No. 17 Jayhawks blank No. 16 Texas Tech, 4-0
LUBBOCK, Texas – The No. 17-ranked Kansas women’s tennis team came ready to play against No. 16 Texas Tech, dominating the Lady Raiders, 4-0, Friday in Lubbock, Texas, at the Lubbock Country Club. The win snapped a 13-match losing streak against the Lady Raiders.
The impressive victory moves the Jayhawks to 10-4 on the season and 2-1 in Big 12 Conference play. Texas Tech is now 10-4 overall and 0-1 in the Big 12.
In doubles, Maria Toran Ribes and Despoina Vogasari took an early, 4-0, lead at the No. 3 spot against Lana Rush and Alex Valenstein. The Jayhawk duo finished their match first with a 6-3 victory allowing for just one more match to claim the doubles point.
Janet Koch and Amber Policare battled with No. 68 Gabriela Talaba and Felicity Maltby on court two, but ultimately fell, 6-4, evening the doubles score at 1-1.
Playing the final doubles match, Nina Khmelnitckaia and Tatiana Nikolaeva competed back-and-forth with the nation’s No. 8-ranked team of Sarah Dvorak and Sabrina Federici at the No. 1 position. Khmelnitckaia and Nikolaeva tied the match at 5-5 and then 6-6 to send it to a tiebreaker where they reigned victorious, 7-6 (9-7), to put Kansas up, 1-0.
“I could not be more proud of our team,” said head coach Todd Chapman. “We have faced so much adversity this week and to see them come out and fight so hard for each other and Kansas tennis was unbelievable. Winning the doubles point was huge and I feel like we just ran with it. This was a complete team victory.”
Moving on to singles, No. 118 Vogasari downed the nation’s No. 11-ranked Talaba in two quick sets, 6-2, 6-2. Her No. 1 position win gave the Jayhawks a 2-0 lead. On court two, Koch followed only seconds after with her own, 6-2, 6-2, victory against No. 41 Maltby to extend the lead to 3-0 in favor of KU.
With her teammates breezing through their singles matches, Khmelnitckaia found herself in the match-clinching position for the third time this season. At the No. 3 spot, Khmelntickaia defeated No. 85 Dvorak, 6-0, in the first set and held a 5-2 lead in the second set. Dvorak made a run to bring it within one at 5-4, but Khmelnitckaia outlasted the Lady Raider to win, 6-0, 6-4, and claim the overall match for Kansas, 4-0.
Toran Ribes and No. 78 Federici were only able to finish one set during the match, with Federici coming out on top, 7-5.
Due to there only being four courts available, Nikolaeva and Policare’s matches on courts five and six, respectively, were never started due to the match being clinched.
“Now we have to reset and getting ready for a really good TCU team Sunday,” said Chapman.
Up next, the Jayhawks will head over to Fort Worth to face TCU Sunday at 1 p.m., at the Bayard H. Friedman Tennis Center.
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