Tennis Has Up & Down Day One From Texas Regionals

Oct. 23, 2015

Freshmen Maria Kononova and Tamuna Kutubidze fell in a tiebreaker on Thursday. (Photo by Rick Yeatts)

COLLEGE STATION - Day 1 of the USTA/ITA Texas Regional Championships started about as well as possible for members of the North Texas tennis team on Thursday, but they couldn't carry that momentum as all but four players were eliminated from tournament action in the day's later rounds.

The Mean Green started off play with a 6-1 mark in the singles round of 128. But the script was flipped in the following round, as each of the team's singles players were knocked out of the main draw. Likewise, no North Texas doubles team was able to get out of the second round with a win.

"We got off to a good start today but I am a bit disappointed that we couldn't sustain it," head coach Sujay Lama said. "There were a ton of missed opportunities and it all came down to execution on key points that we missed, partly due to inexperience and the calibre of opponents we faced."

Alexis Thoma had one of the better showings on the day for North Texas. After knocking off sophomore Mina Markovic from Houston, the junior took seventh-seeded sophomore Sabrina Federici of Texas Tech to a tiebreaker in the round of 64, ultimately losing 6-0, 1-6, 10-5.

In other singles action, freshman Maria Kononova had the most lopsided victory on the day for the team, winning straight sets in Thursday's first round to knock off Texas State senior Katy Collins, 6-0, 6-0. North Texas finished with a 6-7 mark in singles play.

On the doubles side of things, three teams advanced from the first round but met some stiff competition in the round of 32, where two North Texas matches were decided by tiebreaker.

After taking down Houston's Markovic and Despoina Vogasari, Kononova and Kutubidze teamed up to take on TCU juniors Caroline Wagner and Seda Arantekin, a match that North Texas dropped 7-6(6). Likewise, the duo of Arciniegas and Galieva also experienced a disappointing loss via tiebreaker, dropping their match against Texas A&M seniors Stefania Hristov and Ines Deheza, 7-6(8).

In total, four Mean Green players will continue consolation play on the second day of the regional showdown, two individuals in singles and one team in doubles.

Singles will include Galieva matching up with Reegan Greenwood from UT Rio Grande Valley at 9:30 on Friday morning, while Arciniegas takes on the winner between UTSA's Meredith Hopson and ACU's Ansley Boarman at 12:30 p.m. on Friday.

In doubles action, one duo looks to remain standing as the team of Anastasiya Shestakova and Thoma battle Greenwood and Natacha Minc from UTRGV at 3:30 Friday.

Despite the rocky start to the weekend, Lama is excited to see what his team has in store for the tournament's remaining days.

"The great thing is that our ladies fought hard and battled," he said. "We'll learn from it and come out strong for some consolation matches tomorrow."

Singles Results

Round of 128:
• Arciniegas falls to Martin (Texas A&M-Corpus Christi); 6-0, 4-6, 10-8
• Kononova defeats Collins (Texas State); 6-0, 6-0
• Valenzuela defeats Davis (ACU); 6-2, 6-3
• Thoma defeats Markovic (Houston); 6-2, 6-3
• Shestakova defeats Mortimore (Sam Houston); 6-2, 7-5
• Kutubidze defeats Lopez (SMU); 6-4, 1-6, 10-5
• Galieva advances to next round after opponent withdrawal

Round of 64:
• Kutubidze falls to (2) Gavrilovska (Texas A&M); 6-0, 6-1
• Galieva falls to Astete (Rice); 6-2, 6-2
• Thoma falls to (7) Federici (Texas Tech); 6-0, 1-6, 10-5
• Valenzuela falls to (10) Gonzalez (Texas A&M); 6-2, 6-1
• Kononova falls to (5) Bhosale (Texas A&M); 6-3, 6-2
• Shestakova falls to (12) Norris (TCU); 6-2, 6-2

Doubles Results

Round of 64:
• Kononova/Kutubidze defeat Markovic/Vogasari (Houston), 6-3
• Arciniegas/Galieva defeat Boscher/Vives (TAMCC), 6-4
• Thoma/Shestakova received a first-round bye

Round of 32:
• Kononova/Kutubidze fall to Wagner/Arantenkin (TCU), 7-6(6)
• Arciniegas/Galieva fall to Hristov/Deheza (Texas A&M), 7-6(8)
• Thoma/Shestakova fall to Birowski/Lopez (UTA), 6-0



North Texas Mean Green