The Mean Green tennis team lost to Texas Christian University in their second dual match of the season on Wednesday. Despite winning the opening doubles point, the team ended up losing 4-2 after singles finished.
Head coach Sujay Lama commented on this saying that in the end, they just need to be able to finish as strong as they start.
“We need the energy to finish games and to finish sets,” Lama said. “We had them on the ropes, we just need to finish.”
For the doubles point, junior Maria Ponomareva and her partner sophomore Kexuan Zhao were able to win 6-4 at the No. 2 spot. This gave senior Nidhi Surapaneni and junior Lucie Devier the opportunity to close it out, leading to a 7-5 win at the No. 1 position that clinched the doubles point.
Surpaneni said that the key to their win in doubles was their mindset of finishing the set without giving their opponents the chance to win.
“We were never thinking about going to a tiebreak,” Surapaneni said. “We were just thinking about finishing the game then and there.”
For singles, Ponomareva was able to grab a straight-sets win at the No. 4 spot. Ponomareva says that she believes her improvement when it comes to focusing on the court helped her play her best tennis.
“I used to have this problem where I had struggled focusing in the beginning,” Ponomareva said. “I would go down in the score and have to come back all the time. This time, I was like ‘I’m not staying on the court for three hours again.’”
Surapaneni was not able to finish her singles match, but she was able to take a set from the first ranked TCU player Tate Schroeder, who is ranked No. 46 in the country. Facing another difficult opponent, Surapaneni decided to focus on what she could do instead of what her opponent was doing.
“I tried to do what I could do and I didn’t care what she did,” Surapaneni said. “The bottom line is that I cannot control what my opponent does.”
While North Texas is currently 0-2 on the season, Lama is still optimistic considering both of their matches have been close against Big 12 teams.
“It’s not that we lack talent or ability,” Lama said. “It’s just having that mindset of having that killer instinct and that comes from putting in the time, putting in the work.”
UP NEXT: The team plays their first home match against Sam Houston State University on Sunday in an opportunity to capture their first win of the season.
Featured Image: Sophomore Maria Ponomareva swings her tennis racket in attempt to throw the ball over the net during the UNT vs. LA Tech Tennis match on Feb. 14th, 2020. Image by Ryan Cantrell