Final ITA Rankings Have Mean Green Tennis No. 66
DENTON, Texas - The Intercollegiate Tennis Association released its final 2009-10 ranking this week with the Mean Green holding down the seventh spot in the Texas Region and ranked No. 66 nationally.
The duo of Irina Paraschiv and Madura Ranganathan finished the season ranked seventh regionally and 82nd nationally.
This marks the first time that North Texas has been in the ITA's season-ending rankings both as a team and doubles pair.
"It has been a very rewarding year for our tennis program," said Sun Belt Coach of the Year Sujay Lama. "Our kids worked hard and earned it the hard way and I am very happy for them to see their hard work and sacrifice pay off. We believe this is just the beginning and we are very excited to build on the success we have had this year."
The Sun Belt Champion Mean Green tennis team made its first ever appearance in the NCAA postseason tournament in 2010 after assembling a 17-6 which included a storybook match against No. 49 Florida International to win the program's first conference title.
With only one senior on the roster, North Texas looked anything but inexperienced from the start, only dropping matches to teams that would end up being ranked in the top-40 in the nation at some point during the spring.
The Mean Green picked up its first victory over a ranked opponent on Feb. 6th, when it defeated No. 73 Texas Tech 5-2 at the Waranch Tennis Complex.
North Texas would hold win streaks of five matches twice, including the stretch leading up to and through the Sun Belt Conference Tournament.
Junior Madura Ranganathan was named the Mean Green's first Sun Belt All-Conference athlete for her effort from the No. 1 and No. 2 singles positions throughout the season.
Paula Dinuta came up big for the North Texas down the stretch. The sophomore won 13 of her last 14 matches and ended up with the best spring record on the team at 17-6.
Senior Catalina Cruz, the Sun Belt Conference Most Outstanding Player, bounced back from a loss to Troy's Emma Smith in the regular season's last match to finish the Sun Belt tournament 3-0 and win her match in the NCAA tournament.
Cruz finished the year 14-8 with a stunning eight three set matches.
In the NCAA Tournament, North Texas refused to back down from No. 32 Tulsa after falling behind 3-0. The Mean Green battled back and made things interesting before the Golden Hurricane put the match away 4-2.
The success of North Texas did not go unnoticed nationally, as the program was selected to its first ITA Kick-Off Weekend for the beginning of the 2011 spring season.