Khmelnitckaia opens ITA Nationals with victory
SURPRISE, Ariz. – Senior Jayhawk Nina Khmelnitckaia began the ITA National Fall Championships tournament with a win in the opening round of singles competition in Surprise, Arizona, at the Surprise Tennis and Racquet Complex on Wednesday.
Overall, the Kansas tennis team did not get off to the start it wanted in the opening round of the main singles bracket. Senior Janet Koch, the No. 124-ranked singles player, was bested by Vanderbilt’s No. 30-ranked Christina Rosca, 6-3, 4-6, 6-3 in her opening match. Kansas junior Maria Toran Ribes took to the court against No. 4-ranked Ashley Lahey of Pepperdine and was defeated, 6-1, 6-2. Khmelnitckaia, the ITA’s No. 106-ranked singles player presseason, was victorious over No. 92-ranked Ole Miss Rebel Tea Jandric, 6-3, 6-7 (2), 6-3.
In doubles play the Kansas tandem of Khmelnitckaia and Koch faced off against the No. 8 doubles team of Arizona State’s Iize Hattingh and Lauryn John Baptise. The KU duo fell short as they were defeated in three sets, 6-3, 7-5, 1-0 (2).
Live scoring will be available for the tournament here. The final matches of the singles and doubles championships, to be played Sunday, Nov. 11, will be live streamed on ESPN3 and the ESPN App.
Kansas head coach Todd Chapman
On the opening day of the ITA National Fall Championships:
“There are days where the scoreboard is in your favor at the end of competition and days where it isn’t in your favor. Competitors have the opportunity to learn from both situations and apply it to their next opportunity. We are looking forward to the opportunity to do both Thursday.”
No. 106 Khmelnickaia (Kansas) def. No. 92 Jandric (Ole Miss), 6-3, 6-7 (2), 6-3
No. 30 Rosca (Vanderbilt) def. No. 124 Koch (Kansas), 6-3, 4-6, 6-3
No. 4 Lahey (Pepperdine) def. Toran Ribes (Kansas), 6-1, 6-2
No. 8 Hattingh/John Baptise (Arizona State) def. Khmelnitckaia/Koch (Kansas), 3-6, 7-5, 1-0 (2)
The ITA National Fall Championships continue Thursday with the round of 32 singles main and consolation brackets as well as the round of 16 doubles main and consolation brackets. Play will begin at 8 a.m., local time at the Surprise Tennis and Racquet Complex in Surprise, Arizona.
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