🎾 Strong Singles Action Lift Jayhawks Over Shockers, 6-1
LAWRENCE, Kan. – No. 19 Kansas responded from dropping the doubles point to secure six singles matches to pocket a 6-1 win over Wichita State on Sunday at the Jayhawk Tennis Center.
KU concludes opening weekend 2-0 on the year while WSU falls to 1-2.
Wichita State jumped to an early lead, winning the doubles point Sunday afternoon. The Shockers took courts one and two, putting the Jayhawks at a disadvantage as they headed into singles play. Kansas duo Maria Toran Ribes and Carmen Roxana Manu posted KU’s only doubles win from court three, besting Natsumi Kurahashi and Alexandra Lazarova, 6-3.
“Today was a good battle against a very well-coached Wichita State team,” said Kansas head coach Todd Chapman. “We started out flat on a couple of doubles courts, and we have to get better in that area. Doubles is about energy, and we didn’t bring what we needed to consistently.”
Kansas responded accordingly in singles play, winning on all six courts, which included a come-from-behind win by freshman Manu. Toran Ribes notched the first singles match when she defeated Natsumi Kurahashi of WSU, 6-1, 6-1. No. 63 Sonia Smagina would later down Sarvinoz Saidhujaeva of WSU in straight sets, 6-2, 6-3. Freshman Luniuska Delgado also closed out the day with a two-setter, 6-4, 6-3.
The last three matches were electric, as both teams battled each other to the wire. No. 93 Malkia Ngounoue defeated Esther Thebault in a back-and-forth contest, which resulted in a 7-5, 6-4 victory for the sophomore.
Both Vasiliki Karvouni and Manu took their opponents to tie-breakers. Clinching the match for KU was Karvouni, who held on to a 6-3, 7-6 triumph over Marta Bellucco. Manu rallied a come-from-behind effort where she posted an impressive 5-7, 7-6, 10-6 win over WSU’s Alexandra Lazarova.
“In singles, I thought our competitiveness was better, and we were definitely pushed into some uncomfortable situations,” said Chapman. “I thought the team did a good job of stepping up and playing the right way in the big moments. We look forward to hosting the ITA Kickoff tournament next weekend and will work hard this week to be prepared.”
#63 Sonia Smagina (KU) def. Sarvinoz Saidhujaeva (WSU) 6-2, 6-3
#93 Malkia Ngounoue (KU) def. Esther Thebault (WSU) 7-5, 6-4
Luniuska Delgado (KU) def. Lingwei Kong (WSU) 6-4, 6-3
Carmen Roxana Manu (KU) def. Alexandra Lazarova (WSU) 5-7, 7-6, 10-6
Vasiliki Karvouni (KU) def. Marta Bellucco (WSU) 6-3, 7-6
Maria Toran Ribes (KU) def. Natsumi Kurahashi (WSU) 6-1, 6-1
#53 Bellucco/Saidhujaeva (WSU) def. Ngounoue/Delgado (KU) 6-2
Thebault/Kong (WSU) def. Smagina/Karvouni (KU) 6-3
Toran Ribes/Manu (KU) def. Kurahashi/Lazarova (WSU) 6-3
Kansas hosts the ITA Kickoff Weekend on Friday, January 24th, and Saturday, January 25th. The Jayhawks will face No. 22 Tennessee in the first round Friday. Both the Championship and second-round consolation match will be on Saturday. The winner of the championship match will advance to the National Team Indoors at the University of Illinois in February.