DENTON, Texas (2/26/09) - The North Texas tennis team gets set to host its two biggest matches of the season beginning with No. 32 Tulsa on Friday at 3 P.M. at the Waranch Tennis Center. The Mean Green will then face No. 48 Florida International on Sunday at 11 A.M. Admission is free and there will be food and drinks provided for everyone that attends Friday's match.
"We are looking forward to the opportunity to play two nationally ranked teams at home," said NT head coach Sujay Lama. "We will need to compete hard and execute well to have a chance to be successful. It should be a fun weekend of exciting tennis at the Waranch Tennis Center."
North Texas' Irina Paraschiv was named the SBC's Women's Player of the Week on Wednesday for her perfomance over the weekend at No. 74 Louisville and Middle Tennessee. She currently has a six-match winning streak in singles with a 7-2 overall record and has tallied a 6-4 mark in doubles play. Irina is the No. 14 singles player in the Southwest Region and No. 8 in doubles with Madura Ranganathan.
The Mean Green (7-3, 2-0) split its matches last weekend with a loss at No. 74 Louisville then a victory over Middle Tennessee, 5-2. On Friday, the Mean Green will be playing just its third match of the year at home. The squad has been away from Denton in eight of the 10 matches played this season.
The Tulsa Golden Hurricane (11-2, 0-0) comes in nationally ranked at No. 32 and playing as well as any team in the country. They are currently riding a seven-match winning streak defeating such teams as Oklahoma State (#66), Louisville (#74), Washington State (#58), and two sun belt schools in Arkansas-Little Rock and Arkansas State. Their only losses have been to No. 1 Northwestern and at No. 17 Arkansas. One of the Golden Hurricane's top players, Alexandra Kichoutkin, is ranked No. 14 in the central region with a 14-7 singles record this year. She has posted an 8-3 mark from the No. 1 position. Kichoutkin and Marta Marcinkowska are the No. 48 doubles team in the country with a 7-4 record. Senior Thalia Diaz-Barriga moved up to fifth place all-time at Tulsa in singles wins and second in doubles this past weekend.
Tulsa holds a slim 3-2 all-time series lead over North Texas winning the last meeting 6-1 on April 6, 2008 in Tulsa.
The Florida International Golden Panthers (5-3, 2-0) of the Sun Belt bring to Denton a No. 48 national ranking and a 6-0 lifetime mark over the Mean Green. The last time these two teams met was at the 2008 SBC Championships where FIU won 4-0.
The Golden Panthers have two wins over ranked opponents in No. 42 Long Beach State and No. 53 Ole Miss. FIU has also won over the Sun Belt's Florida Atlantic and Troy. Their losses have all come to ranked teams in Miami (#10), Marshall (#54), and UC-Irvine (#60). FIU possesses two nationally ranked players, No 58 Mariana Muci and No. 101 Liset Brito. Muci is 6-0 on the season in singles and Brito is 6-2. Brito also teams with Priscilla Castillo to form the No. 55 doubles team in the country.