No. 17 Kansas knocks off TCU, 6-1
LAWRENCE, Kan. – No. 17-ranked Kansas defeated TCU emphatically Sunday afternoon, 6-1, at the Jayhawk Tennis Center.
Kansas’ Maria Toran Ribes and Malkia Ngounoue started off the doubles competition, quickly blanking Mercedes Aristegui and Kate Paulus, 6-0, on court 3. Jayhawks Anastasia Rychagova and Sonia Smagina, ranked No. 61 in the nation, then won a stirring, come-from-behind victory over Chloe Hule and Stevie Kennedy at No. 2 doubles. With Smagina serving, the Jayhawk duo trailed 4-5, 15-40, before winning three-straight points to even the set. They then won two more games to take the set, 7-5, giving Kansas the doubles point.
The third doubles match on court 1 between KU’s No. 5- ranked Janet Koch and Nina Khmelnitckaia and No. 27-ranked Ellie Douglas and Aleksa Cveticanin was in a tiebreaker but went unfinished after Kansas claimed the doubles point.
Kansas’ doubles point Sunday marks 16 out of 17 matches this season that KU has won the doubles point. The Jayhawks opened the 2019 season by securing the doubles point in 11-straight matches.
The momentum from doubles continued to the singles matches. Ngounoue defeated Addy Guevara, 6-0, 6-2, at No. 6 singles, giving KU a 2-0 lead.
No. 101-ranked Koch then beat Cveticanin at No. 2 singles, 6-4, 6-2, moving Kansas one point away from the win.
For the second time this weekend, Rychagova, the nation’s No. 23-ranked singles player, triumphed over a ranked opponent at No. 1 singles to claim the Jayhawks’ victory. On Sunday, Rychagova defeated No. 112-ranked Douglas, 6-4, 6-2, giving Kansas a 4-0 lead and clinching the match.
At No. 3 singles, sophomore Plobrung Plipuech fought back from behind after dropping her first set to beat Aristegui, 1-6, 6-2, and 10-6 in a super tiebreaker, giving KU a 5-0 lead.
On court 4, Khmelnitckaia’s match also came down to a third set super tiebreaker. She and Paulus split the first two sets by identical 6-4 scores. Then Khmelnitckaia, trailing 6-1 in the tiebreaker, rallied to win it, 10-8, moving the Kansas lead to 6-0.
Then at No. 5 singles, Toran Ribes fell short to Hule in yet another third set super tiebreaker, 7-5, 4-6, 10-7.
Kansas’ record improves to 13-4 overall, 4-2 in the Big 12 Conference. TCU’s record falls to 12-6 and 4-2 in Big 12 play.
Head coach Todd Chapman
“We had a successful weekend. We are at a point in the season where we need to build on this success and really buy into making some adjustments in the areas that Texas Tech and TCU exposed some issues.”
Kansas tennis continues its five-match homestand as the No. 17-ranked Jayhawks take on Iowa State Friday, April 5, and West Virginia Sunday, April 7 at the Jayhawk Tennis Center. First serve is set for 5 p.m., and noon, respectively.
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