DENTON, Texas (1/22/10)
- North Texas Tennis is set to open the 2010 spring season against two very tough opponents this weekend, at Jacksonville University on Saturday and then taking on No. 8 Florida on Sunday in Gainesville.
The Mean Green return eight of the nine players from last season's team that won 17 dual matches on its way to the Sun Belt Conference semi-finals.
The returning eight members are joined by freshman Barbora Vykydalova, who is expected to contribute anywhere from the four to the six spot in singles as the season goes on.
Week One Notes
"We are excited to get the season started versus Jacksonville University," said head coach Sujay Lama. "We've had a very productive pre season training and looking forward to a strong start."
North Texas is faced with a stiff test from the start this season. Jacksonville University finished last year 11-12 and the third seed in the Atlantic Sun Conference. The Dolphins return every member from last year's team and have added one, Veronique Spence, a sophomore from Caproel, Ontario, Canada.
From Jacksonville, the Mean Green will make the short drive to Gainesville, Fla. to take on the No. 8 Florida Gators. The Gators feature four girls ranked in the top 100 nationally in singles play, led by No. 13 Allie Will and No. 15 Lauren Embree. Will and Embree also join forces as the No. 5 doubles tandem in the nation.
"Playing the Florida Gators this week end will be a great opportunity for our team," Lama added. "They have great history and tradition and the environment is tremendous."
The Mean Green head coach has previous ties with the University of Florida. Lama spent three years as an assistant with the Gators, going 89-1 with two NCAA championships, three Southeastern Conference Championships and 2 ITA National Indoor Championships.
"Competing against one of the premier tennis programs in the country will definitely help our growth."
North Texas has been building off of a strong fall season and is looking to prove that it belongs among the top tennis programs in the country.