Minying Liang
Rick Yeatts

Mean Green Head To H-E-B Invitational

WACO, Texas — Five of North Texas' women tennis players are at Baylor University to compete in the H-E-B Invitational starting Friday and lasting through Sunday.

UNT will compete against eight different opponents including Texas, Baylor, Kansas and LSU to name a few. 

This weekend's single elimination tournament will give the team an opportunity to get experience prior to the Intercollegiate Tennis Association's Texas Regional Championships, which begins Oct. 18 in College Station, Texas. 

"This event is not flighted like the Rice tourney.  Everyone here is lumped into one draw, so only one singles player will walk away undefeated at the end of the weekend," said North Texas associate head coach Jeff Hammond. "Regardless of whom that is, everyone needs to pull from the momentum that was laid down at Rice and use it to continue to build."

Mean Green senior Tamuna Kutubidze last week was named Conference USA's Female Tennis Athlete of the Month after claiming the Rice Invite Flight One singles championship as she went 3-0, including beating the No. 70 nationally ranked player. 

The success she had from the Rice Invite has set her up for a very successful rest of the fall season.

Kutubidze, however, will not be playing in Waco as she has just returned from California from the ITA's All-American Championship.

UNT sophomore Nidhi Surapaneni also went undefeated in singles at the Rice Invite and won the Flight Seven singles championship. It's the second consecutive season she went undefeated at the Rice Invite. She has traveled with the team to Waco.

Along with Kutubidze and Surapaneni, junior Alexandra Heczey as well as others on the Mean Green team also had a successful showing at the Rice Invite and look to carry that into the H-E-B Invitational this weekend.

North Texas will also compete in the tournament's single elimination doubles draw. 

Surapaneni will be paired with senior Minying Liang and they will face a Tyler Junior College team.

Heczey and classmate Ivana Babic will face an LSU team in the first round. 

Junior Haruka Sasaki is also competing in the H-E-B Invitation and will solely play in the singles draw. Sasaki has been matched agianst Sam Houston State's Sahaja Yamalapalli Friday morning.  

Friday and Sunday's matches will be on campus at the Hurd Tennis Center while Saturday's matches will be held off campus at the Waco Regional Tennis Center at 900 Lake Shore Drive. Friday and Saturday match play is set to begin at 9 a.m. and Sunday action begins at 10 a.m.
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