No. 15 Jayhawks win Big 12 opener against No. 38 Baylor, 4-1
#15 Kansas 4, #38 Baylor 1
Order of Finish: 1, 3
Order of Finish: 4, 2, 3, 5
LAWRENCE, Kan. – The Kansas women’s tennis team won its first Big 12 Conference match of the season after a 4-1 victory over Baylor Friday on the outdoor courts at the Jayhawk Tennis Center.
The dominant win moved Kansas to 9-3 on the season and 1-0 in conference play. Baylor’s record is now 8-7 and 0-1, respectively.
Kansas came out strong in doubles with the No. 25-ranked duo of Nina Khmelnitckaia and Anastasia Rychagova taking a commanding 6-1 win against Kris Sorokolet and Jessica Hinojosa on court one. At the No. 3 spot, Despoina Vogasari and Maria Toran Ribes led Theresa Van Zyl and Giorgia Testa throughout their match to end with a 6-3 victory and give Kansas the doubles point.
“I thought we came out and played with great energy in doubles,” said head coach Todd Chapman. “We competed really well at all three spots. That set the tone for the rest of the match, which was good to see.”
Khmelnitckaia downed Angie Shakhraichuk, 6-1, to take the first set on court four. Khmelnitckaia held the lead throughout her second set and with the score at 5-3, 40-40, Shakhraichuk was set to serve the last point. After a double fault, Khmelnitckaia won the match, 6-1, 6-3, to give Kansas a 2-0 lead.
No. 119 Vogasari played a close first set with every point going back and forth with the Bears’ Sorokolet on court two. The Jayhawk won two in-a-row to come out on top with a 6-4 first-set win. Vogasari cruised through her second set to claim the match victory, 6-4, 6-1, and extend KU’s lead to 3-0.
Toran Ribes outlasted Livia Kraus’ short comeback in the first, winning it 6-3, at the No. 5 position. Toran Ribes and Kraus had four ties in their second set, but Toran Ribes prevailed after winning two-consecutive games for a, 6-3, 6-4, win and the match-clinching point for the Jayhawks.
“In singles I thought we competed,” said Chapman. “Conditions are tough and things are a little slower in this kind of weather. We stuck with it and kept competing and playing. Whether it was great tennis by both sides, I don’t know. At the end of the day I thought we emotionally stayed where we needed to be to have a chance to be successful.”
No. 3-ranked Rychagova only went down once to Baylor’s top player, Van Zyl. Rychagova won two-straight to take the first set, 6-4. Rychagova’s second set was stopped at 4-2 due to the match being clinched on court five.
Tatiana Nikolaeva was not able to overcome Hinjosa in the first set on court six, falling, 6-4. Nikolaeva battled back from being down 5-2 in her second set to Hingjosa to take a 6-5 lead. This match was also unfinished due to the game winner on court five.
Playing on court three, Janet Koch led a majority of the first set, but ultimately fell to Camilla Abbate, 6-4, in the first set. Camilla defeated Koch in the second to win the match, 6-4, 6-1, and earn Baylor’s only point of the day.
Playing at No. 3, Koch and Nikolaeva came back from being down against Shakhraichuk and Dominka Sujova to tie it at 3-3 before their match was stopped with them at a one-point deficit, 4-3, due to the point being clinched on court two.
“We’ve got a tough one on Friday,” said Chapman. “We’ll celebrate this one now, but starting (Tuesday) we’ve got to get back to work. We’ve got a very good Texas team coming here and we expect their best.”
Next, Kansas will host No. 14 Texas Friday at 5 p.m., at the Jayhawk Tennis Center.
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