🎾 Kansas Outlasts Kansas State to Advance to Quarterfinals

WACO, Texas – The Kansas women’s tennis team outlasted Kansas State in the opening round of the Big 12 Women’s Tennis Championship, taking the match 4-3 on the Hurd Tennis Center Courts. With today’s win, the No. 9 seeded Jayhawks advance to the quarterfinals and are set to face the No. 1 seeded Longhorns of Texas.

"We have lost four or five of these types of matches this year, so it was great to see the team find a way to finish in the end."

Todd Chapman, head coach

Doubles play set the tone for this match with the decision coming down to court two. Finishing first on the morning was court one where Karine-Marion Job and Lilla Barzo defeated Sonia Smagina and Vasiliki Karvouni 6-2. However, Carmen Roxana Manu and Tiffany Lagarde rallied back for Kansas and took their match in 6-3 fashion over Margot Decker and Anna Turco. With the fate of the point resting on court two, Kansas State’s Ioana Gheorghita and Maria Linares bested Malkia Ngounoue and Julia Deming 6-2.

Singles was much of the same high level, back-and-forth, competition. The Jayhawks were able to even the match at one all after Manu’s victory on court three with 6-0 and 6-4 scores over Manami Ukita. However, the Wildcats responded quickly taking court five with Barzo over Lagarde 6-1, 0-6 and 6-4. The overall match now favored Kansas State, 2-1.

Smagina was the next to finish. Her 1-6, 6-2 and 6-4 battle on court two over Linares proved to light a fire in her teammates. The match was now tied again, this time at two all. Karvouni doubled the output for Kansas finishing next on court four. She contested Gheorghita down to the wire with scores of 3-6, 6-4 and 6-4. The Jayhawks now had the lead at 3-2.

Turco for the Wildcats narrowly escaped her match against Deming on court six at 3-6, 6-4 and 6-2. Kansas State had now deadlocked the match at three all and the fate of the overall match rested on court one where Ngounoue and Job were engaged in a tight contest.

Ngounoue took the opening game at 7-6 but Job responded 5-7 in the following game to force a third. The duo went back-and-forth but Ngounoue was able to outlast her opponent to notch the 7-5 win on court one and aid her team to a 4-3 overall victory.

Kansas will face the top seeded Texas on Friday, April 23 at 3 p.m. on the Grandstand Courts. The Longhorns are on a 15-match win streak and took on the Jayhawks back on April 9 inside the Jayhawk Tennis Center. Kansas fell to nationally ranked Texas in a 6-1 decision. The Longhorns’ combination of courts three and one notched the doubles point, both with scores of 6-4. Court two held Ngounoue and Deming in an unfinished tight 4-5 matchup against Texas’ Fernanda Labrana and Anna Turati.

The Longhorns notched victories on courts three, four, two and five. Court three finished first with Charlotte Chavatipon defeating Manu 6-2, 6-1. Kylie Collins bested Karvouni 6-3, 6-1 on court four. On court two Lulu Sun narrowly escaped Ngounoue 6-4, 6-4. Labrana kept the momentum going for Texas with her win on court five over Lagarde at 6-2, 7-5.

The Longhorns held a commanding 5-0 lead over the Jayhawks but Smagina battled her way into the win column for the home team. On court one, Smagina faced off against Turati and faltered in the opening set 3-6. However, she bounced back to take the second set in a tiebreaker situation at 7-6 (13-11). Finally, she sealed the victory 1-0 (10-2) over Turati for Kansas’ first point of the night.

Malaika Rapolu scarcely garnered her win on court six over Deming at 7-6 (13-11) and 7-6 (7-2) leading her team to a 6-1 overall victory.

Live stats and stream will be available for tomorrow’s match.

2021 Big 12 Women’s Tennis Championship Schedule – Waco, Texas
Thursday, April 22
Match 1: No. 9 Kansas 4, No. 8 Kansas State 3 – Box Score

Friday, April 23
Match 4: No. 7 TCU vs. No. 2 Baylor – Noon
Match 5: No. 6 Iowa State vs. No. 3 Texas Tech – Noon
Match 2: No. 9 Kansas vs. No. 1 Texas – 3:00 p.m.
Match 3: No. 5 Oklahoma State vs. No. 4 Oklahoma – 3:00 p.m.

Saturday, April 24
Match 6: Match 2 winner vs. Match 3 winner – Noon
Match 7: Match 4 winner vs. Match 5 winner – Noon

Sunday, April 25
Match 8: Match 6 winner vs. Match 7 winner – 1:00 p.m.

All Times Listed as Central