The North Texas tennis team lost 4-3 to Georgia State on Tuesday afternoon at the Waranch Tennis Complex.
The Mean Green (5-10) battled through adversity and another lineup change to take a 3-1 lead midway through the match. After back-to-back victories at No. 3 and No. 6 for the Panthers (6-5), the match came down to No. 5, where freshman Haruka Sasaki eventually lost 7-6(2), 6-2.
"Having changes in the rotation is tough," UNT coach Sujay Lama said. "You have people playing maybe up a spot or in positions they aren't usually comfortable playing. I thought we did a fantastic job competing, though."
North Texas' typical No. 4, freshman Alexandra Heczey, did not compete in singles on Tuesday because of illness. Classmate Ivana Babic, who filled in for her, played at the No. 6 spot. Babic lost 6-2, 7-5. Making a return to the Mean Green lineup was sophomore Minying Liang. After missing the past two matches, Liang won on Tuesday 6-2, 6-3 at the No. 4 spot.
UNT has had a different lineup in each of the past three matches.
Despite the loss, Lama was proud of Sasaki's effort at No.5 and glad she was able to play a important clinching match with everyone watching.
"She gained valuable experience," Lama said. "She'll be more comfortable in future clinching matches and she's learned what she needs to do differently."
UNT's No. 1 doubles team of Maria Kononova and Tamuna Kutubidze won their 11th straight match on Tuesday and are now 11-0 on the season. The No. 77 doubles team in the nation won pretty handily Tuesday afternoon, 6-2.
UNT is back in action noon Thursday when it hosts Columbia.