North Texas Looks To Build Off Dominating Performance Last Week
Mean Green Host Old Dominion And Arizona
DENTON — A week removed from their back-to-back 7-0 victories, the North Texas tennis team looks to extend its winning streak this weekend to four with a pair of home matches.
The Mean Green welcome Conference USA foe Old Dominion on Friday at 3 p.m. and the Pac-12’s Arizona on Saturday at 1:30 p.m.
North Texas’ last four-match winning streak came towards the end of last season when they won seven in a row. The Mean Green haven’t won three straight shutouts since 2012.
“We need to keep working hard and enjoying the process,” said head coach Sujay Lama. “I thought our doubles teams did a great job last week and overall we played two whole matches at a high level together.”
Against New Mexico State last week, the Mean Green lost just one singles set as they cruised to their first 7-0 win of the season. The next day, the Mean Green played a much tighter match but finished tiebreakers and third sets strong to win its second straight 7-0 match.
Securing the matches has been the steady success of Laura Arciniegas at the No. 6 spot. The sophomore is undefeated this season at No. 6 and won both her matches last week in straight sets.
“She’s gained a lot through experience,” Lama said of Arciniegas. “She’s more mature and confident. She knows with the depth we have on this team it’s easy to be out of the lineup so she knows she needs to bring it every day and that’s translated to success on the court.”
At the top of the lineup has been one of North Texas’ leaders. Sophomore Maria Kononova heads into Friday’s match on a nine-match winning streak and won C-USA Women’s Tennis Athlete of the Week twice last month. She’s defeated two ranked opponents so far this season and will have the opportunity to beat more this weekend.
GOING FOR TEN
Sophomore Maria Kononova earned her first ITA ranking two weeks ago. The No. 74 ranked player will look to win her 10th straight singles match at the No. 1 spot on Friday. Old Dominion features two top 115 ranked singles opponents. Kononova is 5-1 all-time versus opponents in the top 125. On Saturday, Kononova will likely take on the No. 27 ranked player from Arizona.
North Texas won the doubles point in both its matches last week. No. 1 Maria Kononova and Tamuna Kutubidze remain undefeated on the season. At No. 2, Alexandra Heczey and Alexis Thoma are starting to click. The senior/freshman pair won both its doubles matches last week. Neither Old Dominion nor Arizona has a doubles team ranked in the top 125 but both head into this weekend’s matches playing well.