Tennis Lets Doubles Slip Away, Loses 4-0 to No. 17 TCU
Shestakova-Thoma Duo Captures Lone Mean Green Victory
DENTON -- With a top-20 opponent coming to the Waranch Tennis Complex on April 1, the North Texas tennis team knew it had a tremendous opportunity to extend its winning streak and turn some heads in the process. But No. 17 TCU showed that it was no joke, as the Horned Frogs defeated the Mean Green 4-0 on Wednesday.
After the North Texas duo of Anastasiya Shestakova and Alexis Thoma drubbed TCU 6-0 at No. 2 doubles, the Mean Green needed only one of the next two results to go their way in order to secure the first point. However, No. 1 doubles pair Kseniya Bardabush and Franziska Sprinkmeyer let a 4-1 lead slip away into a 6-4 loss to Simona Parajova and Stefanie Tan, then Palina Dubavets and Alexis Pereira outlasted Ana Sofia Cordero and Agustina Valenzuela 7-5 at No. 3 doubles.
"We had the start we envisioned in doubles, but couldn't close out big leads," head coach Sujay Lama explained. "We got tentative and played scared, and that was a recipe for disaster."
With the turn of events that led to a 1-0 lead, the Horned Frogs carried momentum into singles play. TCU put away the Mean Green with three two-set wins, with the final three matches left unfinished. Although North Texas did not clinch any points, Shestakova and Sprinkmeyer were each ahead one set when they were called off the court. In her first start at No. 4 singles, Sprinkmeyer was ahead 6-4, 4-3 against Dubavets. Meanwhile, looking for her sixth-consecutive victory at No. 2 singles, Shestakova led Parajova - who is No. 44 nationally - 7-5, 2-4.
The other unfinished match included Valenzuela, who was losing 6-7 (2), 3-1 to Sofiko Kadzhaya at the No. 3 position.
With the loss, the Mean Green fell to 6-11 on the season, including 1-4 in regional matches. But North Texas will get an opportunity to improve upon those records, and exact revenge, when No. 28 Houston on Sunday. In the team's third match of the season on January 25, the Cougars defeated the Mean Green 4-2 in the ITA Kick-Off held in College Station. Houston is currently one of the hottest teams in the country, as they have won 13-straight since February 20.
"We are disappointed not to have capitalized on a great opportunity today," Lama said. "But we will have a short memory and prepare for another highly-ranked opponent."
1. Bardabush/Sprinkmeyer lose to Parajova/Tan, 6-4
2. Shestakova/Thoma defeat Arantekin/Kadzhaya, 6-0
3. Cordero/Valenzuela lose to Dubavets/Pereira, 7-5
1. Bardabush loses to No. 108 Tan, 6-3, 6-4
2. Shestakova vs. No. 44 Parajova goes unfinished, 7-5, 2-4
3. Valenzuela vs. Kadzhaya goes unfinished, 6-7 (2), 3-1
4. Sprinkmeyer vs. Dubavets goes unfinished, 6-4, 4-3
5. Thoma loses to Pereira, 6-0, 6-4
6. Galieva loses to Arantekin, 6-0, 6-3