No. 7 Kansas falls to No. 22 Washington

SEATTLE, Wash. – No. 7 Kansas tennis lost a hard-fought battle to No. 22 Washington, 4-3, Friday night at the Lloyd Nordstrom Tennis Center.

The loss dropped Kansas’ record to 8-2, while Washington improved to 10-1.

Kansas’ No. 39-ranked doubles duo of Maria Toran Ribes and Malkia Ngounoue bested Kenadi Hance and Sedona Gallagher, 6-1, at No. 3 doubles to start off the night. The Jayhawks’ No. 51-ranked doubles tandem, Anastasia Rychagova and Sonia Smagina, then triumphed over Vanessa Wong and Zoey Weil, 6-4, giving KU the doubles point. KU has now won the doubles point in all 10 dual matches this season.

The nation’s No. 3 ranked doubles team, seniors Janet Koch and Nina Khmelnitckaia, had their match end unfinished; they were tied with UW’s No. 35 Stacey Fung and Nika Zupancic, 4-4, when Kansas clinched the doubles point.

After helping secure the doubles point, Kansas junior Toran Ribes stepped onto the court at No. 5 in singles and quickly beat Gallagher, 6-2, 6-4, giving Kansas a 2-0 lead.

From that point on it was a tight battle; each of the other five singles’ matches went to three sets. Jayhawk freshman Smagina fell short at the No. 6 singles spot to Nika Zupancic, 7-5, 2-6, 6-3, narrowing the KU lead to 2-1.

On court 4, Khmelnitckaia was defeated by Natsuho Arakawa, 5-7, 6-3, 7-5, tying the match at two points each.

Kansas sophomore Plobrung Plipuech then fell to Katarina Kopcalic at No. 3 singles, 7-6, 2-6, 6-3, giving Washington a 3-2 advantage.

Washington then clinched the match on court No. 2, where No. 79 Koch was bested by Vanessa Wong, 7-6, 6-7, 6-2.

In the final match of the night to finish at No. 1 singles, No. 49 Rychagova fought from behind in the third set and won in a tiebreaker over Fung, 7-5, 4-6, 7-6(4).

Kansas head coach Todd Chapman
“Credit to Washington. In the big moments they played them well and competed at a high level. We have to learn to play looser and with more confidence in those moments. We have to bounce back quickly and be ready to play Oregon on Sunday.”

The No. 7 Jayhawks stay in the Pacific Northwest to face off against Oregon on Sunday, March 3. First serve is set for noon in Eugene; 2 p.m., Central time.

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