OU Invitational Will Be a Tough Second Test for Tennis

Sophomore Alexis Thoma is in the second (Sooner) singles draw at this weekend's OU Invitational. She will play senior Lucia Kovalova of Wichita St. in the first round.
Sept. 18, 2014

Norman, Okla. – Following a season-opening tournament in Midland, the North Texas tennis team faces yet another challenging field this weekend at the OU Invitational. The tournament takes place in Norman, Oklahoma, on the campus of the University of Oklahoma, from September 19-21. It features four singles brackets and three doubles brackets, with six members of the Mean Green scheduled to play.

Once again, this tournament brings in schools and players from across the country, although this draw is a bit more regionalized than the one in Midland. Including North Texas, 11 programs will compete in Norman this weekend, including the likes of Arkansas, Denver, Kansas and Texas Tech.

“This is another opportunity to compete and improve,” head coach Sujay Lama said. “We like to test our players with tough competition and this tournament will definitely challenge our players.”

After winning two singles matches and advancing to the third round at the Racquet Club Collegiate Invitational, juniors Kamilla Galieva and Anastasiya Shestakova have been seeded in the top (Boomer) draw at OU. Galieva will begin against junior Julia Schiller of Wichita St., and Shestakova will face freshman Dobby Leenabanchong of Tulsa.

North Texas also has sophomore Alexis Thoma against senior Lucia Kovalova of Wichita St. in the second (Sooner) draw, and junior Agustina Valenzuela playing sophomore Anna Kate Anderson of SMU in the third (Stoops) draw.



And in the fourth (Switzer) draw, sophomore Ana Sofia Cordero starts with junior Evy Van Genechten of Denver, and senior Franziska Sprinkmeyer opens with senior Michelle Garpenlov of Denver.

In doubles play, Shestakova and Thoma pair up in the top (Crimson) draw, and will face the Denver duo of Gracia Mboko and Sonja Radosevic. In the second (Red) draw, Galieva and Valenzuela will play Ansley Boarman and Nada Marjanovic of Abilene Christian. Lastly, Cordero will join with Alba Perny of Tulsa, due to an odd number of players for each team; they match up with OU’s Christiana Brigante and Zita Engbrooks in the Red draw.

Early in the fall portion of the season, Lama has certain things he wants to see from his players. All of the positives drawn from these tournaments will pay dividends in the later parts of the year.

“I would like to see us be a little more aggressive in doubles play and singles we need to play the big points better and be more offensive minded,” he noted.

If the weather cooperates, play will begin Friday morning. The good news for you amateur meteorologists out there is that OU has six indoor courts, so some matches can be moved inside if rain happens to be a factor.

Edit: Sprinkmeyer did not make the trip due to injury.

North Texas Mean Green