KU doubles tandem knocked out of NCAA Championship
ATHENS, Ga. – The Kansas doubles team of senior Tess Bernard-Feigenbaum and sophomore Nina Khmelnitckaia had its championship run come to an end Friday at the Dan Magill Tennis Complex in Athens, Georgia.
With a win against the No. 2-overall seed Thursday, the No. 37-ranked Jayhawk duo faced Denver’s No. 17-ranked pair of Julia O’Loughlin and Maureen Slattery Friday in the Round of 16.
“First of all, congratulations to Denver,” said head coach Todd Chapman. “They played the big points better than us and played with great energy. Six weeks ago, Nina and Tess were in a rut and making the NCAA Doubles Championship was a long shot.”
KU took a 1-0 lead in the first set after a smash by Khmelnitckaia, but dropped the next two games. After holding serve in the seventh game, Bernard-Feigenbaum and Khmelnitckaia broke serve at love in the following game to tie the set, 4-4. Denver bounced back and broke the Jayhawks’ serve in game nine before winning the deuce point in game 10 for a 6-4 set win.
After dropping the first set, Kansas was looking for its second-straight comeback to advance. The Jayhawk duo jumped out to a 1-0 start again in the second set, but DU broke serve in the third game and didn’t look back with a hold to love victory in game 4 to take a 3-1 set lead. KU took game five, but then Denver won the last three games to claim the match with a 6-2 set-two win.
“We are very proud of them for turning their season around and making it to the sweet sixteen,” said Chapman. “They both have a lot to be proud of and hopefully they both gained great experience that will help them both on the court and in life.”
Bernard-Feigenbaum and Khmelnitckaia end the season with an overall record of 22-11, including a career-high win against a ranked opponent in Mississippi State’s No. 2-ranked Jasmine Lee and Lisa Marie Rioux.
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