KU netters fall short, 4-3, to Arkansas
Anastasia Rychagova returned a point during her 6-2, 6-3 No. 1 singles win.
Arkansas 4, Kansas 3
Jayhawk Tennis Center
February 11, 2017
|No. 1||Khmelnitckaia/Bernard-Feigenbaum (KU) def. Oparenovic/Jurasic (UA) 6-2|
|No. 2||Pairone/Hudson (UA) def. Koch/Rychagova (KU) 6-2|
|No. 3||Arakawa/Cepelyte (UA) def. Toran Ribes/Nikolaeva (KU) 6-4|
Order of Finish: 2, 1, 3
|No. 1||#50 Rychagova (KU) def. #47 Hudson (UA) 6-2, 6-3|
|No. 2||#t103 Oparenovic (UA) def. Koch (KU) 6-4, 7-5|
|No. 3||Jurasic (UA) def. Bernard-Feigenbaum (KU) 7-6 (4), 6-4|
|No. 4||Khmelnitckaia (KU) def. Arakawa (UA) 6-4, 6-3|
|No. 5||Pairone (UA) def. Toran Ribes (KU) 6-2, 6-3|
|No. 6||Nikolaeva (KU) vs. Cepelyte (UA) 4-6, 6-2, 6-2|
LAWRENCE, Kan. – The Kansas tennis team couldn’t rally behind sophomore Nina Khmelnitckaia’s pair of wins and fell to Arkansas, 4-3, Saturday on the outdoor courts at the Jayhawk Tennis Center.
Khmelnitckaia and No. 1 doubles partner Tess Bernard-Feigenbaum started the day with a 6-2 win over Ana Oparenovic and Mia Jurasic of Arkansas. The No. 19-ranked duo improved to 14-4 on the season and have won nine of their last 10 matches. Despite the win, Arkansas won the other two doubles matches to claim the first point.
Khmelnitckaia went on to top Natsuho Arakawa, 6-4, 6-3, at No. 4 singles. She has now won six-consecutive matches with an overall singles record of 13-5 and 7-1 in spring play.
“(Khmelnitckaia) is playing good tennis all around and has been for weeks,” said head coach Todd Chapman. “Whatever she’s eating, whatever she’s drinking, whatever she’s doing, she needs to keep doing it. At the end of the day, she’s working hard. She’s engaged everyday in practice and that’s where it pays off. It’s been fun to watch and I’m proud of her for it. We can’t get too excited about it. We have to continue to work so the results continue to be the way they are.”
No. 50 Anastasia Rychagova capped her day with a top-50 win after defeating the Razorbacks’ No. 47-ranked Shannon Hudson in a two-set match, 6-2, 6-3. Rychagova is now 6-2 this season against ranked opponents.
Tatiana Nikolaeva battled back for a three-set win over Agne Cepelyte, 4-6, 6-2, 6-2, at No. 6 singles, giving the Jayhawks their third point and marking Nikolaeva’s second win in dual play.
“I think (this kind of match) has been coming for her (Nikolaeva) for a couple of weeks,” said Chapman. “After getting down 4-1 she played good tennis, she just didn’t close it out in the first set. She controlled things and enjoyed playing. She finally settled in and played the way she’s capable of and it was a great result for her.”
Jurasic claimed a first set tiebreaker to open the No. 3 singles match against Bernard-Feigenbaum, 7-6 (7-4), and carried that momentum to the decisive match victory. Jurasic won the second set 6-4 to give the Razorbacks the win.
Janet Koch wasn’t able to top No. 103-ranked Oparenovic at No. 2 singles and dropped a tough match, 6-4, 7-5. Koch and Rychagova couldn’t overcome the pair of Giulia Pairone and Hudson, losing their doubles match, 6-2.
Maria Toran Ribes and Nikolaeva couldn’t top Arkansas’ Arakawa and Cepelyte, with the Razorbacks winning, 6-4. Toran Ribes dropped her No. 5 singles match to Pairone, 6-2, 6-3.
“We’ve got to work on our doubles a little bit,” said Chapman. “We’ve got to make some changes there in how we’re preparing and mindset wise. I think we’ll do that this week and hopefully play a little bit better doubles next Friday.”
The Jayhawks are back on the road for three-straight matches outside of Lawrence beginning with Friday’s contest at Wichita State. The match is slated for 5 p.m.
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