Hommell, Jayhawks Outlast No. 67 Kansas State, 4-3
March 5, 2008
<?xml:namespace prefix=”st1″ ns=”urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:smarttags”?>MANHATTAN, Kan. – Senior Lauren Hommell defeated Kansas State’s Olga Klimova in a thrilling three-set match, breaking a 3-3 tie and sending the University of Kansas tennis team to a 4-3 victory over the rival Wildcats on Wednesday in both teams’ conference openers.<?xml:namespace prefix=”o” ns=”urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:office”?>
The win improved the Jayhawks to 4-5 overall and marked the first time since the 2003-04 season that KU has won its Big 12 opener, and also was the squad’s first win over a ranked opponent since 2005-06.
With the dual knotted at three, Hommell, who had only played three singles matches this season after suffering an arm injury in the fall, quickly found herself down a set and in danger of allowing an opportunity to clinch a win for her team slip away. However, the Roswell, Ga., native, backed by strong support from her on-looking teammates, stormed back, winning the second set 6-4 before rolling Klimova, 6-2, in the third, sending the Jayhawks to the Sunflower Showdown victory.
KU got off to a hot start as its No. 3 doubles tandem of junior Yuliana Svistun and freshman Magdalena Tokarczyk quickly took care of KSU’s Vanessa Cottin and Pauline Guemas. The Jayhawks, despite uncharacteristic struggles in the No. 1 contest from senior Elizaveta Avdeeva and junior Edina Horvath, appeared to be on their way to taking the doubles point after Hommell and sophomore Kunigunda Dorn went up 3-0 in the No. 2 match. However, the pair could not maintain the lead and eventually dropped the contest, 8-5, surrendering the point — and momentum — to the Wildcats.
The Jayhawks then started strong in singles play as well, with Horvath and Avdeeva winning their matches in straight-sets to give Kansas a 2-1 advantage. But KSU rallied, getting wins in the No. 4 match from Antea Huljev and in the No. 1 contest from Viviana Yrureta. Tokarczyk, who missed last weekend’s match at BYU due to illness, had early command of the No. 1 matchup after a sound 6-2 victory in the first set and multiple match-points in the second, but the Ksawerow, Poland native could not hold off an impressive comeback by Yrureta.
With only the No. 5 and No. 6 matches remaining, Kansas trailed 3-2 and needed to win both to get the dual victory. Svistun put away KSU’s Natasha Vieria in straight sets in the No. 5 match, leaving all eyes on Hommell and Klimova’s heated No. 6 contest.
While Klimova appeared fatigue as the match carried on, the feisty Hommell seemed to get stronger en route to improving her singles record to 3-1.
Kansas will look to even its record on Sunday as it returns home to take on New Mexico. The dual is set to begin at 11 a.m. at First Serve.
1) Klimova/Kudlackova (KSU) def. Avdeeva/Horvath (KU), 8-3
2) Huljev/Yrureta (KSU) def. Dorn/ Hommell (KU), 8-5
3) Svistun/Tokarczyk (KU) def. Cottin/Guemas (KSU), 8-3
1) Viviana Yrureta (KSU) def. Magdalena Tokarczyk (KU), 2-6, 7-5, 6-4
2) Elizaveta Avdeeva (KU) def. Katerina Kudlackova (KSU), 6-2, 6-2
3) Edina Horvath (KU) def. Vanessa Cottin (KSU), 6-2, 6-0
4) Antea Huljev (KSU) def. Kunigunda Dorn (KU) 6-4, 6-3
5) Yuliana Svistun (KU) def. Natasha Vieira (KSU), 6-3, 6-4
6) Lauren Hommell (KU) def. Olga Klimova (KSU), 5-7, 6-4, 6-2