Sprinkmeyer Clinches Final Point on Senior Day
Bardabush Also Adds a Victory in 4-2 Tennis Win
DENTON -- Sometimes the storybook endings actually play out in real life.
Franziska Sprinkmeyer rallied from a one-set deficit and clinched the winning point for the Mean Green on Senior Day and the North Texas tennis team defeated South Alabama, 4-2. Although the Jaguars won the doubles point, the hosts stormed back with four singles wins to take the cake on Sunday and improved to 8-13 on the season heading into the Conference USA Tournament.
"In the locker room before the match, I reminded them that these seniors are winners who have been a part of two championships," head coach Sujay Lama recalled. "Let's go out there and play like champions, act like champions, think like champions and refuse to lose. Everybody really rallied around the seniors today and it was fitting for Franzi to finish the match for us."
After dropping the first set in a marathon tiebreaker, Sprinkmeyer dropped only four games in the final two sets. She closed out the match by a score of 6-7 (9), 6-0, 6-4 over Mary Angela Martin on Court 6. Afterwards, she commended the crowd for supporting her and pushing her towards the finish line.
"It was amazing, every every point I won they were screaming and I felt so much energy from them," Sprinkmeyer said. "It was the best energy ever in my four years here... I'm so proud of everybody for playing so hard and I'm glad my Senior Day ended like this."
Not to be outdone, Kseniya Bardabush also celebrated Senior Day with a singles win over South Alabama's Laura Valkova, 6-2, 7-6 (1). With her 32nd-career win at the No. 1 position, Bardabush moved into a tie for fourth on the program's all-time list.
The first singles win by the Mean Green was Anastasiya Shestakova at No. 2 with a 6-2, 6-4 result over the Jaguars' Monica Mitta. Then, on Court 4, Agustina Valenzuela defeated Michaela Meszarosova in straight sets, 7-5, 6-2. Alexis Thoma was one game away from a victory at No. 5 singles before Sprinkmeyer clinched the match; she and Emily Newton went unfinished with a 5-7, 7-6 (2), 5-2 score.
North Texas' only doubles win came from the duo of Ana Sofia Cordero and Valenzuela at the No. 3 position. They beat Paula Sanchez and Mitta 6-2 to give the team a chance to grab the point. But with the senior pair losing 6-2 at No. 1 and the team of Shestakova and Thoma falling by a score of 7-5, it just was not meant to be.
Regardless, the Mean Green will take the win's momentum into the upcoming Conference USA Tournament, which begins on April 16 on the campus of Rice University. Seeding is yet to be determined, but Lama is excited to see what kind of damage his team can do in Houston.
"I'm so happy for the seniors and so happy for the team, and we couldn't have asked for a better ending," he said. "We have had an up-and-down year for our standards and we have lost quite a few of these matches. But we won this one going into conference, and that's the most important thing."
1. Bardabush/Sprinkmeyer lose to Newton/Valkova, 6-2
2. Shestakova/Thoma lose to Martin/Meszarosova, 7-5
3. Cordero/Valenzeula defeat Mitta/Sanchez, 6-2
1. Bardabush defeats Valkova, 6-2, 7-6 (1)
2. Shestakova defeats Mitta, 6-2, 6-4
3. Thoma vs. Newton goes unfinished, 5-7, 7-6 (2), 5-2
4. Valenzuela defeats Meszarosova, 7-5, 6-2
5. Galieva loses to Matuskova, 6-2, 6-4
6. Sprinkmeyer defeats Martin, 6-7 (9), 6-0, 6-4