March 23, 2018
NORFOLK, VA. — The North Texas women's tennis team is on the East Coast in Norfolk, Virginia prepared to face its eighth ranked opponent this season.
The Mean Green (6-9) will first take on Boston University on Saturday at 11:00 a.m. CT and then No. 44 Old Dominion on Sunday at 9:00 a.m. CT for an opportunity to make a serious jump in the Conference USA standings with just two weekends remaining before the conference tournament, which will be held in Norfolk.
"We are ready for this weekend's matches and will do our best to beat both of the team, which can help us get a better seed for the conference tournament," said junior Tamuna Kutubidze.
In just the last month and a half, North Texas has faced seven teams which were ranked at the time they played or are now currently ranked, all while overcoming your midseason bumps and bruises.
The Mean Green enter this weekend's matches on a two-match winning streak and have won the doubles point in three consecutive matches, including a back-and-forth doubles point victory over the then No. 23 ranked Wichita State Shockers. Since making a change to the doubles lineup midway through the season, North Texas' No 1 and No. 2 doubles teams are a combined 8-3, with most of those wins coming down the stretch.
Along with the success in doubles, the Mean Green have thrived on stellar play by the top of its singles lineup.
Sophomore Alexandra Heczey has developed her smashing serve into a weapon and over the past few matches has been a force for UNT at the No. 3 spot in the lineup where she's unbeaten this year after starting the year out of the lineup.
Kutubidze has put together a career-best year and has stepped up in key moments for the Mean Green. Kutubidze, typically North Texas' No. 2 player, has a perfect 3-0 record at No. 1 when she's needed to fill in for Maria Kononova. Overall, Kutubidze has put together a 7-3 record in singles and has clinched multiple matches along with Heczey.
The Mean Green believe the challenging schedule, albeit tough, has set up the team to be best prepared for not just this weekend's matchup against Boston University and the nationally ranked Monarchs but the important conference tournament.
"With all these tough matches we will be better prepared for everything because that's how we learn," Kutubidze said. "We've grown a lot this year and overcome a lot with such a young team. The experience will be valuable when it matters most."