Midland Invitational Marks Start of Fall Tennis Season

Sept. 18, 2015

DENTON - The North Texas tennis team begins its fall portion of the 2015-16 season in Midland at the Racquet Club Collegiate Invitational. The 10-team tournament will run through Sunday, September 18-20, as seven of the team’s eight players will compete in singles or doubles play.

Mean Green head coach Sujay Lama hopes the competitive environment of the first fall tournament will benefit a team that includes three freshman newcomers.

“With so many younger girls there are going to be adjustments,” Lama said. “I think this is a good opportunity to get them stronger physically while they adapt to our style of play and training. We’re just trying to see who will rise.”

Ten schools join North Texas at the annual invitational, and many have regional roots: Texas Tech, Rice, TCU, Tulsa, Penn State, Kansas, UAB, UTA, Abilene Christian and Lamar.

The Mean Green will have five players in the top flight singles draw. Junior Alexis Thoma matches up with Alex Cordez of UAB, freshman Maria Kononova takes on Fernanda Astete from Rice, senior Augustina Valenzuela faces off against Katelyn Jackson of Texas Tech, freshman Tamuna Kutubidze opposes Sabrina Federici of Texas Tech, and senior Anastasiya Shestakova battles Kaya Laoaveva from Lamar.

Also competing in the flight two singles draw, North Texas will be represented by freshman Laura Arciniegas as she takes on Autumn Crossnoe of Texas Tech, and senior Kamilla Galieva will take the court against Kavsie Hermsdorf of ACU.

Lastly, the tennis team will have three groups competing in the doubles draw. Shestakova and Thoma pair off against Allison Ho and Emily Smith of Rice, Kononova and Kutubidze battle Texas Tech’s Sarah Dvorah and Katelyn Jackson, while Arciniegas and Valenzuela take on Amy Loather and McKenna Root of UAB.

“Fall is about developing physically, mentally, tactically and competitively,” Lama added. “We feel like these girls continue to play really hard and they’ve bought into the program. I’m excited to see how they fair and to see our freshmen in their first real action.”



North Texas Mean Green