Kutubidze And Kononova Compete At The ITA All-American Championship
Mean Green Sophomores Fall In Qualification Draw
PACIFIC PALISADES, California - At the ITA All-American Championship doubles tournament Tuesday, North Texas sophomores Maria Kononova and Tamuna Kutubidze lost (8-5) to Oregon's Alyssa Tobita and Shweta Sangwan.
The duo were the first Mean Green tennis players to reach the championship since Kseniya Bardabush reached the All-American singles tournament in 2013 as a junior.
"This has been a great experience for Tamuna and Maria to compete at the highest level of college tennis," said North Texas head coach Sujay Lama.
Kutubidze and Kononova reached the qualification draw via invitaiton and skipped the pre-qualification round, which was held the days prior.
Tuesday's match comes on the heels of Kutubidze's last second invitation to the singles' tournament pre-qualification draw where the sophomore defeated UCSB's Palina Dubavets (5-7, 7-5, 6-4). She lost to UCLA's No. 7 seeded Ena Shilbahara in the next round.
Since arriving in Denton last school year, Kutubidze and Kononova have built a dynamic pair. The doubles team has won 23 total doubles matches, 10 of which were dual matches in the spring. They have won eight of their last 11 matches.
They will return to the court Wednesday at 10 am PT for one consolation match before returning to North Texas.
"We were a little tentative today and did not play aggressively on the big points," Lama said. "We lost four no ad points and that was the difference in the match today. They will learn from it and come out ready to play tomorrow."
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