Seniors shine on Senior Day as No. 20 Kansas blanks Kansas State, 7-0

LAWRENCE, Kan. – No. 20-ranked Kanas blanked Kansas State, 7-0, in the Dillons Sunflower Showdown Saturday afternoon at the Jayhawk Tennis Center. The victory caps off a perfect 11-0 record at home this season as the Jayhawks finish the 2019 regular season 16-4 overall, 7-2 in the Big 12.

Seniors Janet Koch and Nina Khmelnitckaia, ranked No. 3 in the nation in doubles, made quick work of their match at No. 1 doubles, besting Margot Decker and Anna Turco, 6-2. At No. 3 doubles, Maria Toran Ribes and Malkia Ngounoue were victorious over Ioana Gheorghita and Maria Linares, 6-3, giving Kansas the doubles point.

The doubles match on court 2 between KU’s No. 73-ranked doubles team of Anastasia Rychagova and Sonia Smagina and K-State’s Karine-Marion Job and Ines Mesquita went unfinished after Kansas claimed the doubles point.

Kansas has now won the doubles point in 19 out of 20 dual matches this season. The Jayhawks opened the 2019 season by securing the doubles point in 11-straight matches, and now have another win streak of eight in a row.

In singles, Toran Ribes defeated Gheorghita at No. 6 singles, 6-4, 6-0, giving KU a 2-0 lead.

On court 5, Khmelnitckaia bested Mesquita, 6-1, 6-2, moving Kansas one point away from the win.

2018-19 Tennis Team Poster

Then on court one, Rychagova, ranked No. 26 in the nation in singles, clinched the match for the Jayhawks, defeating Linares, 6-2, 6-1.

At No. 2 singles, Koch, ranked No. 96, split the first two sets with Turco, 6-3 and 2-6. Then, trailing 7-9 in the super tiebreaker, Koch won four points in a row to win 11-9, giving KU the 5-0 lead.

After falling behind in the second set 1-4 at No. 3 singles, Plobrung Plipuech stormed back to defeat Margot Decker, 6-1, 7-6(4), moving Kansas one point away from the sweep.

In the final match of the afternoon, Smagina triumphed over Job at No. 4 singles, 6-4, 7-6(3), giving Kansas the sweep.

Head coach Todd Chapman

“Today was a great day of competition and a great way to celebrate our senior class. We competed really well at every spot and I think we really headed in the right direction. We are excited to start postseason next week by hosting the Big 12 Championship. We believe this group has a lot of opportunities in front of them and I think we are now starting to play some of our best tennis. It should be an exciting ride to the end of the season.”

Kansas tennis will gear up for the Big 12 Championship, which begin Thursday, April 18, at the Jayhawk Tennis Center and the Sports Pavilion Lawrence. The Jayhawks’ first match will be Friday at noon against an as-yet undetermined opponent.