Khmelnitckaia and Koch go undefeated again
FORT WORTH, Texas – Kansas seniors Nina Khmelnitckaia and Janet Koch combined for a perfect 4-0 mark for the second-straight round Saturday during the third day of the Big 5 Challenge. In all, the Jayhawks finished play with an 8-1 showing in singles and doubles action.
Koch earned the biggest victory of the day with a come-from-behind 4-6, 6-3, 6-1 win over No. 39-ranked Jaeda Daniel from Auburn. Khmelnitckaia notched her second-straight singles victory of the fall with a 6-2, 6-2 win over Taylor Russo, also from Auburn.
Each of KU’s three doubles matches also resulted in victory over Auburn. Khmelnitckaia and freshman Malkia Ngounoue needed an extended set to beat Daniel and Madeline Meredith (7-5). Koch and Maria Toran Ribes teamed up in a 6-2 victory over Russo and Caroline Turner. Freshmen Julia Deming and Sonia Smagina downed Annabella Bowen and Lindsay Song (6-4) to complete the doubles sweep.
Ngounoue’s strong debut continued as she was victorious over Meredith (6-0, 6-3). Toran Ribes outlasted Turner (6-2, 6-4), while Smagina triumphed over Bowen (6-0, 6-0). Deming nearly pulled off the Kansas sweep, but fell in a three-set match to Song (7-6, 3-6, 10-6).
“We had a really solid day against quality competition,” head coach Todd Chapman said. “We competed really well and set a really good tone as a team. We look forward to the opportunity to finish the tournament off in strong fashion Sunday.”
The Big 5 Challenge concludes Sunday, with competition starting at 8:45 a.m., for the Jayhawks. Live scoring is not available for the tournament.
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