Mean Green Head To Oklahoma For A Pair Of Matches
North Texas Takes On Oklahoma And Wisconsin
NORMAN, Okla. -- The North Texas women's tennis team is back on the road Friday as they travel to the University of Oklahoma for a pair of matches this weekend.
The Mean Green (1-3) will begin with a 2 p.m. Friday match versus the Oklahoma Sooners (1-1) followed by a 1 p.m. Saturday match versus Wisconsin (3-1). Both matches will be held at the Headington Family Tennis Center in Norman, Oklahoma.
"This is again a tremendous opportunity for us to face good talented opponents and continue to grow and gain confidence as a team and see where we stack up against some of the best and see what we still need to work on," said North Texas head coach Sujay Lama.
Last week, the Mean Green fell 4-2 to Tulsa despite winning the doubles point by defeating the Hurricane's No. 1 and No. 2 teams. Tulsa's No. 2 doubles team is now ranked No. 59 in the nation in the ITA's latest poll.
Also getting a win against the Hurricane was sophomore Maria Kononova. The Mean Green's No. 1 singles player has won her last three singles matches and 13 of her last 15 dating back to the fall. Friday, Kononova will likely face the Sooners' Lily Miyazaki who is ranked No. 16 by the ITA.
"She's on fire right now," Lama said of Kononova. "Playing some of her best big match tennis she's played. She's had some incredible sets."
Saturday, North Texas will take on a Badgers team that opened the dual match season with a 7-0 loss to Conference USA's Marshall. Since then, however, Wisconsin has rattled off three consecutive wins, all at home.
Both Oklahoma and the Badgers have first-year head coaches who were prolific players themselves and were recruited by Lama when he was an assistant coach at Illinois.
Also looking to build off last week's success are freshmen Ivana Babić and Alexandra Heczey. The No. 2 doubles team beat Tula's now ranked team 7-6(7-5), though, they had never played together before and Babić hadn't been in the lineup the last few dual matches.
"I was very proud of how ready she was," Lama said of Babić. "For her to be ready and play on the attack like she did was very good to see. Once she and Alexandra build some chemistry they will be a force."
Headington Family Tennis Center is located at 500 Imhoff Rd, Norman, Oklahoma 73019.