No. 16 Kansas sweeps No. 50 Oklahoma on Senior Day
LAWRENCE, Kan. – The No. 16-ranked Kansas women’s tennis team dominated No. 50 Oklahoma, 4-0, Sunday afternoon on Senior Day at the Jayhawk Tennis Center at Rock Chalk Park.
With the win, KU is now 15-5 on the season, 7-2 in Big 12 Conference play and ended the regular season tied for second place. The Sooners moved to 14-11 overall and 4-5 against Big 12 opponents.
“We’re excited to finish second in the conference for two of the last three years,” said head coach Todd Chapman about a feat that hasn’t been accomplished by a Jayhawk team since 1997-98. “Friday didn’t go the way we wanted it to and in the last 36 hours the girls had a lot to think about as far as how we wanted to respond. I think they did a really good job of bouncing back and coming out and setting a tone in doubles.”
In doubles, Despoina Vogasari and Maria Toran Ribes only fell behind once against Simran Kaur Sethi and Camila Romero at the No. 3 spot, to top the Sooner duo, 6-3, to even the playing field at 1-1.
Janet Koch and Amber Policare edged Lily Miyazaki and Malene Stripp, 6-4, on court two to clinch the doubles point and put Kansas up, 1-0, early.
No. 76 Nina Khmelnitckaia and Tatiana NIkolaeva were not able to overcome Christiana Brigante and Jasmine Asghar on court one, falling, 6-2.
“We did a really good job of doing the same thing on five of the courts in singles,” said Chapman. “That was the challenge after winning the doubles point, is to roll with the momentum and not lose it early in the match. I thought we did a really good job there.”
Koch steadily fought back opposite of Asghar at the No. 2 position to tie the first set at 4-4 and eventually pass the Sooner for a, 6-4, victory. Koch then downed Asghar in the second set, 6-1, to lift the Jayhawks to 2-0 in the match.
Nikolaeva only fell behind Sethi once in the first set, bouncing back for a 6-3 victory on court five. Nikolaeva defeated Sethi, 6-1, in the second set to extend KU’s lead in the match to 3-0.
Toran Ribes cruised to an easy, 6-2, win in her first set against Romero at the No. 4 spot. In her second set, Toran Ribes and Romero went back-and-forth before Toran Ribes was able to pull away after being down, 3-2, to win, 6-3, and clinch the match for Kansas, 4-0.
“It was a great response from the team,” said Chapman. “On Senior Day you never know what to expect from an emotion standpoint, the girls did a great job of that and it’s a great way to send Debbie (Vogasari) out on her day.”
No. 68 Voagasari took a commanding first-set win, 6-2, against No. 38-ranked Miyazaki at the top spot. Vogasari’s second set was halted with her down, 5-4, due to the match being clinched on court four.
On court three, Khmelnitckaia led Brigante throughout the first set to take it, 6-3. Khmelnitckaia’s second set was also stopped with her down, 5-4, since the match had concluded.
Policare was not able to find her grove in the first set against Stripp at the No. 6 position, falling, 6-2. Policare’s second set was ended early with her down, 5-2, due to the match being won.
“The Big 12 Championship is an exciting time,” said Chapman. “It’s something new, it’s a change of pace and I think we need that in this point of the year. We’re excited to go to Austin and challenge ourselves. We have a great conference with great teams and we know we’ll get someone’s best shot.
“We’ll find out our pairings later (Sunday) and we know whoever that may be, we’ll have a tough task in front of us, but it’s definitely one we’ll be excited about. We have a lot of tennis to play in front of us and we’re excited for that.”
Next, the Jayhawks will prepare for the Big 12 Championship, hosted in Austin, Texas, from Thursday, April 26 to Sunday, April 29.
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