KU singles play highlights day one of the FGCU Invitational

FORT MYERS, Fla. – The Kansas women’s tennis team ended with six singles wins and one doubles win on the first day of the FGCU Spring Invitational in Fort Myers, Florida at the FGCU Tennis Complex.
Facing Rice in six of its seven singles matches, Kansas nearly swept the Owls by winning five of the six. No. 94-ranked Despoina Vogasari defeated Wendy Zhang, 6-1, 6-1. Nina Khmelnitckaia, who is ranked No. 112, topped Michaela Haet in three sets, 4-6, 6-2, 6-2. No. 90 Janet Koch was pushed to a tiebreaker in her second set, but held on to beat Lindsey Hodge, 6-3, 7-6 (3).
Tatiana Nikolaeva prevailed after three sets to win her match, 3-6, 6-2, 7-6 (2), against Anna Bowtell. Maria Toran Ribes battled in both sets to top Priya Niezgoda, 7-6 (2), 7-6 (3). Carla Pons Martorell was not able to complete the sweep against Sofie Moenster, dropping her match, 6-4, 6-2.
Playing the Jayhawks’ seventh singles match, Amber Policare came out on top after three sets against Florida Gulf Coast’s Sofia Blanno, 6-1, 3-6, 6-1.
“(Saturday) was a great start of the season,” said head coach Todd Chapman. “We were really challenged in doubles. I think it was a wake-up call that the season has started and a reminder of the competitiveness and professionalism we need to play with every point. We responded really well in singles and played with toughness and grit. South Carolina, Ole Miss and Rice are all great programs and definitely gave us a great idea of where we are at to start the season.”
Koch and Toran Ribes notched Kansas’ only doubles win of the day, defeating Allie Sanford and Tereza Janatova of Ole Miss, 6-4. The Jayhawks dropped their other two matches against the Rebels with Vogasari and Nikolaeva falling, 6-3, to No. 22-ranked Natalie Suk and Sabina Machalova. Facing Tea Jandric and Anna Vrbenska, ranked No. 58 in the doubles poll, the duo of Khmelnitckaia and Policare lost the match, 6-1.
Playing another round of doubles against South Carolina, Kansas went winless. Vogasari and Nikolaeva fell to Paige Cline and Ingrid Gamarra Martins, 6-3. Koch and Toran Ribes battled in a tough match, but ultimately dropped the match to Hadley Berg and Silvia Chinellato, 7-5. Khmelnitckaia and Policare were not able to overcome the duo of Rachel Rohrabacher and Megan Davies, falling 6-1.
Sunday the Jayhawks will face FGCU in doubles at 8 a.m., CT with singles following against Ole Miss.
Day One Results
Cline/Martins (USC) def. Vogasari/Nikolaeva (KU) 6-3
Berg/Chinellato (USC) def. Koch/Toran Ribes (KU) 7-5
Rohrabacher/Davies (USC) def. Khmelnitckaia/Policare (KU) 6-1
Suk/Machalova (UM) def. Vogasari/Nikolaeva (KU) 6-3
Koch/Toran Ribes (KU) def. Sanford/Janatova (UM) 6-4
Jandric/Vrbenska (UM) def. Khmelnitckaia/Policare (KU) 6-1
Vogasari (KU) def. Zhang (RU) 6-1, 6-1
Koch (KU) def. Hodge (RU) 6-3, 7-6 (3)
Khmelnitckaia (KU) def. Haet (RU) 4-6, 6-2, 6-2
Toran Ribes (KU) def. Niezgoda (RU) 7-6 (2), 7-6 (3)
Nikolaeva (KU) def. Bowtell (RU) 3-6, 6-2, 7-6 (2)
Moenster (RU) def. Pons Martorell (KU) 6-4, 6-2
Policare (KU) def. Blanno (FGCU) 6-1, 3-6, 6-1
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