Galieva Lifts Mean Green Over No. 75 Kansas, 4-3
Shestakova Wins Fifth-Straight Match at No. 2 Singles
DENTON -- Kamilla Galieva had been struggling. She had lost six of her past seven singles matches overall and then her first set in a tiebreak against Kansas' Alexis Czapinski on Friday. But Galieva buckled down, found her confidence and conceded only two games in the final two sets to earn a 6-7 (1), 6-1, 6-1 win.
Her decision notched the clinching point for North Texas in the team's 4-3 victory over the No. 75 Jayhawks on March 27.
"I feel very happy that I won a point for the team and now I feel like I got my confidence back," she explained. "After matches I lost at different positions, I felt down on myself. But after today's win I feel a lot more confident."
Even though Galieva came into Friday's match with a 2-9 singles record, head coach Sujay Lama commented on the importance of her figuring it out on the court and helping the team at the No. 6 singles position.
"She's a kid that really cares a lot about the team and she wants to do well," he said. "I think part of the problem was that she wanted to win so much and was focusing so much on the winning instead of the process. I'm so happy that she was out there today finding a solution. She kept battling and she found a way to get it done, and it's perfect because she clinched the win for us."
The other two points in singles came from Anastasiya Shestakova and Franziska Sprinkmeyer. Shestakova won her fifth-consecutive match since being moved up to No. 2 singles, as she defeated Smith Hinton 6-3, 6-3 in the quickest match of the day. Sprinkmeyer earned a second-straight victory, beating Rachel McNeely 7-5, 7-6 (1) at the No. 5 position.
The Mean Green got out to a quick 1-0 lead by earning the doubles point against Kansas. Lama called the performance by Kseniya Bardabush and Sprinkmeyer at No. 1 singles "their best of the year," as the pair shut out Maria Belen Luduena and Czafinski, 6-0. The duo of Alexis Thoma and Shestakova then won 6-4 over the Jayhawks' No. 2 doubles team of Madison Harrison and Hinton.
"I'm so proud of them and I couldn't have asked for more," Lama praised. "Now I think we have finally found ourselves. This is who we have always been and this is how we have to be moving forward."
Mean Green Quick Hitters
- With the team victory, North Texas improved to 6-10 on the season and 4-0 in the all-time series with Kansas.
- By winning its second match in a row, the team earned the first winning streak of the season.
- Alexis Thoma lost her second-consecutive three-set match; a 6-3, 7-6 (7), 6-1 thriller to Summer Collins.
- The Mean Green has two matches against ranked, regional opponents next week.
- On April 1, No. 20 TCU is in town for a rescheduled match that was cancelled on February 25.
- On April 5, No. 39 Houston is in town. The Mean Green will be looking for revenge, as the Cougars took home a 4-2 win at the ITA Kick-Off on January 25.
1. Bardabursh/Sprinkmeyer defeat Czapinski/Luduena, 6-0
2. Shestakova/Thoma defeat Harrison/Hinton, 6-4
3. Cordero/Valenzuela lose to Collins/McNeely, 6-3
1. Bardabush loses to Luduena, 6-7 (0), 6-4, 6-2
2. Shestakova defeats Hinton, 6-3, 6-3
3. Valenzuela loses to Harrison, 4-6, 7-5, 6-4
4. Thoma loses to Collins, 6-3, 6-7 (7), 6-1
5. Sprinkmeyer defeats McNeely, 7-5, 7-6 (1)
6. Galieva defeats Czapinski, 6-7 (2), 6-1, 6-1