Regional Tennis Rivalry To Be Renewed Versus TCU
North Texas Takes On No. 60 TCU Wednesday Evening In Fort Worth
Sujay Lama was the first North Texas coach to defeat TCU. (Photo by Rick Yeatts)
No. 68 North Texas (5-6) at No. 60 TCU (3-2)
Bayard H. Friedman Tennis Center | Fort Worth, TX
Wednesday, March 2, 2016 | 5:30 p.m.
Live Stats: TCU StatBroadcast
DENTON — The No. 68 North Texas tennis team has traveled far and wide in the early portions of its dual season, but the Mean Green will be staying close to home when the team takes on No. 60 TCU at 5:30 p.m. on Wednesday, March 2, for its first in-state dual of the year.
In one of the longest-running series in Mean Green history, North Texas has struggled versus the Horned Frogs. But that was before head coach Sujay Lama got to town.
“When I first came here we had never beaten TCU,” Lama said. “As we got better and better, I told our girls ‘hey, we can do this.’ I think we’ve narrowed the gap in terms of skill but they’re still a very talented team.”
Since, Lama has coached Denton’s team to a pair of wins against the DFW rival, trading victories in each of the last five matchups. The good news for North Texas is that each of its wins have come from Fort Worth, a fact that hasn’t been lost on the Mean Green. Specifically, memories of the team’s most recent win against the Frogs, a 4-3 decision on March 5, 2014, have provided a spark ahead of this year’s meeting.
In all, TCU is an opponent that Lama knows well, and the Horned Frogs will provide a worthy challenge to a North Texas team that has dropped its last two matches.
At 3-2 on the year, the Horned Frogs have positioned themselves as the 60th-ranked team in the nation, according to the latest poll from the Intercollegiate Tennis Association. The ranking marks TCU's highest position of the season.
Even having played five total matches, TCU has already picked up wins over No. 42 Houston and No. 49 SMU, while the team's only losses have come at the hands of top-20 competition in Ohio State and Stanford.
Individually, the Frogs’ duo of Seda Arantekin and Caroline Wegner checks in at No. 16 in the Oracle/ITA doubles poll. The pair has 11 wins thus far in the season and has one victory over a ranked opponent.
Despite the results in any recent contests, Lama knows past success will be trumped by either team's ability to execute on Wednesday evening.
“The team that’s going to come prepared, the team that’s going to take their opportunities and run with them, that’s the one that will be successful,” he said. “It’s going to be a great match and I really wouldn’t be surprised if it comes down to the wire.”
All fans will receive free admission to the Friedman Tennis Center, and those unable to attend the match can follow live stats here.