Day One Action At SFA Invite

Complete Day One Results

NACOGDOCHES, Texas (9/26/08) - The North Texas Women's Tennis team began play on Friday at the Stephen F. Austin Invite in Nacogdoches, Texas. The day saw many competitive matches with players fighting hard to the end.

One player who stood out was Shannon MacKenzie of North Texas who advanced to the finals of her draw. The sophomore won both of her singles matches in straight sets. She defeated Jamie Williams of Stephen F. Austin (6-2, 6-2) in the first round and Dragana Colic in the semifinals (6-2, 6-1). MacKenzie faces Claire Clark of UL-Monroe in the finals.

"I thought I played pretty well," said MacKenzie. "I stayed positive, kept my focus, and didn't give up many games. I think it will be a good finals match tomorrow."

This will mark the second straight finals appearance for MacKenzie dating back to the Mean Green Invitational a few weeks ago.

North Texas also went 3-0 on the day in doubles.

The team of Rachel Wilhelm and Irina-Alexandra Paraschiv defeated Kathrin Lange and Bianca Schulz of Northwestern State (8-3). Catalina Cruz and Amy Joubert beat Gabriela Gadeva and Tatiana Smolnikova of Stephen F. Austin (8-4). Narine Kazarova and Ashley Akin were victorious against Andreea Enica and Jamie Williams of SFA (8-5). The three North Texas teams all advanced to the semifinals of their draws.

There were some other well-played singles matches.

In her first round match, Narine Kazarova defeated Ana Burjaili of UL-Monroe (6-3, 6-3). Kazarova dropped her second match to Bianca Schulz of Northwestern State (7-6, 7-6).

Ashley Akin won her first round match in straight sets against Christelle Kaempfer of Stephen F. Austin (6-2, 6-3) then lost her semifinals match. Senior Rachel Wilhelm lost to Manami Kuroda of Lamar (6-1, 6-4).

A couple of matches saw the Mean Green battling deep into the third set.

Catalina Cruz lost to Mariaryeni Gutierrez of Lamar (7-5, 5-7, 10-8) and Amy Joubert lost to Alexandra Valarezo of Texas A&M-Corpus Christi (7-5, 6-7, 12-10).

North Texas assistant coach, Jeff Maren, talked about Friday’s action.

“So far this tournament is giving us what we wanted in the way of competition and tight matches,” said Maren. “The players are having to step up and learn how to get better win or lose.”

The semifinals in doubles and the finals in singles and doubles will be played on Saturday. Each North Texas player will also play in another singles match.




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