🎾 Ngounoue, Titova Advance to Semifinals at ITA Regionals

IOWA CITY, Iowa – Kansas Tennis has two individuals moving on to the semifinals at the ITA Central Regional Championship after senior Malkia Ngounoue and redshirt-freshman Maria Titova won their quarterfinal matchups on Sunday morning.

Ngounoue improved to 4-0 at regionals with a 6-3, 6-3 victory over Oklahoma’s Ivana Corley on Sunday. The win comes after three other straight-set victories she has posted since Thursday, with wins coming against opponents from Minnesota, Iowa and Tulsa to earn her spot in the semifinals. She will now face Thasaporn Naklo of Iowa State on Monday with a spot in the finals on the line.

Titova has thrived on the other side of the bracket. She punched her ticket to the semifinals with a 6-3, 6-1 win over Rachel Hanford from Minnesota on Sunday. Previously at regionals, Titova has defeated opponents from Minnesota, Nebraska and Oklahoma, dropping just one set on her way into the semifinals. On Monday, she will face Kansas State’s Karine-Marion Job, with the winner advancing to the finals.

Ngounoue and Titova were also paired together in doubles and won their first three matches before being eliminated in the quarterfinals on Sunday. The duo defeated pairs from South Dakota, Omaha and Kansas State before being knocked out on Sunday by Iowa State, 8-4.

Each of the other four players for Kansas – Mariana Manyoma-Velasquez, Julia Deming, Sonia Smagina and Tiffany Lagarde – recorded a victory on Friday in the opening round of regionals. Deming was unable to continue play after that, while each of the other players were knocked out in the second round.

Lagarde and Smagina were paired together for doubles and defeated Arkansas State 7-6(4) in the first round before falling to a team from Minnesota. Deming and Manyoma-Velasquez also got a first-round win in doubles, 6-0 over North Dakota before falling to Iowa State in the second round.

Ngounoue and Titova will return to the court on Monday morning for their semifinal matchups. A victory in the semifinals would not only move either player into the finals, but also qualify them for the ITA Fall National Championship.