Tennis struggles again in close match, falls to Wichita State

Tennis struggles again in close match, falls to Wichita State

It’s almost becoming a norm for the North Texas tennis team.

In six one-point matches of the season, the Mean Green have managed to pull out just one victory.

That trend continued Sunday against Wichita State University, as North Texas fell to 5-9 on the season after a 4-3 loss to the Shockers.

“This one was a really disappointing one,” head coach Sujay Lama said. “Somehow we battled [and] got the doubles point. I just felt like as a team, collectively in singles, I just didn’t think that we really competed the way we are capable of competing.”

The Mean Green took the lead early after winning their eight doubles point of the season.

In the singles portion, North Texas followed the lead of its two top players to hold on to extend the lead.

Maria Kononova tallied her 19th career singles dual win over No. 117 Giulia Guidetti in a 6-3, 7-5 match. Alongside Kononova, Tamuna Kutubidze added the third point for North Texas as she defeated the Shocker’s Tanaporn Thingsing in straight sets.

“I feel like I’m better than last time,” Kononova said. “It’s not like I used every opportunity to finish earlier. I was holding my serve really good in the second set. Before when I had to finish I got broke and I was kind of disappointed in that, but I’m glad that I was able to recover.”

From there, however, the losses continued to snowball for the Mean Green.

With sophomore Minying Liang sidelined with a shoulder injury, fellow sophomore Laura Arciniegas was tasked with filling in. Arciniegas lost to Wichita State’s Marija Mastilovic 6-3, 6-1.

The last point came down to freshman Haruka Sasaki. Sasaki fell behind early, losing the first set 0-6. Into the second set, Sasaki managed to put together a decent run, but was stopped at 3-6.

Mean Green Quick Hits:

  • Kononova and Kutubidze matched their total doubles wins from last season (10).
  • Kononova is 3-2 on the season against top-125 ranked players.
  • Kononova, Liang, and Kutubidze are the only players with a singles record at or above .500.
  • Sujay Lama’s team is now 5-9 and 1-5 in matches decided by one point.

Next up: North Texas gets back to work early with Georgia State coming to town at 3 p.m. Tuesday.

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