Cordero Clinches 4-0 First Round Win vs. LA Tech
Mean Green Advances to Play No. 66 ODU in Second Round
HOUSTON -- The hero of the North Texas tennis team's first round Conference USA Tournament match had not won at singles since March 7. In fact, with only five courts available and Ana Sofia Cordero as the No. 6 seed, she had to sit around for 45 minutes after doubles for a court to open up.
But Cordero's performance on Thursday was worth the wait, as she defeated Manoela Chiacchio 6-2, 6-1 to lead the Mean Green to a 4-0 victory over LA Tech to advance to the second round. She prepared for her match by staying positive and focusing on the task at hand.
"While I was waiting, I was cheering on my teammates and visualizing my match and how it was going to turn out," she explained. "I served very well today and I was dominating with my forehand, trying to make her run a lot."
"You've got to give it to Ana Sofia, she was absolutely on fire and having fun out there, and she ended up closing the match," head coach Sujay Lama said with a smirk. "She has been striking the ball really well this whole week in practice and she has been really motivated. We thought she would do well and she proved us right."
Right before Cordero took to Court 5, Franziska Sprinkmeyer recorded one of the quickest wins of the season, defeating the Lady Techsters' Taly Merker 6-0, 6-1 in a match that took only 45 minutes to complete. The other North Texas singles win came from Agustina Valenzuela, who beat Tarrannum Handa by a score of 6-2, 6-4.
Playing side-by-side on Courts 1 and 2, Kseniya Bardabush and Anastasiya Shestakova's matches were almost mirror images of each other. Both win the first set, lost the second, and then bounced back to lead in the third before being called off the court with unfinished results. Alexis Thoma, meanwhile, lost the first set, recovered to win the second, and then was down 3-0 in the third set before ending her match against Marta Sramkova unfinished.
In doubles, Bardabush and Sprinkmeyer won their first match since April 5, beating LA Tech's No. 1 team 8-5 to get things started. After Cordero and Valenzuela lost to Chiacchio and Merker, the duo of Shestakova and Thoma won 8-3 to grab the first point for the Mean Green.
"Winning the doubles point was huge and I thought we played really well in singles," Lama evaluated. "Give LA Tech credit, they never went away and they competed hard. We knew at the 1-2-3 spots they were really talented, but I thought that our depth really showed off today."
Next up for North Texas is No. 66 Old Dominion, who defeated UAB 4-0 on April 16. The Lady Monarchs are the No. 3 seed in the C-USA Tournament, are 15-5 on the season and have won nine of their last 10 matches overall. Stay tuned for updates on match time and location, as the weather will determine both.
1. Bardabush/Sprinkmeyer defeat Handa/Sramkova, 8-5
2. Shestakova/Thoma defeat Britos/Starkova, 8-3
3. Cordero/Valenzuela lose to Chiacchio/Merker, 8-6
1. Bardbush vs. Starkova goes unfinished, 6-4, 4-6, 4-2
2. Shestakova vs. Britos goes unfinished, 6-3, 4-6, 3-0
3. Thoma vs. Sramkova goes unfinished, 2-6, 6-4, 0-3
4. Valenzeula defeats Handa, 6-2, 6-4
5. Sprinkmeyer defeats Merker, 6-0, 6-1
6. Cordero defeats Chiacchio, 6-2, 6-1