MONROE, La. (4/19/08) The No. 51st ranked Florida International Golden Panthers put an end to the North Texas tennis team’s upstart season, downing the Mean Green, 4-0, in the Sun Belt Tournament quarterfinals.
Saturday’s loss is the final chapter to one of the finest one-year turnarounds in the country this season. The Mean Green finished last year with a dismal 2-19 record, but rebounded to go 13-9 (59.1 percent) in 2007-08, which is the best win percentage by an NT team since 1986-87 and the fourth-best overall.
“I am so proud of the way these girls fought their hearts out today,” said North Texas head coach Sujay Lama. “I think we fought well against the best team in the conference. But, we are excited about the direction of this program, and look forward to getting even better next season.”
After taking the doubles point, the No. 3 seed Golden Panthers needed only wins in the first and second positions to take the match. The three-time defending SBC champions won both meetings with North Texas this year.
The Mean Green will return all but one player from this year’s squad. The lone senior, Idalina Franca, posted a team-best 15-5 record from the No. 3, 4 and 5 positions, and proved a versatile doubles player as well.
The Mean Green ace, Madura Ranganathan, made a seamless transition to the college game, and finished her freshman campaign with a 13-9 record.