🎾 Kansas Victorious Over Tulsa, 6-1

LAWRENCE, Kan. – Kansas women’s tennis evened its spring dual record at 4-4 Tuesday afternoon at the Jayhawk Tennis Center with a convincing 6-1 victory over the visiting Hurricane of Tulsa.

Billed to be a top-50 matchup between the two teams heading into the match initially, Tulsa (8-4) had moved up in the latest ITA Team Rankings released earlier today, from No. 36 to No. 33; while the Jayhawks, previously No. 42 in the nation, remained in the top-50 at No. 50.

The Jayhawks got out to an early lead by earning the doubles point with wins on courts one and two. After Tulsa claimed the match at the No. 3 position, KU sophomore Sonia Smagina and her partner, freshman Carmen Roxana Manu, the nationally ranked 32nd-duo in the NCAA took care of Tulsa’s Megan Hopton and Laia Conde Monfort on court two, 6-2. Shortly thereafter, No. 46-ranked sophomore Malkia Ngounoue and her partner, freshman Luniuska Delgado, beat Golden Hurricanes Martina Okalova and Vera Ploner, 6-3, to claim the doubles point for the Jayhawks and put them ahead on the scoreboard, 1-0, heading into singles play.

KU kept its momentum going, winning five of the six individual matches played this afternoon. Senior Maria Toran Ribes defeated Lian Benedejcic of Tulsa, 6-3, 6-1, to earn another quick point for the Jayhawks on court six. In the visiting team’s lone victory of the day, Tulsa’s Monfort beat Delgado, 6-4, 6-1, at the No. 4 position, making the overall match score 2-1 in favor of the home team. KU then went to work, finishing out the match with four-straight victories inside the Jayhawk Tennis Center. No. 74-ranked Smagina bested No. 92 Okalova in a hard-fought contest, 6-2, 7-6 (8-6) on court one. Manu defeated Ploner, 6-2, 4-6, 6-4, at No. 3 singles while fellow Kansas freshman Vasiliki Karvouni put away Tulsa’s Marina Davtyan on court six by scores of 6-3, 7-5. On court two, Ngounoue and Tulsa’s Shura Poppe battled it out until the very end, with the Jayhawk sophomore coming out on top, 7-5, 3-6, 6-4, to end today’s competition.

“It was great to start the match off today picking up the doubles point,” said Kansas head coach Todd Chapman. “We have struggled some with our doubles play this season and that has been a point of emphasis the last couple of weeks in practice. “I thought the team did a good job competing in singles today, especially after getting into some tough situations. Today was a solid win over a quality opponent. We have a quick turnaround and have to get ready for two great opportunities this weekend at Illinois and Northwestern.”

#50 KANSAS 6, #33 TULSA 1
#74 Sonia Smagina (KU) def. #92 Martina Okalova (TLS-W) 6-2, 7-6 (8-6)
Malkia Ngounoue (KU) def. Shura Poppe (TLS-W) 7-5, 3-6, 6-4
Carmen Roxana Manu (KU) def. Vera Ploner (TLS-W) 6-2, 4-6, 6-4
Laia Conde Monfort (TLS-W) def. Luniuska Delgado (KU) 6-4, 6-1
Maria Toran Ribes (KU) def. Lian Benedejcic (TLS-W) 6-3, 6-1
Vasiliki Karvouni (KU) def. Marina Davtyan (TLS-W) 6-3, 7-5

#46 Malkia Ngounoue/Luniuska Delgado (KU) def. #43 Martina Okalova/Vera Ploner (TLS-W) 6-3
#32 Sonia Smagina/Carmen Roxana Manu (KU) def. Megan Hopton/Laia Conde Monfort (TLS-W) 6-2
Elodie Foster/Shura Poppe (TLS-W) def. Maria Toran Ribes/Julia Deming (KU) 6-1

Tulsa 8-4; National ranking#33
Kansas 4-4; National ranking #50
Order of finish: Doubles (3,2,1); Singles (5,4,1,3,6,2)

The Jayhawks are on the road this weekend, traveling to the state of Illinois for a pair of matches. On Friday, Feb. 28 the Jayhawks will take on the Fighting Illini of Illinois at 3 p.m., in Champaign. Two days later, Kansas will face Northwestern at noon in Evanston.