Tennis Signs Three Top-Tier International Players
Mean Green Excited for Recruits to Make Strong Impact
Once again, North Texas tennis head coach Sujay Lama has traveled the globe to bring an outstanding recruiting class to Denton. On NLI Signing Day, three student-athletes from around the world chose to come to North Texas and play for the Mean Green.
Minying Liang from Jiangmen, China, will be eligible to join the team in January for the spring semester. Also, Laura Arciniegas of Bogota, Colombia, and Tamuna Kutubidze of Tbilsi, Georgia, will begin at North Texas in the fall.
Coach Lama: "This is the strongest recruiting class we have assembled in the time I have been here. These ladies are winners both on and off the court. All three have aspirations to play professionally after college, and they have world-class work ethic. The talent and the intrinsic drive of this group is special, and I am looking forward to seeing them develop. They have what it takes to elevate our program to the next level. I could not be happier to have them join the Mean Green family."
- Best ITF junior ranking of No. 203
- Was No. 2 in China U16 and is currently No. 12 in China U18
- Won China Junior 1 Shenzen (ITF Grade 4) in December 2013
- Won China Junior 7 Beijing (ITF Grade 4) in May 2014
- Runner up at China Junior 8 Beijing (ITF Grade 3) in May 2014
- Coached by Bo Ye at the Guangzhou Institute of Sport
- Plans to study Kinesiology at North Texas
Minying: "The team with Coach Lama is very professional, harmonious and united. When we met in Guangzhou, I found that he was not only a kind person, but also an energetic coach with high-level tennis skill. I believe this is a chance that I must seize and never let go; I believe this is a chance to grow faster in my studies and in my tennis."
Coach Lama: "Minying will bring toughness and discipline to our team. Her focus and intensity make her a tough competitor. She has the ability to put her opponents on defense with her forehand and first-strike mentality."
- Best WTA ranking of No. 723
- Best ITF junior ranking of No. 402
- Best COSAT U16 ranking of No. 7
- Was No. 1 in Colombia U16 and is currently No. 1 in Colombia U18
- Named the U18 Colombia National Player of the Year at La Noche de Gala del Tenis
- Won Copa Club Farallones (ITF Grade 4) in August 2014
- Won Peru Junior Open Regatas (ITF Grade 5) doubles in November 2013
- Runner up at Copa Liga de Tenis de Bogota (ITF Grade 5) in July 2014
- Plans to study Modern Language at North Texas
Laura: "When I first met Coach Lama in Bogota, my first feeling was lots of confidence. He met my coaches and my sport psychologist, who were delighted with him. They spoke a lot and that was when I realized they all spoke the same language, as if they were all from the same team. I'm going after my dreams, and I feel that Coach Lama and Coach Hammond will help me achieve them."
Coach Lama: "Laura is a warrior. Her game is based around her movement and wearing opponents down, both physically and mentally. She has great hands and is a versatile player who is equally apt at the net, as well as at the baseline. The energy and passion she will bring to our team will be incredible."
- Best WTA ranking of No. 1149
- Best ITF junior ranking of No. 495
- Was No. 1 in Georgia U16 and is currently No. 1 in Georgia U18
- Had wins over ITF No. 80 (1/20/14) and WTA No. 338 (7/30/14)
- Won the 13th Abu Dhabi Country Club (ITF Grade 4) doubles in January 2014
- Semifinalist at UAE ITF Junior Championships (Grade 4) in January 2014
- Semifinalist at Armenia Incourt Cup (ITF Grade 5) in July 2014
- Plans to study International Studies at North Texas
Tamuna: "I chose North Texas for its excellence. The coaches are so positive and experienced."
Coach Lama: "Tamuna has great techinque and an effortless game. She is an aggressive all-court player with the serve setting the tone for her to dictate points. She has a unique ability to make the people around her better. She is the ultimate team player whose positive energy is off the charts. I can see her bringing the team together with her leadership ability."