KU opens Hawaii Invite with six victories

LAHAINA, Hawaii – Sophomore Nina Khmelnitckaia and freshman Tatiana Nikolaeva accounted for four of the six victories posted by the Kansas tennis team Thursday on the first day at the Hawaii Spring Invitational at the Royal Lahaina Tennis Ranch on the island of Maui.
The three-team tournament, which also includes Washington State and host Hawaii, opened with doubles play and KU claimed two of its three matches.  Khmelnitckaia and senior Tess Bernard-Feigenbaum teamed up to down Hawaii’s Cindy Nguyen and Petra Melounova, while Kansas’ freshman Maria Toran Ribes and Nikolaeva topped Hawaii’s Michelle Pits and Klara Pribylova. Each match resulted a 6-4 Jayhawk victory.
The only doubles loss was a 6-3 defeat for KU’s Anastasia Rychagova and Janet Koch to Washington State’s Barbora Michalkova and Guzal Yusupova.
In singles play, the Jayhawks earned four wins in six matches led by No. 65-ranked Rychagova, who cruised to a 6-2, 6-1 victory over Washington State’s Yusupova. Khmelnitckaia claimed her second win of the day with a 7-5, 6-4 decision over Hawaii’s Roxanne Resma.
KU’s Nikolaeva added to her doubles victory with a 6-2, 6-0 singles win over Hawaii’s Alzbeta Houbova. Koch topped Hawaii’s Marina Hruba, 6-2, 6-1, to round out the Jayhawks’ singles wins.
Even though Toran Ribes and Bernard-Feigenbaum came out on the short end in singles play for the Jayhawks, both battled before eventually falling in three sets.  Toran Ribes fell in a three-set tiebreaker, 6-4, 4-6, 7-6 (7), to WSU’s  
Aneta Miksovska. Hawaii’s Petra Melounova, ranked No. 119 nationally, edged Bernard-Feigenbaum, 7-6, 7-5, 6-2.
“(Thursday) was a solid start to the spring season,” head coach Todd Chapman said. “We had some players on the team have some really strong performances for this early in the year. We were put in some uncomfortable situations in a few matches and it definitely let us see what we need to work on. We look forward to another tough day of competition (Friday) and we look forward to more opportunities to continue to improve.”

Play continues Friday with both singles and doubles action.

Barbora Michalkova/Guzal Yusupova (WSU) def. Anastasia Rychagova/Janet Koch (KU) 6-4
Nina Khmelnitckaia/Tess Bernard-Feigenbaum (KU) def. Cindy Nguyen/Petra Melounova (UH) 6-4
Maria Toran Ribes/Tatiana Nikolaeva (KU) def. Michelle Pits/Klara Pribylova (UH) 6-4

No. 65 Anastasia Rychagova (KU) def. Guzal Yusupova (WSU) 6-2, 6-1
Aneta Miksovska (WSU) def. Maria Toran Ribes (KU) 6-4, 4-6, 7-6 (7)
No. 119 Petra Melounova (UH) def. Tess Bernard-Feigenbaum (KU) 7-6, 5-7, 6-2
Janet Koch (KU) def. Marina Hruba (UH) 6-2, 6-1
Nina Khmelnitckaia (KU) def. Roxanne Resma (UH) 7-5, 6-4
Tatiana Nikolaeva (KU) def. Alzbeta Houbova (UH) 6-2, 6-0
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