🎾 #31 Jayhawks Hold Off the Owls, 4-3

HOUSTON – Freshman Vasiliki Karvouni clinches the 4-3 win over Rice (6-7), helping Kansas (7-4) to its seventh win of the season at the George R. Brown Tennis Center on Saturday afternoon.

KU ends its non-conference season with a 7-4 overall record and a 2-2 mark on the road; Rice drops to a 6-7 record.

The Owls controlled the match early after taking the doubles point and claiming a 1-0 lead ahead of singles play.

In singles, both the Jayhawks and the Owls traded wins and, eventually, it came down to the wire for Kansas. In what was her first singles match of the season, sophomore Julia Deming, downed Diae El Jardi on court six by the score of 6-2, 7-6 (7-3), giving KU a presence on the scoreboard. No. 78 Sonia Smagina took down Victoria Smirnova in a closely played 7-6 (7-4), 6-2 match on court one. Roxana Manu finished her match on top, winning 7-6 (7-5), 6-4 win on court three, while freshman Karvouni ’s match was the deciding factor.

After dominating the first set, it was a battle to the end in the second. In the No. 6 singles spot, Karvouni clinched the victory for Kansas in a tie-breaker match, 6-4, 7-6 (7-5).

“Today we faced a lot of adversity, said head coach Todd Chapman.” “We let the momentum in the doubles point slip away, and Rice did a good job of capitalizing on it. For the most part, we responded in singles and put ourselves in positive situations. Julia [Deming] did a fantastic job in singles today in her first match of the spring. She was in a pressure situation and came through for us in a big way. We have concluded our non-conference schedule, and now we get to be excited to start conference play next weekend at home.”


Kansas opens Big 12 conference play at home as it welcomes Oklahoma on March 13 at 5 p.m. inside the Jayhawk Tennis Center.

Tennis Match Results
#31 Kansas 4, Rice 3

Singles competition

#78 Sonia Smagina (KU) def. Victoria Smirnova (RICE) 7-6 (7-4), 6-2
Michaela Haet (RICE) def. Malkia Ngounoue (KU) 7-6 (7-5), 6-3
Carmen Roxana Manu (KU) def. Priya Niezgoda (RICE) 7-6 (7-5), 6-4
Anna Bowtell (RICE) def. Maria Toran Ribes (KU) 6-4, 0-6, 6-2
Vasiliki Karvouni (KU) def. Linda Huang (RICE) 6-4, 7-6 (7-5)
Julia Deming (KU) def. Diae El Jardi (RICE) 6-2, 7-6 (7-3)

Doubles competition

Michaela Haet/Linda Huang (RICE) def. #50 Carmen Roxana Manu/Sonia Smagina (KU) 7-5
Maria Toran Ribes/Malkia Ngounoue (KU) def. Maria Budin/Diae El Jardi (RICE) 6-2
Anna Bowtell/Victoria Smirnova (RICE) def. Julia Deming/Vasiliki Karvouni (KU) 7-6 (7-2)

Match Notes:

Kansas 7-4; National ranking #31
Rice 6-7
Order of finish: Doubles (2,1,3); Singles (6,1,4,3,2,5)
T-2:43 A-75