Kansas doubles teams advance to finals
PACIFIC PALISADES, Calif. and WACO, Texas – For the first time in Kansas women’s tennis history, a doubles team has advanced to the finals in the prestigious Riviera ITA All-American Championships. The senior duo of Nina Khmelnitckaia and Janet Koch triumphed in their semifinal match at the Riviera Tennis Club Saturday over a fellow Sunflower State team.
Khmelnitckaia, a Moscow, Russia native, and Koch, from Durbanville, South Africa, bested No. 14 Wichita State’s Fatima Bizhukova and Marta Bellucco, 6-3, 7-6 (5). The KU duo will matchup against No. 17-ranked Caroline Lampl and Kimberly Yee of Stanford in Sunday’s final at 11 a.m., local, with a chance at a tournament title on the line.
Another Jayhawk milestone was achieved Saturday as junior Maria Toran Ribes and freshman Malkia Ngounoue won their third-straight doubles match of the H-E-B Invitational as they defeated Tyler Junior College’s Maria Genovese and Anna Brogan, 6-1, to advance to the finals of the tournament in Waco. They, too, will play for a championship title Sunday morning.
Assistant coach Caroline Lilley
On Nina and Janet advancing to the Riviera ITA All-American Championships final:
“What a doubles match! Throughout the entire match each team continued to step up their level (of play). The second set was fun to watch, and I am really proud of how Nina and Janet stuck together even in the most difficult moments. They enjoy playing together and their synergy and cohesiveness has been unshakable (in) this tournament. Watching them smile and enjoy the process of daily development is really something special.”
Head coach Todd Chapman
On day two of the H-E-B Invitational:
“We were challenged both physically and mentally by some solid competition. That is always our goal when we set up our fall schedule, so I am pleased we were out in some adverse situations. I believe we got better today in our wins and losses, which is good to see at this point of the season. We look forward to competing for a championship Sunday and the opportunity to finish the tournament in a strong fashion.”
· Khmelnitckaia and Koch become the first doubles team in school history to make the finals of the Riviera ITA All-American Championships.
· Toran Ribes and Ngounoue advanced to the finals of the doubles bracket at the H-E-B Invitational.
Riviera ITA All-American Championships
Khmelnitckaia/Koch (Kansas) def. #14 Bizhukova/Bellucco (Wichita State), 6-3, 7-6 (5)
Toran Ribes/Ngounoue (Kansas) def. Genovese/Brogan (TJC), 6-1
Toran Ribes (Kansas) def. Katie Poluta (UT), 6-3, 6-2
Deming (Kansas) def. Minying Liang (North Texas), 7-5, 7-6
Ngounoue (Kansas) def. Perez-Mur (UT), 6-4, 6-0
Fernanda Labrana (UT) def. Toran Ribes (Kansas), 2-6, 6-2, 6-2
Summer Yardley (TJC) def. Deming (Kansas), 6-2, 3-6, 10-8
In the Riviera ITA All-American Championships main draw doubles final Sunday, Khmelnitckaia and Koch will take on No. 17-ranked Caroline Lampl and Kimberly Yee of Stanford at 11 a.m., local time from the Riviera Tennis Club in Pacific Palisades, California.
Toran Ribes and Ngounoue will play either LSU’s Luba Vasilyuk and Paris Corley or Texas’ Fernanda Labrana and Katie Poluta in the H-E-B Invitational doubles’ final at 10 a.m., local time at the Hurd Tennis Center. Live scoring will be available for the match at: http://www.sidearmstats.com/baylor/wten/.
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