Tennis to Begin Southern California Road Swing
Toreros and No. 58 Aztecs Will Play Host to Mean Green
SAN DIEGO, Calif. -- Far away from the cruel and unusual weather of Denton, the North Texas tennis team will look to jumpstart its season this weekend in Southern California against a pair of teams in what San Diegans call "America's Finest City."
After a bit of travel trouble for the Mean Green, the match against San Diego on March 7 has been moved from 12 p.m. to 7 p.m. Regardless, head coach Sujay Lama is excited for the prospects of competing against a tough West Coast Conference opponent. After being forced to play indoors against No. 59 Tulsa due to poor weather conditions, the team is also excited to get back to open-air tennis.
"It's good to finally be able to play outdoors," Lama explained. "We have been striking the ball well in practice and I hope it will translate to our matches this weekend."
The Toreros are only 1-4 on the season, but similar to North Texas they have played a difficult schedule thus far. San Diego has fallen to three ranked opponents in five matches, while splitting the other two against Cal St. Fullerton and San Jose St.
Also similar to the Mean Green, San Diego's singles play has struggled while its doubles play has been stronger. The No. 1 North Texas doubles team of seniors Kseniya Bardabush and Franziska Sprinkmeyer will have its hands full with the top Toreros pair of junior Dana Oppinger and Drew Spinosa, which is 4-0 on the season. In the first action of the evening, Lama is very confident in his experienced players to set the tone for the rest of the match.
"Our seniors are starting to play with confidence," he said, "which is huge for us because they can lead us towards making a run from this point onwards."
Second on the schedule with be No. 58 San Diego St., who is 5-5 so far this season. That match will begin Sunday at 1 p.m. Both of these matches will be the first time North Texas has ever faced either opponent, and beginning 2-0 combined in the all-time series would make for a successful road trip for the Mean Green.