Arciniegas Comes Back From Match Point To Clinch Win
North Texas Beats UT-Arlington 4-2
April 15, 2017
ARLINGTON -- Despite trailing 5-2 and facing match point in the second set twice, Laura Arcinegas came all the way back to win in the third set and clinch a 4-2 victory for the North Texas tennis team over UT-Arlington Saturday afternoon in the regular season finale.
The Mean Green end the season on a three-match winning streak and are playing what head coach Sujay Lama calls their best tennis this season.
"Awesome team win," Lama said. "Every one was battling and refusing to lose. UTA is a very good team but we didn't quit. I was so happy Laura was able to clinch it."
"Winning is a habit. This is perfect," he added.
Arciniegas, playing at No. 6, quickly lost her first set 6-3 and before she knew it trailed 5-2 in the second while also facing match point. However, a few points went her way and momentum began to build. She eventually won the second set 7-5 and then blasted past her counterpart in the third set 6-2 to win 3-6, 7-5, 6-2.
The win for the sophomore from Colombia is her second straight and comes after not being in the singles lineup for over a month. She improves her singles record to 6-5 on the year and is 5-2 at the No. 6 spot.
"I feel good and confident, because the team is playing good," Arciniegas said. "I was feeding off Minying (Liang) next to me playing well and I just didn't want to give up."
Arciniegas' second set comeback came at a time in the match when the Mavericks (10-9) were starting to gain some ground on an early Mean Green (9-11) lead.
North Texas captured the doubles point to start the match with wins at No. 1 and No. 2. Sophomores Tamuna Kutubidze and Maria Kononova improve to 15-0 with their 6-4 doubles win at No. 1. They are now one win shy of tying the program record for doubles wins in a dual match season and will easily set the program record for winning percentage.
On No. 2, freshmen Ivana Babic and Alexandra Heczey defeated the No. 79 ranked team in the nation, even though it was just their second match playing together since February, It's their second win over a ranked team.
In singles, Kononova gave North Texas a 2-0 lead with a 6-1, 6-3 win at No. 1. She finishes the regular season 16-4. Her 16 wins are a program record and as it stands her .800 winning percentage is also a program record.
Losses though at No. 4 and No. 3 for the Mean Green put UTA back in contention as the score evened up at two a piece.
"You rarely are going to blow by teams in college tennis," Lama said. "Especially against a team like UTA. You have to know how to fight back."
While Arciniegas began to make her run, at No. 2, Kutubidze put away her opponent in the third set to give North Texas a 3-2 lead.
"We are in a great position headed into the conference tournament," Arciniegas said. "Winning three in a row headed into the tournament feels great. We just need to keep doing what we're doing."
North Texas hosts the Conference USA Championships starting Thursday
Mean Green Quick Hitters
- Kutubidze has won three straight matches.
- Kutubidze and Kononova now have 37 career double wins for the spring and fall combined, which is second all-time in program history.
1. Tamuna Kutubidze/Maria Kononova (NT) def. DeLos Rios/Birowski (UTA) 6-4
2. Ivana Babic/Alexandra Heczey (NT) def. #79 Gehre/Wichert (UTA) 7-6 (2)
3. Serio/Lopez def. Minying Liang/Alexis Thoma (NT) 6-2
1. #71 Maria Kononova (NT) def. De Los Rios (UTA) 6-1, 6-3
2. Tamuna Kutubidze (NT) def. Gehre (UTA) 6-4, 5-7, 6-3
3. Serio (UTA) def. Alexis Thoma (NT) 6-4, 6-1
4. Birowski (UTA) def. Alexandra Heczey (NT) 6-3, 6-2
5. Minying Liang (NT) vs. Wichert (UTA) 6-4, 2-6, 6-5 (NT leading)
6. Laura Arciniegas (NT) def. Cerdan (UTA) 3-6, 7-5, 6-2