RCW: Sport Spotlight 4.18 (Tennis)
We have been waiting 68 days to say this, but it’s MATCH DAY!!!?? ?? ??
— Kansas Tennis (@KansasTennis) January 13, 2018
Kicking off its spring season, the Kansas women’s tennis team spent the weekend in Fort Myers, Florida, at the Florida Gulf Coast University (FGCU) Invitational.
Tatiana Nikolaeva swept her singles matches and extended her current win streak to four-consecutive victories. She is now 8-7 during the 2017-18 season, including 6-4 in her last 10 competitions. The sophomore from Togliatti, Russia, defeated opponents from Rice, No. 23 Ole Miss and No. 15 South Carolina.
“I think this past weekend the team came out ready to compete and I’m very proud of everyone,” said Nikolaeva. “The energy that everyone brought to every match helped me to stay focused, show a good game and compete well. I’m very happy how I played in singles. I feel like my game is improving and I’m getting more and more confidence with every match I play. This tournament was just a beginning and I’m so excited for what we can do this season as a team.”
No. 94-ranked Despoina Vogasari notched a pair of wins to move to 11-5 on the season. Vogasari had a commanding, 6-1, 6-1 win over Wendy Zhang of Rice to open the weekend. She then went toe-to-toe with No. 50-ranked Arianne Hartono of Ole Miss before falling, 7-5, 7-6 (6). Vogasari bounced back from the loss to down Mia Horvit of South Carolina, 6-3, 6-4, to end the weekend with a victory.
Nina Khmelnitckaia, who is ranked as the No. 112 individual in the nation, also earned a pair of singles wins while in Florida. She began the weekend by defeating Michaela Haet of Rice in three sets, 4-6, 6-2, 6-2. Khmelnitckaia’s second win came against South Carolina’s Gamarra Martins, 6-3, 6-4. Her two wins improved the junior’s singles record to 9-4 for the season.
Janet Koch and Maria Toran Ribes teamed up for doubles competition and claimed two wins. First, the duo defeated Allie Sanford and Tereza Janatova of Ole Miss, 6-4. On the second and final day of doubles, the Jayhawk pair downed Sofia Perez and Bridget Forster of FGCU, 6-2.
Next up, Kansas will travel to Ann Arbor, Michigan, where it will face the No. 10-ranked Wolverines on Sunday, January 21 at 12 p.m., at the Varsity Tennis Center.