Tennis Begins Fall Season with Tournament in Midland

Sophomore Alexis Thoma is in the top flight singles draw at this weekend's Racquet Club Collegiate Invitational. She will play sophomore Jean Runglerdkriangkrai of Pepperdine in the first round.
Sept. 10, 2014

DENTON -- One hundred forty-six days after a 4-0 loss to Rice marked the end of the 2013-14 campaign, the North Texas tennis team begins the fall portion of its 2014-15 season in Midland at the Racquet Club Collegiate Invitational. The tournament runs through this weekend, September 12-14, and includes singles and doubles play. Six of the seven girls on the Mean Green roster will compete in the event.

"We've been working extremely hard," head coach Sujay Lama said. "It's great to have the opportunity to test ourselves in one of the toughest fall events in the region to start our season."

Including North Texas, 19 programs from all over the country are headed to Midland. There will be 12 schools from Texas - such as Baylor, SMU and TCU - and seven from the rest of the United States - spanning from Pepperdine to Penn St. - that make up the tournament field.

The Mean Green will have four players in the top flight singles draw, which begins Friday at 8:30 a.m. Junior Kamilla Galieva matches up with redshirt sophomore Sofiko Kadzhaya of TCU, junior Anastasiya Shestakova faces off against Dasha Sapogova of Penn St., junior Agustina Valenzuela opposes freshman Dobby Leenabanchong of Tulsa, and sophomore Alexis Thoma plays sophomore Jean Runglerdkriangkrai of Pepperdine.



In the flight two singles draw, North Texas will have senior Franziska Sprinkmeyer against junior Kim Surin of Penn St., as well as sophomore Ana Sofia Cordero against junior Danielle Feneridis of Pepperdine.

The Mean Green's six singles players will also split into three pairs to compete in the doubles draw. Sprinkmeyer and Thoma face off against Samantha Czarniak Rego and Katelyn Jackson of Texas Tech, Cordero and Valenzuela oppose Palina Dubavets and Kadzhaya of TCU, and Galieva and Shestakova play Rice's #1 team of Natalie Beazant and Liat Zimmermann.

"We're trying out some new doubles combinations, and the focus at this time is developing and improving," Lama explained.

Last year in Midland, Galieva, Thoma, and Valenzuela all secured first-round wins, but then fell in Saturday's second round. With one more year of experience under their belts, the girls intend to announce their presence with authority in the season's first competition.

North Texas fans can visit the official Racquet Club Collegiate Invitational website at to find updated draw sheets, the list participating schools and other information. First-round matchups are subject to change before the start of the tournament.

North Texas Mean Green