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Tennis notches two conference wins over weekend
Caitlyn Alvarado / Staff Writer
In Mobile, Ala. over the weekend, the Mean Green notched two Sun Belt Conference wins over Florida International University and the University of South Alabama.
UNT started the weekend by winning its first conference game against FIU on Saturday. Freshman Dané Joubert and senior Ilona Serchenko were the only doubles team to win against FIU, so the Panthers were out to an early lead with the doubles point.
Head coach Sujay Lama said that he was pleased with the two conference victories, but he saw areas where the team could improve.
“There were two things that disappointed me,” Lama said. “One was that doubles wasn’t that great. We really didn’t play the kind of doubles we have been playing all season long and that was disappointing. The second thing was both days, once we clinched the win, the remaining matches we kind of let our intensity slip.”
Seniors Serchenko, Valentina Starkova and Barbora Vykydalova, sophomore Franziska Sprinkmeyer and freshman Agustina Valenzuala earned the five single points that gave UNT the win over FIU.
“Overall we did really well with our team spirit and confidence,” Joubert said. “Our cheering for each other, motivation and focus was good, so that at the end of the day we all did what we had to do.”
Joubert said that the weather conditions made it tough for the team to adjust.
“We needed to handle obstacles better,” she said. “The wind and the air were cold, so it took a while to get into each of the matches because it was so cold. However, I think we handled competing well despite the weather, the wind and the coldness, which we aren’t used to.”
On Sunday, the Mean Green failed to capture the doubles point again. Fighting from behind, sophomore Kseniya Bardabush, Serchenko, Sprinkmeyer and Starkova brought in four wins, making the final score 4-3.
“These are opportunities that come and you get to learn more about your team,” Lama said. “It gave us a chance to see what we are made of, if we are strong enough mentally to recover losing the doubles point and they answered that. I was really proud of the way they came back in singles and got the job done.”
A week of practice lies ahead for the team until Saturday when it hosts the University of Arizona at 11 a.m.