Three Jayhawks advance to Regional semifinals

IOWA CITY, Iowa – Kansas tennis continued its success against the highly competitive field at the ITA Regional Championships Monday. After four days of competition, the Jayhawks have claimed three of four semifinalist spots in the main bracket of the singles draw of the ITA Regional Championships at the Hawkeye Tennis and Recreation Complex.
The beginning of the quarterfinal round was a battle between Jayhawks, as junior Maria Toran Ribes bested freshman Sonia Smagina, 4-6, 6-1, 6-4 to advance to the semifinals. Kansas senior Nina Khmelnitckaia triumphed over Big 12 opponent Maty Cancini of Iowa State, 6-4, 6-2. Fellow senior Janet Koch competed won her match against another league foe to reach the semifinals as she beat Oklahoma State’s Lisa Marie Rioux, 6-3, 6-4.
In doubles play, freshmen Malkia Ngounoue and Smagina missed achieving the semifinals as they were ousted in the quarterfinal round by Oklahoma’s Jasmine Asghar and Ivana Corley, 8-3.
Freshman Julia Deming returned to the court in the singles consolation bracket Monday, but fell short against Oklahoma State’s Catherine Gulihar, 6-0, 6-4.

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Kansas head coach Todd Chapman
On the Jayhawks having three of four semifinalists at the ITA Regional Championships:
“We are excited to have three of the four semifinalists in singles. This team continues to set new standards for Kansas tennis and it is exciting be a part of this team’s success. We look forward to another tough day of competition Tuesday and the opportunity to improve.”

Asghar/Corley (Oklahoma) def. Ngounoue/Smagina (Kansas), 8-3
Toran Ribes (Kansas) def. Smagina (Kansas), 4-6, 6-1, 6-4
Khmelnitckaia (Kansas) def. Cancini (Iowa State), 6-4, 6-2
Koch (Kansas) def. Rioux (Oklahoma State), 6-3, 6-4
Gulihur (Oklahoma State) def. Deming (Kansas), 6-0, 6-4

Competition in the singles main draw bracket will continue, and conclude, Tuesday morning at the Hawkeye Tennis and Recreation Complex in Iowa City. The semifinals will begin at 9 a.m., with the finals to immediately follow.
KU’s Khmelnitckaia and Toran Ribes will compete against each other to become one of the two finalists in the main draw of the singles bracket. Koch will take on Oklahoma State’s Sofia Blanco for her own opportunity to advance to the tournament’s final.

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