Tennis Finishes Up Impressive Weekend at OU
Thoma Bounces Back for Two Straight Victories in Consolation
Norman, Okla. — Two weekends into the fall season, it’s easy to see the amount of talent, fire and competitiveness that the North Texas tennis team has shown on the courts. In the OU Invitational from September 19-21, the Mean Green went 12-8 in singles matches and 3-3 in doubles matches while experimenting with new pair combinations.
"I am pleased with the way we competed this weekend. Our effort was outstanding. Its great to see everyone dialed in and improving,” head coach Sujay Lama said.
Through the first day of play North Texas had two players – sophomore Ana Sofia Cordero and junior Agustina Valenzuela – advance to the third round in their respective singles brackets. However, when singles play resumed on Saturday, Cordero lost 7-6 (1), 6-0 to junior Flavia Aroujo of Arkansas, and Valenzuela fell 6-3, 7-5 to junior Saana Saarteinen of Tulsa.
Cordero followed it up on Sunday with a win over Oklahoma freshman Brooke Withrow by a score of 4-6, 6-2, 6-2, while Kansas freshman Madison Harrison ousted Valenzuela by a score of 6-0, 7-6 (5).
For the second straight week, sophomore Alexis Thoma had an outstanding bounce-back performance. On Saturday, Thoma breezed through a 6-1, 6-2 win over junior Kaysie Hemsdorf of Abilene Christian, then notched a 6-3, 6-4 victory over Texas Tech sophomore Samantha Czarniak Rego on Sunday.
Also on Saturday, junior Anastasiya Shestakova lost by a score of 6-1, 6-2 to sophomore Sara Castellano of Kansas St., but was able to grab a 6-3, 6-1 win on Sunday over junior Lisa Bulgakova of SMU. Lastly, junior Kamilla Galieva defeated Denver sophomore Maureen Slattery on Saturday by a score of 6-1, 6-4, then lost on Sunday 1-6, 6-4, 6-2 to junior Abby Stevens of Wichita St.
Doubles play began two rounds of matches on Saturday, then continued for one match on Sunday. Galieva and Valenzuela grabbed an 8-6 win over Jasmine Almaguer and Caroline Henderson of Kansas, while Shestakova and Thoma secured an 8-4 victory against Arkansas’ Shannon Hudson and Sahsa Shkorupeieva.
Cordero won two doubles matches alongside Alba Perny of Tulsa; one over Iva Bago and Livia Cirnu of Kansas St. by a score of 8-4, and clinched another 8-5 against Abbi Melrose of Oklahoma and Macie Elliott of SMU.
After a successful trip to Norman, Lama is eager for the girls to continue the progress they have made so far this season. He has pinned the ITA Regionals, from October 16-20 in Waco, as the most critical tournament of the fall season.
"The next three weeks are critical to our development,” Lama explained. “We'll be pushing hard so that we can have a great regional."
Cordero loses to Arkansas, 7-6 (1), 6-0
Valenzuela loses to Tulsa, 6-3, 7-5
Galieva defeats Denver, 6-1, 6-4
Shestakova loses to Kansas St., 6-1, 6-2
Thoma defeats Abilene Christian, 6-1, 6-2
Cordero defeats Oklahoma, 4-6, 6-2, 6-2
Galieva loses to Wichita St., 1-6, 6-4, 6-2
Shestakova defeats SMU, 6-3, 6-1
Thoma defeats Texas Tech, 6-3, 6-4
Valenzuela loses to Kansas, 6-0, 7-6 (5)
Galieva/Valenzuela lose to Abilene Christian, 8-3
Shestakova/Thoma lose to Denver, 8-7 (4)
Cordero/Perny (Tulsa) lose to Oklahoma, 8-3
Galieva/Valenzuela lose to Oklahoma, 8-7 (0)
Shestakova/Thoma defeat Arkansas, 8-4
Cordero/Perny (Tulsa) defeat Kansas, 8-4
Galieva/Valenzuela defeat Kansas, 8-6
Shestakova/Thoma lose to Oklahoma, 8-2
Cordero/Perny (Tulsa) defeat SMU, 8-5