North Texas Tennis Shines In 5-2 Win At Rice


HOUSTON, Texas (4/5/09) - The Mean Green tennis team ran its win streak to seven straight with a 5-2 win over the Rice Owls in Houston on Sunday. North Texas survived in doubles and battled through singles to defeat a Rice team which had been nationally ranked this season.

"I'm very proud of how we've matured as a team this year," said NT head coach Sujay Lama. "We have worked hard to get to this point and to beat a talented Rice team at their place gives us a huge boost of confidence. We are definitely on the right track heading towards the SBC Championships."

The Mean Green (14-5, 2-1) captured the crucial doubles point early on in the match against the Owls (10-10, 0-1). The top team of Amy Joubert and Madura Ranganathan won 8-4 over Julie Chao and Ana Guzman. At the second spot, Catalina Cruz and Narine Kazarova won in a back and forth tiebreaker 9-8 (9-7) against Jessica Jackson and Rebecca Lin.

Joubert and Kazarova also notched important victories in singles after going one set down. 

Joubert lost her first set in a tiebreaker to Varsha Shiva-Shankar, but that didn't seem to effect her. She took the second set then won in a nip and tuck third set tiebreaker to pick up the win 6-7 (10-12), 6-4, 1-0 (11-9).

"The team is really coming together," said Joubert. "I learned a lot from my matches today and had fun competing against Rice."

Kazarova turned things around after dropping the opening set by taking the final two sets on the way to a 1-6, 7-5, 6-3 victory over Rebecca Lin.

"I started slowly but I hung in there," said Kazarova. "I just kept playing hard and my confidence grew as the match went on."

Another match that grabbed attention was a matchup in singles between two regionally-ranked players. North Texas' Irina Paraschiv (No. 14) and Rice's Julie Chao (No. 23) squared off from the No. 1 spot as Paraschiv won the decision in two sets involving another tiebreaker 6-1, 7-6 (9-7). Paula Dinuta also cruised to a 6-2, 6-0 win versus Jessica Jackson.

This was the first time North Texas had beaten Rice since 1982 where the Mean Green won 5-4 in Houston.

NT Tennis wraps up its regular season next Friday in Denton against Tarleton State and Abilene Christian.


North Texas Mean Green