DENTON, Texas (1/21/09) - The Mean Green tennis team gets set to battle the nationally ranked Texas Tech Red Raiders and the SEC's Mississippi State Bulldogs in Lubbock, Texas this weekend. North Texas faces Texas Tech on Friday and Mississippi State on Saturday at 5 P.M.
“We are looking forward to playing two very good teams," said UNT head coach Sujay Lama. "It will be a tremendous challenge, but a good opportunity. Our goal is to learn from the past weekend and improve on our execution in all phases of the game.”
The Red Raiders are currently ranked No. 74 nationally and have two players ranked in the ITA Southwest Region. Samantha Vanderdrift is at No. 15 which happens to be inbetween UNT's Irina Paraschiv (No.14) and Madura Ranganathan (No.16). Vanderdrift and teammate Kelsey Garland reside at No. 10 in doubles. Paraschiv and Ranganathan sit at No. 8.
Tech owns an all-time mark of 12-2 over the Mean Green. The first match ever played by these two schools was during the 1980-81 season where UNT won in Lubbock. The last win for the Mean Green squad in the series was in the '81-82 season. In '07-08, the Red Raiders prevailed 6-1.
The Mississippi State Bulldogs of the SEC have never squared off against North Texas before. MSU is looking to improve from last year's 7-13 record. The Bulldogs started '07-08 strong with five wins out of the gate, but lost 13 of their next fifteen going winless in conference play. The last time UNT faced an SEC team was in '04-05 when the No. 53 Arkansas Razorbacks won 6-1.
The Mean Green stands at 2-0 on the season defeating New Orleans and Tulane this past weekend. The team won all nine matches over UNO and took six of nine against the Green Wave.