2), 6-2
6. Tarani Kamoe (GSU) def. Ivana Babic (NT) 6-2, 7-5



North Texas Mean Green