North Texas Tennis Welcomes Houston

Photo by Mark Woods
Photo by Mark Woods
March 2, 2018

DENTON — The North Texas tennis team looks to build of its sweep over Marshall last week and capture its second straight win as they host Houston on Saturday at noon.

The Mean Green (4-5) have played their best tennis at home this season, outscoring their opponents 13-5 in their four home matches. None were more impressive than last week’s 4-0 win over Marshall, which head coach Sujay Lama called the most complete win in the young season.

“We want to build on the way we played in the last match,” Lama said. “It’s starting to come together for us and pieces are falling in place slowly.” 

Pieces like captain Maria Kononova, the defending Conference USA Athlete of the Week, and fellow junior Minying Liang have started to find their groove over the past few weeks. 

Last Friday, Kononova set a program-record with a victory over the No. 2 ranked player. She then followed that up with a dominating performance against Marshall on Sunday.

 The success of Kononova was a great sign. Last season, Kononova was the straw that stirred the Mean Green drink. The drum that led UNT’s beat.

After her record setting win last week that rhythm that she brought to the team seemed to return against Marshall. North Texas made quick work of the Thundering Herd, beating them in less than two hours and playing consistent and building off each point. 

Liang’s straight-set win over Marshall was a perfect example of that.

Liang had struggled to close out matches, but against the Thundering Herd, she kept her foot on the pedal and didn’t let up until the match was clinched.

Saturday, the Mean Green will look to continue that success against a very competitive Houston team that owns an 11-1 record. Their one loss was a 4-3 loss at Rice two weeks ago. The Cougars are 4-1 this year against Texas schools, but all four of those wins came at their home court.



“We are excited to compete at home against a good Houston team,” Lama said. 

Houston and the Mean Green last played in 2016. The last time they played in Denton was in 2015. North Texas won that match 4-2.

North Texas Mean Green