On Sunday, the North Texas tennis team played their second and final tournament over the weekend, collecting four total wins at the OU Invitational. The tournament featured competition from Texas Tech, Arkansas, Oklahoma State, Oklahoma and TCU.
Head coach Sujay Lama felt that overall, the team failed to meet the high expectations they set for themselves. While they had their chances, Lama said that their inability to win critical points is what hurt them.
“We had several opportunities to finish the matches where we had match points,” Lama said. “In a doubles match against TCU we were up 5-1, but then we ended up losing 5-7.”
Even with some of these missed opportunities, Lama sees these things as part of the course for the relatively young team.
“There are growing pains when you have a fairly young team and three new kids,” Lama said. “Overall, I think it was positive, I just wish we had a little bit better showing.”
Senior Nidhi Surapaneni and freshman Saki Oyama both had impressive showings at the invitational, with Surapaneni winning two of her four matches, and Oyama picking up a single win.
Oyama, a highly-touted freshman from Japan performed in her second-ever tournament for North Texas. Having learned from her first college tournament last week, Oyama adapted and tried new tactics during her matches this week.
Oyama says that while she is a shy person, the environment at North Texas and her teammates have helped her adjust and play better in tournaments.
“I learned that college tennis is a very different sport than Japanese tennis,” Oyama said. “I learned a lot of new things, and this week I tried many of those things when I played.”
Lama expressed how the team currently does not have any more tournaments planned for the rest of the fall, which gives them more time to prepare for the spring.
“I think this is a good time for us to go back to the drawing board and work harder, get stronger, fitter and smarter,” Lama. “We are hungry for more, and we are really excited to be back because we have so much work to do.”
Featured Image: Senior Nidhi Surapaneni hits the ball across the net during a match against Louisiana Tech on Feb. 14, 2020. Image by Ryan Cantrell