Lafayette, LA (2/1/07) The North Texas tennis team makes its first road trip of the spring season this weekend with three consecutive matches. The first stop for the Mean Green is Lafayette, Louisiana on Friday, Feb. 2 at 2 pm. North Texas will then continue on to Southern Mississippi on Saturday and SE Louisiana on Sunday.
"We are looking forward to our first road trip,” said first-year coach Sujay Lama. “We have an opportunity to play three quality teams and make improvements with each match. This also gives us the chance for the team to bond and build on the wonderful chemistry we have. Success for us this year is going to be measured by how we prepare, how hard we compete and how we enjoy the process. So far so good."
The Mean Green (0-1) lost its season-opening match this past weekend against UT-San Antonio, 7-0. Senior Megan Schmulbach and junior Idalina Franca, who played at No. 1 and No. 2 singles respectively, came up just short in their matches. Schmulbach is the veteran on the team, playing in her fourth and final year at North Texas. Franca joins the team as a junior transfter after a successful campaign at Independence Community College.
The No. 3 slot last week was filled by junior Aziza Aba Butain, who is a two-year letterwinner. Coach Lama filled the final three slots with walk-ons, who played in their first matches against UT-San Antonio.
“This season we are a little short-handed,” said Lama. “When I came here, we had five scholarship athletes that were available. Two out of those five had injuries. One is a season-ending and the other is coming off a stress fracture.”
The Ragin’ Cajuns are 1-0 on the season after defeating Alcorn State, 7-0. UL Lafayette had its second match against Louisiana State rained out. Southern Miss went 2-0 last weekend after after defeating Alcorn State and Nicholls. SE Louisiana Tech is opening its season against the Mean Green on Sunday.