NORMAN – Oklahoma women’s tennis won a thriller over North Texas on Friday at the Headington Family Tennis Center. The Sooners gave up the doubles point, but stepped up in singles play to win, 4-3, behind Mimi Fotopoulos’ three-set victory on court two.
“I think this is a lot of momentum,” said head coach Audra Cohen of the nailbiter. “It was really nice to see the other girls that haven’t always stepped up really be there and be the backbone for the program overall.”
In doubles play, the freshmen duo of Serena Nash and Ann Selim defeated North Texas’ Alexis Thoma and Haruka Sasaki handily on court three, 6-2. The Mean Green (1-3) would take the doubles point with victories on courts one and two.
In singles, Oklahoma's (2-1) Selim made quick work of her opponent Ivana Babic on court, winning at No. 6 line, 6-1, 6-0, to tie the match at 1-1. North Texas would regain the lead at 2-1 as the Mean Green's Konova topped No. 16 Lily Miyazaki, 6-2, 6-4 on court one.
On court four, Stripp equalized the match for the Sooners as she topped UNT’s Minying Liang 6-4, 6-3, but North Texas quickly extended their advantage back to one point as OU's Nash fell to UNT’s Thoma 6-4, 6-3 at the No. 3 line.
With two matches left on court, the Sooners rallied as Byrne roared back after dropping the opening set to knock off UNT's Saski, 3-6, 6-4, 6-1 at the No. 5 line. The freshman remains undefeated during the spring season with a 3-0 record.
In a marathon match at the No. 2 line, redshirt senior Mimi Fotopoulos won her first singles contest of the season in a three-set thriller. After splitting the first two sets with the Mean Green's Tamuna Kutubidze, Fotopoulos held on to win the final set and the match, 6-3, 5-7, 6-4, to seal the victory for the Sooners.
“I just wanted the W,” Fotopoulos said of her performance. “I know we have worked so hard, and there’s nothing more special than to be on these courts fighting for these girls. I looked at the scoreboard and saw that it was three-all and I decided ‘I’ve just got to get this point for the Sooners.'"
The Sooners are back in action Sunday when they face Wisconsin at 10 a.m. CT at the Headington Family Tennis Center. Admission to the Headington Family Tennis Center is free.
For more information on Oklahoma women’s tennis, follow @OU_WTennis on Twitter.
1. Maria Kononova (NT) def. #16 Lily Miyazaki (OU) 6-2, 6-4.
2. Mimi Fotopoulos (OU) def. Tamuna Kutubidze (NT) 6-3, 5-7, 6-4 3.
3. Alexis Thoma (NT) def. Serena Nash (OU) 6-4, 6-3
4. Malene Stripp (OU) def. Minying Liang (NT) 6-4, 6-3
5. Julie Byrne (OU) def. Haruka Sasaki (NT) 3-6, 6-4, 6-1
6. Ann Selim (OU) def. Ivana Babic (NT) 6-1, 6-0
1. Maria Kononova/Tamuna Kutubidze (NT) def. Lily Miyazaki/Julie Byrne (OU) 7-5
2. Ivana Babic/Alexandra Heczey (NT) def. Malene Stripp/Simran Sethi (OU) 6-4
3. Serena Nash/Ann Selim (OU) def. Alexis Thoma/Haruka Sasaki (NT) 6-2
Order of finish:
Doubles (3,2,1); Singles (6,1,4,3,5,2)