Match Preview: 2019 fall season begins on the road

LAWRENCE, Kan. — Kansas women’s tennis begins its fall season this weekend sending two Jayhawks to the Wahoowa Invitational in Charlottesville, Virginia, and three to the Marliss Gruver Fall Invitational in Auburn, Alabama. Both invitationals start Friday, Sept 20, and lasts throughout the weekend.

Led by seven-year head coach Todd Chapman, the Jayhawks return four letter winners from their 2019 Big 12 Championship team. Kansas posted a 27-win campaign and dominated the conference slate with a 13-2 record. KU’s 2019 effort earned the Jayhawks a No. 13 national ranking in the ITA.

Others returning this fall include sophomores Julia Deming and Sonia Smagina with the addition of four freshmen: Roxana Manu, Luniuska Delgado, Oleksandra Gorchanyuk ad Vasiliki Karvouni.

Highlighting the four returners are senior Maria Toran Ribes and sophomore Malkia Ngounoue. Named to the All-Big 12 singles second team, Ribes posted an 18-5 record in the spring. Ngounoue, who teamed with Ribes, notched a 17-3 performance at the No. 3 position. Both student-athletes were named to the All-Big 12 Doubles Second Team.

During the preseason, Ribes and Malkia Ngounoue earned a top-60 spot on the 2019-20 Preseason ITA DI Doubles National Rankings. The doubles duo checked in at No. 57. In addition, Ribes along Sonia Smagina received individual national nods, coming in at No. 124 and No. 121, respectively.

Marliss Gruver Fall Invitational

The Marliss Gruver Invitational is named after former director of operations, Marliss Gruver, who passed away in the fall of 2017 after a battle with melanoma.


Kansas will be a part of an eight-team field which includes Auburn, Kansas State, Notre Dame, Ole Miss, Penn State, Wisconsin and Yale. There will be two 16-player flights of singles (four rounds) and two 8-team draws of doubles (three rounds). Each flight will have a consolation draw. Start times are 9 a.m. CT on Friday (Sept 20) and Saturday (Sept 21) with Sunday (Sept 22) yet to be determined.


Taking part in the invitational for Kansas is sophomore Julia Deming and freshmen Vasiliki Karvouni and Roxana Manu.

Wahoowa Invitational

A three-day tournament featuring both singles and doubles competition. Doubles will play an eight-game pro set while singles action will be the best 2-of-3 sets with a 10-point tie-break in the third set. Start times are 9 a.m. CT on each day of competition (Fri-Sun).


Representing Kansas in Virginia will be the Maria Toran Ribes and Malkia Ngounoue.