No. 8 Kansas blanks No. 41 Arkansas, 7-0
LAWRENCE, Kan. – No. 8 Kansas tennis claimed its seventh victory of the season with an emphatic 7-0 victory over No. 41 Arkansas Saturday afternoon at the Jayhawk Tennis Center.
The Jayhawks’ No. 3-ranked doubles team of Janet Koch and Nina Khmelnitckaia beat Tatum Rice and Martina Zerulo, 6-3, at No. 1 doubles. Kansas’ No. 3 doubles tandem, the No. 39 ranked doubles team in the country of Maria Toran Ribes and Malkia Ngounoue, fell to Jackie Carr and Laura Rijkers, 6-3, leaving the doubles point on the racquets of Anastasia Rychagova and Sonia Smagina.
The Jayhawks’ 51st-ranked duo triumphed over Thea Rice and Lauren Alter, 6-4, giving KU the doubles point. It marked the eighth-straight match in which the Jayhawks have claimed the doubles point.
At the No. 6 singles position, Smagina added to the Jayhawks’ lead with a victory over Thea Rice, 6-2, 6-3, giving KU a 2-0 lead.
Kansas senior Koch, ranked No. 79 in singles, blasted her way past Martina Zerulo, 6-3, 6-1, giving the Jayhawks a 3-0 lead.
Then on court 1, No. 47 Rychagova bested No. 81 Tatum Rice, 7-6(4), 6-1, giving the Jayhawks their fourth point and clinching the overall match.
Sophomore Plobrung Plipuech then defeated Jackie Carr, 6-3, 6-3, giving KU the 5-0 lead.
At the No. 5 singles position, Toran Ribes defeated Lauren Alter, 6-2, 4-6, 6-3, stretching the Kansas lead to 6-0.
In the final match of the afternoon, Khmelntickaia completed the Jayhawks’ sweep, besting Laura Rijkers, 6-3, 6-7, 10-8.
Kansas head coach Todd Chapman
“I thought Arkansas competed well and came out really making us play in doubles. At (positions) one and two we did a good job of sustaining our level (of play) and competing until the end. I think that is what helped us win the doubles point. In singles, across the board we came out and competed well in our first sets. Arkansas tested us and made us work, and we had to finish things off. I think, for the most part, we faced adversity well. We have some things to clean up, but it was definitely a step in the right direction.”
Kansas tennis will face No. 44 Air Force Sunday, February 23, at noon. The Jayhawk Tennis Center at Rock Chalk Park will be having a “Picnic Day,” complete with a photo booth, and “A Minute to Win it Challenge” will be contested.
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