Tennis Completes Day One At Wild West Open Shootout

Nov. 7, 2015



DENTON - Day One of the 2015 Wild West Open Shootout went off without a hitch as more than 30 athletes and six programs took to the courts under clear skies on Friday morning.

In addition to an unblemished start in doubles play, four North Texas players made it to the quarterfinals round in their respective brackets as the Mean Green finished with a 5-5 singles record.

In the main singles draw, freshman Tamuna Kutubidze took down Miranda Rodriguez of Seminole State College by a convincing 6-1, 6-2 score before falling in a closely-contested 7-5, 6-4 matchup with Liberty’s Belen Rivera.

Also in the Flight A draw, junior Alexis Thoma trumped UTA’s Jessica Birowski, 6-4, 6-3. Like Kutubidze, Thoma hit a wall in her next match as Evangeline Crist, another challenger from Liberty University, took down the Mean Green player by a score of 6-1, 6-2.

Sophomore Kamilla Galieva added to a string of strong performances with her play in the Flight B singles draw. Galieva used a first-round bye to advance to the draw’s quarterfinal round, where the Russia native defeated Liberty’s Aleksandra Panchenko to advance to Saturday’s semifinal round. It was no easy win, though, as Galieva took the match by a score of 6-2, 1-6, 11-9.

Fellow senior Anastasiya Shestakova also picked up a quarterfinal win after having a first-round bye, her’s coming over Liberty’s Lauren Mabe by a convincing 6-1, 6-0 score.

North Texas remains undefeated in the tournament’s doubles bracket, though the team only played a pair of doubles matches on the day. In those, the duo of Valenzuela and Thoma defeated Seminole State College’s Celine Massereau and Zahra Finnigan. Likewise, Galieva and Shestakova knocked off UTA’s Agustina Serio and Jessica Birowski. All four teams featuring Mean Green players will be in action in the doubles quarterfinals.

For head coach Sujay Lama, Friday was only the beginning of what he would like to see out of his team in the three-day tournament.

“I didn’t think that we showed what we are capable of doing today,” Lama said. “I would equate our play today with it being the first time at home. You could see the nerves played a factor.”

Play will resume from the Wild West Open Shootout II at 9 a.m. on Saturday. Competitors will take the courts for two rounds of doubles play, followed by a round of singles action.

Singles Results

First Round:
• Kononova falls to Dollar (Liberty); 6-2, 6-4
• Kutubidze defeats Rodriguez (Seminole State College); 6-1, 6-2
• Thoma defeats Birowski (UTA); 6-4, 6-3
• Arciniegas defeats Finnigan (Seminole); 6-0, 6-0
• Valenzuela falls to Thong (Liberty); 4-6, 6-2, 10-7
• Galieva received first-round bye
• Shestakova received first-round bye

• Kutubidze falls to Rivera (Liberty); 7-5, 6-4
• Thoma falls to Crist (Liberty); 6-1, 6-2
• Galieva defeats Panchenko (Liberty); 6-2, 1-6, 11-9
• Arciniegas falls to Groeneveld (Liberty); 6-3, 6-2
• Shestakova defeats Mabe (Liberty); 6-1, 6-0

• Kononova defeats Serio (UTA); 7-5, 6-0
• Valenzuela defeats Massereau (Seminole); 6-2, 6-1

Doubles Results

First Round:
• Valenzuela/Thoma defeat Massereau/Finnigan (Seminole), 6-3
• Galieva/Shestakova defeat Serio/Birowski (UTA), 6-4
• Kononova/Kutubidze received first-round bye



North Texas Mean Green