Tennis to Face No. 11 Texas A&M at ITA Kick-Off

The doubles team of junior Anastasiya Shestakova and sophomore Alexis Thoma had the Mean Green's lone win at No. 24 Oklahoma.
Jan. 23, 2015

Tournament Central

COLLEGE STATION -- Early in the 2015 season, there are some big opportunities for the North Texas tennis team to make a splash in the NCAA landscape. After losing at No. 24 Oklahoma on Tuesday by a score of 7-0, the Mean Green turns right back around to face No. 11 Texas A&M in the opening round of the ITA Kick-Off. Play begins at 12 p.m. on Friday at the Mitchell Tennis Center.

"This is a great event and we are excited to be one of 64 teams to have qualified once again," head coach Sujay Lama said. "We are excited about the opportunity to play a top team this early in the season, and we have much to gain from this challenge."

North Texas surely has some work cut out for it, as the Aggies boast two top-60 singles players in the country: No. 29 sophomore Saska Gavrilovska and No. 56 sophomore Rachel Pierson. To combat them, the Mean Green have senior Kseniya Bardabush - who has 51 career singles wins - and junior Kamilla Galieva - who is ranked No. 113 in the country.

When North Texas and Texas A&M last played on January 26, 2013 in the ITA Kick-Off, the Aggies won by a score of 4-1. Although the Mean Green won the doubles point, Texas A&M won four singles matches to clinch the win, and then the two other singles matches went unfinished. That was the first meeting between the two programs since February 3, 1998.

North Texas is 1-14 in the all-time series, but Lama liked some of what he saw against the Sooners last week, and he thinks that will help his team going forward.
"There were so many good things we did in our match against Oklahoma and we want to build on them," he analyzed. "I would like for us to do a better job of capitalizing on big points, as well as being a little more assertive and aggressive."

A second match will also take place at College Station on Friday, when No. 35 Houston faces No. 41 TCU at 3 p.m. Then on Saturday, the winner will play the winner and the loser will play the loser. You can find the Texas A&M tournament central page via the link at the top of the article.



North Texas Mean Green