No. 16 Kansas loses close battle to No. 10 Oklahoma State

STILLWATER, Okla. – No. 16 Kansas tennis began day two of the ITA Kick-Off Weekend the same way it started day one, with a sweep in doubles play. In the end, the match went down to the wire as Oklahoma State defeated the Jayhawks, 4-3.
The Jayhawks’ No. 27-ranked tandem of Anastasia Rychagova and Sonia Smagina were the first Kansas doubles team to earn a win after besting Lisa Marie Rioux and Marina Guinart, 6-4. On court one, Kansas’ fifth-ranked doubles team of Janet Koch and Nina Khmelnitckaia defeated No. 28-ranked Sofia Blanco and Catherine Gulihur, 6-4, giving the Jayhawks the doubles point.
Kansas’ third doubles duo of Malkia Ngounoue and Maria Toran Ribes’ match versus Bunyawi Thamchaiwat and Tamara Arnold ended unfinished at 6-6, since the Jayhawks had already clinched the doubles point with the team’s first two wins.
Jayhawk freshman Ngounoue was the first to finish her singles match, falling short to No. 40-ranked Guinart, 2-6, 6-0, 6-1. Kansas junior Maria Toran Ribes helped the Jayhawks bounce back with a victory over OSU’s Tamara Arnold, 6-3, 7-6(4).
In a matchup between top-35 ranked singles players, No. 34-ranked Koch was bested by No. 21-ranked Katarina Stresnakova, 6-2, 0-6, 6-4. Jayhawk sophomore Plobrung Plipuech was defeated by Lisa Marie Rioux, 7-5, 6-3.
The No. 109-ranked player in the country, senior Rychagova, was victorious over Thamchaiwat, 7-5, 7-5, giving the Jayhawks their third point of the match.
With the score tied at 3-3, the deciding match was a battle between No. 70-ranked Khmelnitckaia and No. 73-ranked Blanco. Ultimately, Khmelnitckaia was topped by Blanco, 6-3, 6-7(6), 6-4, giving Oklahoma State its fourth point and the match.
Kansas head coach Todd Chapman
“We lost a great college tennis match today,” said Chapman. “Hats off to Oklahoma State for making us better today. At the end of the day, they made a couple more big shots than we did. We played another good doubles point and we competed up and down the lineup. OSU is extremely tough to beat at home and we played ourselves into some great situations Saturday. Now we will look to learn from where we came up short in those situations and get better from Saturday’s experience.”
Order of Finish 2, 1
1. No. 5 Koch/Khmelnitckaia (KU) def. No. 28 Blanco/Gulihur (OSU), 6-4
2. No. 27 Rychagova/Smagina (KU) def. Rioux/Guinart (OSU), 6-4
3. Thamchaiwat/Arnold (OSU) vs. Ngounoue/Toran Ribes (KU), 6-6 (unf.)
Order of Finish 4, 6, 2, 3, 1, 5
1. No. 109 Anatasia Rychagova (KU) def. Bunyywai Thamchaiwat (OSU),, 7-5, 7-5
2. TNo. 21 Katarina Stresnakova (OSU) def. No. 34 Janet Koch (KU), 6-2, 0-6, 6-4
3. Lisa Marie Rioux (OSU) def. Plobrung Plipuech (KU), 7-5, 6-3
4. No. 40 Marina Guinart (OSU) def. Malkia Ngounoue (KU), 2-6, 6-0, 6-1
5. No. 73 Sofia Blanco (OSU) def. No. 70 Nina Khmelnitckaia (KU), 6-3, 6-7, 6-4
6. Maria Toran Ribes (KU) def. Tamara Arnold (OSU), 6-3, 7-6(4)
The Jayhawks travel to Wichita, Kansas, to face the Wichita State Shockers on Friday, February 1 at 3 p.m., at the Sheldon Coleman Tennis Complex.