Tennis Continues Play With Two Weekend Duals
North Texas To Face Washington State Saturday, Kansas State On Sunday
Senior captain Agustina Valenzuela leads North Texas into two dual matches this weekend. (Photo by Rick Yeatts)
DENTON — North Texas women’s tennis continues dual match play with two matches in Pullman, Washington, this weekend. The Mean Green are set to take on Kansas State at 12 p.m. CT on Saturday before battling with Washington State at 2 p.m. on Sunday.
With a 1-0 record to start the year, North Texas has the chance to begin the spring season with back-to-back wins for the first time since the 2008-09 campaign and the 11th time in team history. Only six team’s in the program’s 37 years have started 3-0.
“We’re facing two good teams this weekend,” head coach Sujay Lama said. “They have both been in and out of rankings so they’re capable teams, but right now our focus is really on ourselves. What I’m seeing is there has been improvement throughout our team with every match.”
The Mean Green’s first test will come against the Kansas State Wildcats, a team that North Texas met in the Oklahoma Invitational in September. Over the course of that fall weekend, NT combined for a 3-1 singles record and 4-2 doubles mark against K-State.
In spring play, the Wildcats kicked off the official season with a 7-0 sweep of Missouri State, winning each of its singles and doubles matches.
Sunday’s match against the hosting Cougars of Washington State will bring with it a whole new set of challenges as WSU is off to a hot start in spring action. Now 4-0 since the semester break, Washington State boasts an unblemished 24-0 mark in dual singles matches while adding an 8-1 record in doubles dual match play.
The Cougars are led by Donika Bashota, who is currently No. 83 in the Oracle/ITA Division I Women's National Singles rankings and is 21-2 in singles in the 2015-16 campaign. Bashota is one of four WSU players that have four individual wins in the spring.
Both teams will pose a test for a developing North Texas squad.
“Our kids have been so focused and we’ve had some great workouts,” Lama concluded. “I’d like to see us continue to work on playing with an aggressive mindset in doubles and I like what we’re doing in singles right now. By the end of the weekend we want to be able to say we’ve gotten better.”
Live stats from both weekend matches can be viewed here, while a video stream of all the events from the Simmelink Tennis Courts can be found at www.wsucougars.com.