Freshmen Shine At River Oaks Invite

Freshman Sille Tranberg
Nov. 3, 2017

HOUSTON – The North Texas tennis team had a strong first day at the River Oaks Country Club Invite that was highlighted by the Mean Green freshmen.

Nidhi Surapaneni defeated No. 22 Texas’ Chelsea Crovetti, 6-2, 6-1, while classmate Sille Tranberg defeated the Longhorns’ Madison Crovetti, 6-2, 6-1.

"A solid day overall," said associate head coach Jeff Hammond. "I liked the way we stayed focused in the heat and humidity. Tomorrow we will need the same intensity."

Surapaneni improves her fall record to 6-2 and has now beaten Crovetti twice. Friday Surapaneni beat her UT counterpart by a larger margin than when they met the first time in the Intercollegiate Tennis Association Texas Regional.

Three of Surapaneni’s six wins this fall have come against opponents who play for ranked teams.

As for Tranberg, Friday marked the Denmark native’s first collegiate tennis match. The freshman joined the team late in the summer and wasn’t eligible to begin play until this tournament but her showing on Friday exemplifies what head coach Sujay Lama has preached all the summer.

Depth has improved the overall competitiveness of the team and raised the team’s level of play.

Every day in practice Tranberg has competed and pushed her talented teammates who have done the same to her. Even though she has not played a match that counted until now, she was still getting better in practice.

Friday, Tranberg put those tools to use as she beat her opponent in straight sets.

The freshmen weren’t the only Mean Green players picking up victories on Friday. Sophomores Haruka Sasaki, Ivana Babic and Alexandra Heczey also won their matches at the invite.



Sasaki defeated Stephen F. Austin’s Kaja Ljubic in three sets, 6-7(2), 6-1, 6-1. Babic also defeated a Lumberjack opponent. She won 6-4, 6-1 over Armelle Cerdan.

The win for Babic is her third of the fall and it’s Sasaki’s fourth.

Heczey also had a large victory on Friday over a UT player. She won her match 6-2, 6-1 versus Tyler Duncum. Heczey improves to 3-3 in the fall.

Friday morning, North Texas junior Maria Kononova lost her consolation singles match at the ITA Fall National Championship 6-4, 6-2 to Georgia’s Marta Gonzalez. In doubles at the tournament, Kononova and Mean Green partner Tamuna Kutubidze lost their consolation match, 7-5, 2-6, 1-0(4) to a Syracuse doubles team who is ranked No. 47 in the country.




Surapaneni def. Chelsea Crovetti (Texas); 6-2, 6-1

Tranberg def. Madison Cleff (Texas); 6-0, 6-0

Babic def. Armelle Cerdan (SFA); 6-4, 6-1

Sasaki def. Kaja Ljubic (SFA); 6-7(2), 6-1, 6-1

Heczey def. Tyler Duncum (Texas); 6-2, 6-1

Marta Gonzalez (Georgia) def. Kononova; 6-4, 6-2


Anna Bowtell/ Priya Niezgoda def. Liang/Surapaneni; 8-7(5)
Fernanda Astete/ Michaela Haet def. Heczey/Tranberg; 8-4
Sofie Moenster/ Savannah Durkin def. Babic/Sasaki
Gabriela Knutson/Miranda Ramirez (Syracuse) def. Kononova/Kutubidze; 7-5, 2-6, 1-0(4)

North Texas Mean Green