Saturday evening’s win 5-2 against Northwestern State marks the best start in Mean Green tennis history at 4-0. They have taken 24 out of the possible 28 points against opponents and are 3-0 against Southland Conference opponents.
Saturday’s win also came on UNT’s first of many cultural day matches, which means Mean Green tennis honors every player’s home country throughout the spring season. Today was China in honor of freshmen Kexuan Zhou from Changsha, China. North Texas played the Chinese national anthem and gave out mini replica flags.
In doubles, Zhou showed her opponent what China was all about with her partner, who was celebrating her birthday, Sophia Hummel. They got out early and never looked back by beating their Northwestern State opposition 6-2.
“We practiced a lot together. At first when we heard we were being paired up together as doubles partners, we didn’t have much confidence,” Hummel said. “But we started using different tactics and practicing a lot together, so we feel like we have a ton of confidence now.”
In the other two doubles matches down the court from Zhou and Hummel, UNT split even. Junior Nidhi Surapaneni and sophomore Maria Ponomareva won quickly with a 6-2 score. Senior Alex Heczey and freshman Hala Badwy lost their first doubles match this spring season together.
In singles, Badwy came for revenge because of the doubles loss. Badwy, during her match, won 7 sets in a row at one point which helped her defeat her opponent 6-0, 6-2.
“Losing in doubles gave me some motivation to win in singles and finish the day out good,” Badwy said. “It’s kind of challenging being down at the beginning of the day because of doubles and trying to turn the day into a good day, but I like the challenge. I did a better job in singles. I told myself I had to finish the day out strong.”
Heczey’s day continued with a losing score of 6-4, 6-1. Surapaneni, Hummel and Ponomareva won their singles in convincing fashion, making two games needed to take care of their opponents.
Most of all coach Sujay Lama liked what he saw today and wants to continue the momentum they have into some tough matches coming up.
“We have a lot of confidence in the talent we have. Each match is getting more and more challenging,” Lama said. “The team we faced this time was a little bit more talented this time and we did a good job responding. These next three matches are going to be really challenging, so we needed to be challenged for sure. This was a good test for us, we just have to make sure we have a good recovery and get ready for a tough road trip.”
Mean Green tennis will face Sam Houston State, Arizona and Kansas State on the road.
Dancetovic/Iwaniuk (NSU) def. Heczey/Badwy (UNT): 6-4
Surapaneni/Ponomareva (UNT) def. (NSU): Minetti/Polanska (NSU): 6-2
Hummel/Zhou (UNT) def. Alfredsson/Castillo (NSU): 6-2
Minetti (NSU) def. Heczey (UNT): 1-6, 6-4, 6-1
Surapaneni (UNT) def. Iwaniuk (NSU): 6-3, 6-3
Badwy (UNT) def. Szczygielska (NSU): 6-0, 6-2
Ponomareva (UNT) def. Polanska (NSU): 6-1, 6-4
Alfredsson (NSU) def. Zhou (UNT): 7-5, 6-2
Hummel (UNT) def. Gargallo (NSU): 6-0, 6-1
Featured Image: Freshman player, Sophia Hummel, competes in a match against Northwestern State on Feb. 1, 2020. Image by Oscar Lopez