Kononova and Kutubidze remain unbeaten as tennis takes down UT-Arlington
Cesar Valdes | Staff Writer
The Mean Green tennis team will be heading into the Conference USA tournament with some much-needed momentum.
It took all 20 regular season matches, but North Texas finally managed to put together a streak of more than two consecutive wins with its 4-2 victory over the University of Texas at Arlington Saturday.
“We feel really good about where we are,” head coach Sujay Lama said. “We feel like momentum is with us. We work hard, but there’s no substitute for winning. That’s what it’s all about and when you win you get that confidence, especially on the road.”
Sophomores Maria Kononova and Tamuna Kutubidze finished their undefeated doubles campaign (15-0) with a 6-4 victory over the Mavericks.
“We don’t talk too much about streak,” Lama said. “Our focus is more on the team and trying to make sure all these holes are covered. But [I’m] extremely proud of them. I’ve had some great teams – maybe the Florida doubles team might have had an undefeated regular season in doubles – but since then I’ve never heard of an unbeaten season.”
But another doubles team stood out on the court as well for the Mean Green.
Freshmen Alexandra Heczey and Ivana Babic defeated the No. 79 nationally ranked team in Astrid Gehre and Anna Wichert. The duo’s 7-5 win only marked their fifth match, and third win, together this season.
The No. 6 spot on the team has been a revolving door all season long with different players coming in and out of that position. These last two matches included more consistency with Laura Arciniegas tallying two straight victories, including today’s 3-6, 7-5, 6-2, match-clinching performance.
“When you lose a couple of close ones, you start finding ways to lose a match, but when you start winning matches, you start to finding ways to win matches,” Lama said. “That’s what I told Laura. We’re a winner now.”
Next up: North Texas welcomes the rest of C-USA on April 20 to begin the conference tournament.
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