Kansas seniors make history
PACIFIC PALISADES, Calif. and WACO, Texas – Kansas seniors Nina Khmelnitckaia and Janet Koch were victorious in their quarterfinal match in the doubles bracket main draw of the ITA All-American Championships at the Riviera Tennis Club Friday. The Jayhawks’ win marks the first time a Kansas doubles team has advanced all the way to the semifinals at the prestigious Riviera ITA All-American Championships.
Khmelnitckaia and Koch defeated Arizona State’s No. 8-ranked Lauryn John-Baptiste and Ilze Hattingh, 8-6. Kansas, the only university with two doubles teams entering the main draw quarterfinals of the doubles bracket, had its other doubles team, consisting of Anastasia Rychagova and Sonia Smagina, come up short in their match.
Another Jayhawk milestone was achieved Friday as Rychagova advanced to the quarterfinals of the singles main draw. The Moscow, Russia, native took to the court against Melissa Lord of Stanford, who is ranked No. 13 nationally, in the singles main draw round of 16. The No. 6-ranked Kansas senior claimed the first set from Lord, 6-2, and the final set, 6-3, to send her to the quarterfinals. Rychagova’s historic run ended in the quarterfinal round as Vanderbilt’s No. 7-ranked Fernanda Contreras bested her, 6-1, 6-1.
In addition, members of Jayhawk squad are also participating in the H-E-B Invitational in Waco. Yet another KU doubles team made headlines Friday as junior Maria Toran Ribes and freshman Malkia Ngounoue advanced to the semifinals after winning two doubles matches. In the opening match Toran Ribes and Ngounoue defeated the Sam Houston State duo of Karla De La Luz Montalvo and Ema Barkovic, 6-2. The Jayhawk duo triumphed in their quarterfinal match as they defeated yet another Sam Houston State duo, Petra Kaszas and Sahaja and Yamalapalli, 7-5.
Assistant coach Caroline Lilley
On Kansas’ two doubles teams competing at the Riviera ITA All-American Championships:
“I am really proud of how these four (Khmelnitckaia, Koch, Rychagova and Smagina) competed. Sonia and Anastasia saw their tournaments come to an end, but they have a lot to be proud of.”
On the play of Nina and Janet:
“Nina and Janet are playing decisive, aggressive doubles, and enjoying every competitive situation they find themselves in. I love how they are choosing to respond to adversity, as that is something that is entirely within their control.”
On the singles play of Anastasia:
“Anastasia fought with dignity and put herself in some great situations. As she continues to play more she will gain that invaluable match toughness that can only be developed through competing.”
Head coach Todd Chapman
On day one of the H-E-B Invitational:
“We had a solid first day of competition Friday. The girls played some strong tennis at times and we found out some things we need to work on moving forward. The conditions were hot, and it was good for us to have to play in that kind of environment. We look forward to another opportunity to grow Saturday as competitors.”
· Khmelnitckaia and Koch become the first doubles team in school history to make the semifinals of the Riviera ITA All-American Championships.
· Rychagova made another mark in the Kansas record books after advancing to the quarterfinal round of the singles main bracket of the Riviera ITA All-American Championships.
Riviera ITA All-American Championships
Khmelnitckaia/Koch (Kansas) def. #8 Baptiste/Hattingh (Arizona State), 8-6
#24 Blanco/Rioux (Oklahoma State) def. Rychagova/Smagina (Kansas), 8-3
#6 Rychagova (Kansas) def. #13 Melissa Lord (Stanford), 6-2, 6-3
#7 Fernanda Contreras (Vanderbilt) def. #6 Rychagova (Kansas), 6-1, 6-1
Toran Ribes/Ngounoue (Kansas) def. De La Luz Montalvo/Barkovic (Sam Houston State), 6-2
Deming/Perez-Mur (Kansas/Texas) def. Kaszas/Yamalapalli (Sam Houston State), 6-3
Toran Ribes/Ngounoue (Kansas) def. Sujova/Hinojosa (Baylor), 7-5
Ngounoue (Kansas) def. Alexandra Heczey (North Texas), 6-1, 7-6
Toran Ribes (Kansas) def. Anna Brogan (Tyler Junior College), 6-2, 7-6
Isidora Zivkovic (Sam Houston State) def. Deming (Kansas), 7-6, 6-4
Kristina Sorokolet (Baylor) def. Ngounoue (Kansas), 6-4, 2-3 (default)
Toran Ribes (Kansas) def. Rosalie Gerritsen (Sam Houston State), 6-2, 6-3
Deming (Kansas) def. Babic (North Texas), 6-2, 6-2
In the semifinals Saturday, Khmelnitckaia and Koch will take on the nation’s No. 14-ranked doubles team in Wichita State’s Fatima Bizhukova and Marta Bellucco, at 12:30 p.m., local time from the Riviera Tennis Club in Pacific Palisades, California.
Toran Ribes and Ngounoue will look to advance to the finals in the doubles bracket of the H-E-B Invitational as they are set to taken on Tyler Junior College’s Anna Brogan and Maria Genovese Saturday afternoon at 3:30 p.m. In singles play, Toran Ribes will play in the quarterfinal match against Texas’ Katie Poluta, at 9 a.m. If she advances the semifinal match, that is scheduled to take place at 1 p.m., Saturday afternoon. Kansas freshman Julia Deming is slated to begin her day against Minying Liang of North Texas at 9 a.m. All matches will be played at the Hurd Tennis Center in Waco, Texas. Live scoring will be available for all matches through:http://www.sidearmstats.com/baylor/wten/
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