Kansas doubles team advances to semifinals

SURPRISE, and TEMPE, Ariz. – Kansas tennis wrapped up two victories for the second day in a row at the ITA National Fall Championships at the Surprise Tennis and Racquet Complex Friday.
After advancing to the round of 16 in the singles’ consolation bracket on Thursday, senior Jayhawk Janet Koch triumphed in her round of 16 match versus the No. 5-ranked singles player in the country, Syracuse’s Gabriela Knutson, 7-6 (8), 6-2, to advance to the quarterfinals. In her quarterfinal match, Koch took on another nationally ranked opponent in Gonzaga’s Sophie Whittle, but ultimately fell, 6-1, 6-3, to end her run at the tournament.
Following their win on Thursday, Kansas’ doubles tandem of Nina Khmelnitckaia and Koch took on Auburn’s Taylor Russo and Sophia Graver. The Jayhawks’ duo was once again victorious as they defeated the Tiger pair, 6-4, 6-4, on their way to the semifinals.
Freshmen Julia Deming and Plobrung Plipuech won two matches of their own on the opening day of the Arizona State Thunderbird Invitational Friday in Tempe.
Plipuech notched a singles victory in her opening match against Big 12 foe Ioana Gheorghita of Kansas State, 6-2, 6-4. After taking the first set, Deming was ultimately bested by Washington’s Delara Zamani, 3-6, 6-3, 6-2. In doubles play, Deming and Plipuech took on more Wildcats Rosanna Maffei and Maria Ponomareva. The Kansas duo defeated the K-State pair, 6-4.
Kansas head coach Todd Chapman
On the performance of Nina Khmelnitckaia and Janet Koch at the ITA National Fall Championships:
“Friday had its ups and downs, but Janet and Nina definitely ended the day on a high note. They played (a) really high level of doubles against a quality Auburn team. Hopefully, we can take what we learned Friday and apply it to Saturday.”
On the performance of Julia Deming and Plobrung Plipuech at the Arizona State Thunderbird Invitational:
“Julia and Plobrung fought hard, competed very well and played with great energy Friday. They controlled their tactics and their hard work in practice is paying off.”
ITA National Fall Championships
No. 124 Koch (Kansas) def. No. 5 Knutson (Syracuse), 7-6 (8), 6-2
No. 35 Whittle (Gonzaga) def. No. 124 Koch (Kansas), 6-1, 6-3
Khmelnitckaia/Koch (Kansas) def. Russo/Sophia(Auburn), 6-4, 6-4
Arizona State Thunderbird Invitational
Plipuech (Kansas) def. Gheorghita (K-State), 6-2, 6-4
Zamani (Washington) def. Deming (Kansas), 3-6, 6-3, 6-2
Deming/Plipuech (Kansas) def. Maffei/Ponomareva (K-State), 6-4
The ITA National Fall Championships continue Saturday for the Jayhawk duo of Khmelnitckaia and Koch in the doubles consolation semifinal round.

Day two of play at the Arizona State Thunderbird Invitational begins for the Jayhawks as they battle the Michigan Wolverines in doubles. In singles play, Deming and Plipuech take on Big 12 conference rival K-State. Doubles competition begins at 11 a.m., local time, at the Whiteman Tennis Center with singles matches following the conclusion of doubles play.




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