Tennis Team Has Strong Showing In First Day of Fall Season

Sept. 18, 2015

MIDLAND, Texas - The North Texas tennis team opened its fall season at the annual Racquet Club Collegiate Invitational on Friday, and the seven Mean Green players that made the trip didn't disappoint.

Prior to the weekend tournament, head coach Sujay Lama was particularly interested to see how the team’s group of freshmen would perform in their first collegiate tennis action. By the day’s end, the tenth-year coach was raving on his core of young talent.

“It was a terrific start for our three freshmen,” Lama said. “I was very happy to see them shake off their nerves early on and play aggressively all day long.”

In singles play, freshmen Maria Kononova and Tamuna Kutubidze highlighted the North Texas performance, as both remain standing through two rounds of play.

Kononova started the day with a 6-1, 6-2 win over freshman Fernanda Estete of Rice, and she followed that up with a 6-3, 7-6(1) victory versus sophomore Andrea Ivanovic of Lamar. Kutubidze had a similarly successful outing, downing Texas Tech sophomore Sabrina Federici 7-6(8), 6-3 before picking up the three-set victory over redshirt junior Jacqueline Zuhse of Penn State.

On the doubles side of things, it was once again Kononova and Kutubidze stealing the show. The duo was the only Mean Green doubles team that advanced to Saturday’s quarterfinal round, as the Kononova-Kutubidze tandem was able to take down Texas Tech’s team of Sarah Dvorah and Katelyn Jackson in a closely-contested 7-5 match.

In the flight two singles bracket, senior Kamilla Galieva and freshman Laura Arciniegas were each able to win two matches. The North Texas athletes will now face off in Sunday’s flight two finals round.

In all, North Texas compiled a 10-4 record in singles, while two players advanced to the round of 16 in the main singles draw, one doubles team remains in play and two finalists remain in the flight B singles lineup.

“It was a great day overall and I am very pleased with our effort and performance,” Lama said. “Everyone was dialed in and fought hard.”

Full results of all the action from Midland can be found here.

Singles Results

First Round:
• Shestakova defeats Laoaveva (Lamar); 6-1, 6-2
• Kononova defeats Astete (Rice); 6-2, 6-3
• Thoma defeats Corder (UAB); 6-3, 6-2
• Valenzuela falls to Jackson (Texas Tech); 6-1, 7-5
• Kutubidze defeats Federici (Texas Tech); 7-6(8), 6-3

Flight 2 Quarterfinals:
• Galieva defeats Hermsdorf (ACU); 7-6(2), 6-3
• Arciniegas defeats Crossnoe (Texas Tech); 6-4, 6-4

Flight 2 Semifinals:
• Galieva defeats Root (UAB); 6-2, 6-2
• Arciniegas defeats Birowski (UTA); 6-2, 6-7(8), 6-3

Consolation Round:
• Valenzuela falls to Pereira (TCU); 7-5, 5-7, 10-6

Second Round:
• Shestakova falls to Zenovka (TCU); 6-2, 6-4
• Kononova defeats Ivanovic (Lamar); 6-3, 7-6(1)
• Thoma falls to Dvorak (Texas Tech); 6-3, 6-4
• Kutubidze defeats Zunse (Penn State); 7-6(4), 6-7(4), 6-3

Doubles Results

First Round:
• Kononova/Kutubidze defeat Dvorah/Jackson (Texas Tech), 7-5
• Valenzuela/Arciniegas fall to Lowther/Root (UAB), 6-4
• Shestakova/Thoma fall to Ho/Smith (Rice), 6-4



North Texas Mean Green