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Tennis earns sixth victory, looks forward to TCU match
Caitlyn Alvarado / Staff Writer
The No. 57 Mean Green Tennis team added another win to its record after defeating the No. 30 University of Arizona on Saturday, 4-3.
“I felt we were in control throughout the match,” head coach Sujay Lama said. “I had a positive feel about this weekend, but you always have to give your opponent credit. We have to give Arizona a ton of credit for fighting and they came back. So hats off to them.”
UNT took the doubles point this weekend with two doubles teams coming out on top. Seniors Valentina Starkova and Barbora Vykydalova won 8-2 and the sophomore team of Kseniya Bardabush and Franziska Sprinkmeyer took the match 8-6.
“It was an easy win,” Starkova said. “It was also our first time playing in the No. 1 position and we played well and were excited about it.”
After singles victories by Starkova and Sprinkmeyer, UNT (6-1) and Arizona (6-5) were tied at three heading into the deciding match between freshman Agustina Valenzuela and Arizona junior Susan McRann.
“I know Agustina had prepared really well,” Lama said. “She comes in for extra work every single day. That gave me the confidence that she was going to get it done.”
The Mean Green crowded around court six to watch the match that would settle the score and finalize a winner.
“We were really nervous when it came down to the last match,” Starkova said. “We were really hoping that Agustina wasn’t distracted because we were all there, but it turns out Agustina plays better under pressure and she did extremely well finishing her match and winning.”
UNT hopes to add another win to its record against Texas Christian University at 2 p.m. on Wednesday at the Waranch Tennis Complex.
“TCU is another great team,” Lama said. “They will be in the top 20. This is a top-20 team at home. We are looking at this like an opportunity. We have great respect for them.”
The two teams have seen each other in two previous seasons. Last season, UNT came out on top with a 4-3 win over the Horned Frogs – the first time the Mean Green had ever defeated TCU.
“I am excited about Wednesday because last year we had such an intense match,” Sprinkmeyer said. “This year we play at home and get the chance to show what we are capable of, which is winning.”