Mean Green Tennis Travels To Arlington In Regular Season Finale
North Texas Looks To Head Into C-USA Tournament On Three-Match Winning Streak
ARLINGTON -- Two days removed from an emotional senior day match that ended in a 6-1 victory over SMU. The North Texas tennis travels to UT-Arlington to face the Mavericks on Saturday at 11:00 am for the final match of the regular season.
The UTA Tennis Center is located at 909 Greek Row Dr. Arlington, TX 76013. Live stats for Saturday's match can be found here.
"We got to keep riding that wave from Thursday," said head coach Sujay Lama. "Build on that momentum and keep going but we know this is a really tough UTA team and it's their senior day so they're going to bring their best."
On Thursday, North Texas (8-11) put together its best all-around performance in a near sweep against SMU. The Mean Green attacked and scored big in doubles to win the important doubles point and used the energy from it to win the first five singles matches and clinch the victory.
Looking to break North Texas' confidence right before its hosts the Conference USA Championship next week is UTA (10-8). Like the Mean Green, the Mavericks are riding a two match-winning streak. In each of their matches they shutout their opponent. The Mean Green will be UTA's third C-USA team they've faced this season. They've yet to win.
Thursday against SMU, North Texas made a couple slight changes to its lineup and it worked.
Sophomore Alexandra Heczey and senior Alexis Thoma had played 10 consecutive doubles matches together at No.2. Thursday they were split up. Thoma moved to No. 3 with Minying Liang who she'd only played with once in the past two years. But Thoma and Liang looked perfect together, cruising to a 6-2 victory and clinching the doubles point.
In singles, sophomore Laura Arciniegas returned to the lineup. For the past month she'd only seen time in doubles. Against SMU in the No. 6 spot, Arciniegas started strong with a 6-1 victory in the first set. After dropping the second set she controlled the third and won 6-3. She's now 5-5 this season.
The Mean Green improved its doubles dual winning percentage to .543, which if it stands is the highest since it won the Sun Belt Conference Tournament in 2013.
North Texas has won the doubles point in 11 of its 19 matches this year.
Leading the way in doubles all year is its No. 1 team. Maria Kononova and Tamuna Kutubidze are 14-0. No Mean Green doubles team has ever finished an entire season undefeated with more than six matches played. The best single season doubles winning percentage with more than six matches played is .867. Furthermore, Kononova and Kutubidze's 14 doubles wins are the most since 2005. The program record is 16 held by 2005 graduates Krysta Lee and Katherine Harris.
Saturday against UTA North Texas will lean on its doubles team to once against set the tone for the match and the team's final tune up before hosting the C-USA Tournament starting Thursday.
"There are still times we are giving our opponents a second chance," Lama said. "We can still get better at the kill and we will."