Tennis Back In Action With Lee College, Rice Up Next

DENTON, Texas (4/2/09) - Mean Green tennis makes its final road trip of the season as the squad travels to face the Lee College Lady Rebels and the Rice Owls this weekend. The match at Lee is set for 12 P.M. on Saturday followed by the contest at 11 A.M on Sunday against Rice.

NT head coach Sujay Lama talked about his team during the week off. 

"We were able to get some rest as well as build our conditioning this past week," said Lama. "We have just a few more matches to get ready for post season play. The first one against Lee College will help us get back in match playing mode and we are looking forward to playing a tough Rice team on Sunday. Our goal is to keep building on the momentum we have with a clear focus of peaking for the Conference Championships."

North Texas (12-5, 2-1) is on a five match win streak, it's best since '86-87, and has five players who have notched double digit wins this year. Freshman Paula Dinuta leads the way with 11 victories followed by Catalina Cruz, Amy Joubert, Narine Kazarova, and Irina Paraschiv who all have 10 each.

The Mean Green was last in action on March 21 in Orlando as the team defeated the UCF Knights 6-1. Irina Paraschiv, Madura Ranganathan, Catalina Cruz, Paula Dinuta, and Amy Joubert all picked up singles wins. In doubles, the pairings of Ashley Akin / Rachel Wilhelm and Cruz / Narine Kazarova tallied wins to receive the doubles point.

The first match of the weekend takes place in Baytown, TX against Lee College who are the defending NJCAA (National Junior College Athletic Association) National Champions. The Lady Rebels (5-4, 1-1) have wins over No. 6 Seminole State College, Collin County CC, No. 33 Incarnate Word, and Hillsborough CC. One of Lee's losses was at Rice 7-0 on Feb. 25. Nadia Lee is the No. 1 singles player for the Rebels with a record of 7-2. Frederique Sundstrom holds the two spot at 5-4 with Adriana Hernandez in the third position tallying the same mark (6-3). Hernandez and Lee form the top doubles team posting a record of 6-3. They are coached by Jason Haynes who's in his tenth season.

North Texas and Lee College have met only once in their history as the Mean Green took the match 4-3 in Baytown back in 2003.

On Sunday, the test for NT will be against the Rice Owls who host this year's Conference USA Championships. These two schools have some history together with eight total meetings. Rice has taken five of the matches with the previous being the season opener last year where the Owls prevailed 4-3 in Houston.

In '09, Rice has beaten several Texas schools such as Texas Tech, UT-Arlington, and Sam Houston State. They have also defeated Louisiana-Lafayette of the Sun Belt. The Owls have dropped matches to ranked teams like Texas, Ohio State, South Alabama, Louisville, and Tulsa.

Julie Chao (8-10) is slated at the one position for Rice with Ana Guzman (11-7) at No. 2 and Jessica Jackson who has a team-leading 13 wins at No. 3. In doubles, the best team is Chao and Guzman who boast a 12-6 record. They are coached by Elizabeth Schmidt who is currently in her first year after spending a couple of seasons at Notre Dame as an assistant.       


North Texas Mean Green