Tennis Closes Out Regular Season On Friday

DENTON, Texas (4/9/09) - The Mean Green tennis team will play its final two matches of the regular season this Friday versus Division II powers Tarleton State at 10 A.M. and Abilene Christian at 4 P.M. from the Waranch Tennis Complex in Denton.

“These matches present a final opportunity to fine tune for the Conference Championships," North Texas head coach Sujay Lama said. "Our goal is to continue to roll and focus on our execution.”

North Texas senior Rachel Wilhelm will also be honored before the match against Abilene Christian at 4 P.M.

“Rachel is a huge reason for the turn around this program has made in the last two years," said Lama. "She has helped raise the bar for work ethic and excellence on the practice courts and in the classroom. We want to make sure that we continue the winning tradition on Senior Day.”

The Mean Green (14-5, 2-1) is playing its best tennis of the season and is currently on a seven-match win streak. The team last played in Houston against the Rice Owls where NT won 5-2. North Texas clinched the doubles point early on. 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. 

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.

The No. 16 Tarleton State TexAnns (10-2, 4-2) of the Lone Star Conference have a 1-1 all-time record versus NT with Tarleton taking the previous match 6-1 at Denton in 2007. TSU has one nationally ranked player in Natalia Yanes (No. 41) and she is also ranked No. 5 in the South Central Region. Two doubles teams are regionally ranked as well. Yanes and Melanie Zilles form the fourth best team along with Jade Charlot and Chrissie Cooper at No. 10. The TexAnns have defeated five ranked teams from Div. II this year.

The Wildcats of Abilene Christian (20-4, 5-0) also hail from the Lone Star Conference and are ranked No. 7 nationally and No. 1 in the South Central Region. The Cats have three singles players and one doubles team that are ranked. Irene Squillaci is 37th nationally and fourth in the region. Jaclyn Walker (No. 11) and Sarah Drummond (No. 15) also have regional rankings. The doubles pairing of Squillaci and Walker are ranked 10th in the country and 1st in the region. ACU holds a 9-2 edge in their history against North Texas.

As a side note, Abilene Christian defeated Tarleton State 9-0 on March 27.


North Texas Mean Green