Jayhawks Top Wildcats, 4-2, for Second-Straight Dillons Sunflower Showdown Victory

#35 Kansas 4, Kansas State 2
Mike Goss Tennis Stadium
April 16, 2016
No. 1 –  Nina Khmelnitckaia/Janet Koch (KU) def. Millie Stretton/Ana Garcia Navas (KSU) 6-3
No. 2 – Maria Jose Cardona/Summer Collins (KU) vs. Sara Castellano/Palma Juhasz (KSU) 6-5 unfinished
No. 3 – Smith Hinton/Anastasiya Rychagova (KU) def. Carolina Costamagna/Livia Cimu (KSU) 6-4
Order of Finish: 1,3
No. 1 – Anastasiya Rychagova (KU) def. Sara Castellano (KSU) 6-2, 6-1
No. 2 –  Smith Hinton (KU) vs. Ana Garcia Navas (KSU) 3-6, 6-4, 4-3 unfinished
No. 3 – Janet Koch (KU) def. Carolina Costamagna (KSU) 7-5, 7-5
No. 4 – Millie Stretton (KSU) def. Nina Khmelnitckaia (KU) 7-6, 7-5
No. 5 – Maria Jose Cardona (KU) def. Iva Bago (KSU) 6-2, 6-3
No. 6 – Livia Cimu (KSU) def. Summer Collins (KU) 0-15 default
Order of Finish: 6,1,5,4,3

MANHATTAN, Kan. — Kansas women’s tennis picked up its first win over in-state rival Kansas State in Manhattan since 2008 as the Jayhawks came up with a 4-2 win in the annual Dillons Sunflower Showdown Saturday afternoon at the Mike Goss Tennis Stadium. With the win, Kansas improved to 15-5 overall on the season and 5-2 in Big 12 Conference play, equaling its most conference wins since also posting five in 2008. 

“I thought we faced adversity well today,” said Kansas head coach Todd Chapman.  “In some positions we created our own adversity and in some spots Kansas State put us in uncomfortable positions.  There is always a little extra tension and nerves when you’re playing on the road against your in-state rival.  We struggled at No. 2 and No. 3 doubles in the beginning, but both did a good job of calming down and focusing on their game plans.”

Kansas took an early 1-0 lead after picking up wins on courts one and three in doubles play. On court one, freshmen Janet Koch and Nina Khmelnitckaia topped KSU’s Mille Stretton and Ana Garcia Navas, 6-3. Freshman Anastasiya Rychagova and sophomore Smith Hinton won three-straight games after trailing Kansas State’s Carolina Costamagna and Livia Cimu, 4-3, to claim a 6-4 win and secure the doubles point for the Jayhawks. Kansas’ double tandem of senior Maria Jose Cardona and sophomore Summer Collins was also leading on court two, 6-5, when the doubles point was decided. 

Collins was forced to default her singles match due to illness, so Kansas State opened singles play by claiming a win on court six. With the score knotted at 1-1, Rychagova took off on court one. The Moscow, Russia, native dominated KSU’s Castellano in straight-sets, 6-2, 6-1, to put Kansas right back into the lead at 2-1. 

Cardona pushed the Jayhawk lead to 3-1 as she bested Kansas State’s Iva Bago, 6-2, 6-3, on court five. Kansas State battled back to cut the KU lead back down to one point at 3-2 with Stretton’s 7-6, 7-5 win over Khmelnitckaia on court four. 

Koch edged Kansas State’s Costamagna in straight-sets, 7-5, 7-5, on court three to provide the fourth and final point needed for the Jayhawks to wrap up their second-consecutive win over the Wildcats. 

“In singles, Anastasiya and Maria did a fantastic job of controlling their matches and gave us an early lead,” said Chapman.  “Janet found a way to finish things off and that was great to see.  It’s the first time in awhile that Kansas tennis has won in Manhattan, so it was nice to pull out the win.

“We will get back to work this week to clean a few things up and hopefully get healthy.  We face two tough teams next weekend at home and hope we can close the regular season out well on our home courts.”

Kansas will return to the friendly confines of the Jayhawk Tennis Center for its final two matches of the season against Oklahoma (Friday, April 22 at 4 p.m.) and Oklahoma State (Sunday, April 24 at 12 p.m.). 

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