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  1. Growth and toughness. Those two words embody what North Texas head tennis coach Sujay Lama wants to see from his team as their season winds down. In what’s been a challenging 2017 campaign — facing seven Power Five conference teams in 12 matches with players fighting through injuries — this young group has benefited from squaring off with some of the better teams in college tennis. The youngest squad in Conference USA, seven of North Texas’ eight players are either freshmen or sophomores. In five matches decided by one point, the Mean Green are only 1-4, with three of the losses coming against Power Five schools. And despite their 5-7 record, North Texas is determined to not let close losses keep them down. Even though they have had a slew of tough competition to start the season, players on the team are embracing the challenge of facing quality opponents. “When you lose the matches like that you learn something new,” sophomore Tamuna Kutubidze said. “I think it’s much better to lose those kind of matches than win easy matches.” Lama concurs, and said the bigger picture is more important than their record. “I hate losing,” Lama said. “Nobody likes to lose, but that’s why you have the big picture. What’s the big picture? It’s what happens at the end out there, giving ourselves a chance to win the conference championship, play in the postseason. That’s what it’s all about.” Unlike some other sports, all 14 tennis teams in C-USA are granted entry into the conference tournament regardless of their dual season record. Season records only determine seeding, with the top two seeds receiving a first-round bye. In order to put his team in the best position to win a conference title in April, Lama said he must challenge his players with a formidable slate of matches in the months prior to the conference tournament. That way once they’re in the tournament, they’ll be ready for the best C-USA has to offer. But things won’t get much easier in conference play. C-USA is home to five top-125 athletes and plenty of other quality competition. Fortunately for the Mean Green, one of the conference’s best players resides on their own roster. In her second year at North Texas as the team’s No. 1 player, No. 82 nationally ranked Maria Kononova has been the main beneficiary of this intense schedule. Kononova has already faced five players who currently hold a ranking in the top-125 spots in the nation and has more in the weeks ahead. She has claimed victories over two top-80 opponents so far this season. View Full Article
  2. Fred Scott, who coached Abilene High School tennis team to 247 wins and the 1999 state team championship, will be inducted to the Texas Tennis Coaches Association Hall of Fame during ceremonies Dec. 6 in New Braunfels. As a player, Scott won a state championship in doubles for Sweetwater and played collegiately at Eastern Kentucky University and Amarillo College before finishing his career at Hardin-Simmons University. His first coaching job was at Mason High School before moving to coach at his alma mater at Sweetwater High. During his early coaching years at the two programs, Scott qualified 18 players to the state tournament and had three state champions. Scott then moved to head the men’s and women’s tennis teams at the University of North Texas, where his teams won both the men’s and women’s Southland Conference titles. He was named the SLC Coach of the Year. He returned to the high school coaching ranks in 1993 at Plainview and led his team to its first tennis district championship in the school’s history before accepting the AHS job in 1997. He and his wife of 37 years, Judy Rene’, have three children and four grandchildren. Read more: http://www.ktxs.com/news/Scott-to-be-inducted-into-Texas-Tennis-Hall-of-Fame/29934616
  3. FORT WORTH The TCU womens tennis team received a bid to the NCAA Championships for the second year in a row and 15th time in school history Tuesday. The Horned Frogs are a No. 2 seed in the four-team pod in College Station at Texas A&Ms Mitchell Tennis Center, and will take on North Texas on May 11 at 9 a.m. A win by TCU would set up a matchup with the winner of the match between No. 1 seed Texas A&M and No. 4 seed Southern. The host Aggies have the No. 3 national seed going into the championships. The second round matchup will take play May 12 at 1 p.m. We are excited to be in, TCU head coach Dave Borelli said. We are playing at a local site so it is a close trip. It will be an exciting chance to build upon what we have done this season. We have a tough opponent in the first round and we look forward to being in the Championships. TCU and North Texas competed against each other in the regular season in Denton. The Horned Frogs earned a 4-2 win at the Waranch Tennis Complex. TCU dropped the doubles point, but was able to claim victories at No. 1, No. 2, No. 4 and No. 5 singles to clinch the team win. Since we played UNT at their site it should be better for us at a neutral site, Borelli noted. However, they are a very good team and it was a close match the last time we played. Neither team is going to be caught off-guard. North Texas, ranked No. 58 in the ITA Rankings, come into the championships with an 18-5 regular season record which included a sweep of the Sun Belt regular season and conference championships. The Mean Green picked up two wins over ranked opponents with scalps of Arizona and Minnesota. Hosts Texas A&M comes into the NCAA Championships with a 21-3 overall record and a 12-1 record against SEC competition. The Aggies fell in the SEC Championships semifinals to overall No. 1 seed Florida. However, Texas A&M has claimed a win over the Gators this season. Texas A&M are one of the two or three best teams in the country, Borelli said. What coach (Howard) Joffe has been able to build in such a short time is incredible. They can be a formidable opponent, but our first concern is getting past North Texas. If we are able to do that we will look to formulate a plan for Texas A&M. Southern made the NCAA Championships as the SWAC Champions, earning a fourth consecutive conference title with a victory over Alcorn State. Individual fields for the NCAA singles and doubles championships will be announced Wednesday at 5 p.m. Read more: http://gofrogs.cstv.com/sports/w-tennis/spec-rel/043013aab.html
  4. The UNT tennis team has developed a reputation for being a clutch outfit over the last couple of years. UNT won the Sun Belt tourney a couple of years ago with a huge comeback and had one of its top players come through today to keep its hopes of another title alive. Barbora Vykydalova beat Mariya Krachok in three sets, 6-3, 2-6, 6-4 to give UNT a 4-3 win. Vykydalova wasnt even in UNTs singles lineup at the end of last season, but is playing No. 2 singles this year. UNT will play in the finals Sunday against Georgia State. And in a side note, a local high school football standout UNT was after decided where he is going to school today. Argyle wide receiver Ian Sadler committed to Texas Tech. Word has been that he would go with Tech for some time. Minnesota and Iowa State also offered in addition to UNT. I only mention it because there is a lot of interest in him locally and because there has always been a feeling among some UNT fans that local families owe their first-born (or any member of the clan who can play football) to UNT. Read more:http://meangreenblog.dentonrc.com/2013/04/unt-squeaks-by-in-tennis-a-couple-of-recruiting-notes.html/
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