Kansas Continues Season-Opening Streak, Tops Colorado, 4-2
LAWRENCE, Kan. – In one of the best season starts in recent program history, the Kansas women’s tennis team defeated former Big 12 foe Colorado, 4-2, as the Jayhawks extend their season opening run to 3-0 in the Jayhawk Tennis Center Friday afternoon.
Kansas (3-0, 0-0 Big 12) extends its series lead over Colorado (3-2, 0-0 Pac 12) to 26-17.
“It’s a good start for us,” said senior Dylan Windom. “The momentum is going our way. The team feels really good about all the wins we’ve had and I think it’s one of the best starts we’ve had in my four years here.”
The Jayhawks and Buffaloes set the tone early in the doubles competition, as each fought for the overall doubles point. On court one, Windom and Paulina Los defeated Winde Janssens and Nuria Ormeno (6-3) to claim the first doubles victory.
Following Windom and Los’ victory, the Buffs took the lead on courts one and two. KU needed to win one of the remaining matches to clinch the doubles point and Colorado needed both. On court two, the team of Maria Jose Cardona and Maria Belen Ludueña jumped ahead of Colorado’s Alexandra Aiello and Carla Manzi. On court three, CU’s Ashley Tiefel and Julyette Steur broke the tie and took control at 5-4 over Kansas’ Claire Dreyer and Morgan Barnhill. The duo of Tiefel and Stuer defeated Dreyer and Barnhill next, putting the pressure on court two to decide the doubles point.
Ludueña and Cardona used the home court to their advantage and won the final two sets to give KU its final doubles win to put them out ahead early. The Jayhawks doubles win marked the first time the Buffs have lost the early point this season.
“I thought Dylan Windom and Paulina Los did a great job today,” said head coach Todd Chapman. “They did the same thing last weekend against Nebraska last weekend. They played really good doubles today. I think that was the best doubles match those two have played, so I was really happy to see that.”
After securing the doubles point, Kansas and Colorado moved on to singles. In the first set, Kansas had the upper-hand on four out of the five courts going into the second set. Windom struck first, pulling in a win over Nuria Ormeno in a super tiebreaker (1-6, 6-1 (10-8) after losing in the first set. The win inched Kansas to a 2-0 lead over Colorado. CU responded with a pair of wins on courts one and two. Steur topped Cardona, 3-6, 7-5 (10-5) while Luduena fell to Aiello, 3-6, 7-6 (10-6). In minutes, the Jayhawks and Buffaloes were tied 2-2.
With the help of a supportive home crowd, Dreyer defeated Dhany Quevedo in a super tiebreaker (6-2, 7-6 (7-5) to push KU ahead, 3-2. Following her teammate, Los topped Janssens in another super tiebreaker (6-4, 4-6, (10-2). Los’ win ensured Kansas’ 4-2 win over Colorado.
“Singles, we did a fantastic job,” said Chapman. “Five of the six singles matches, we won the first set. And the one we lost the first set – we came back and won the second set really quickly and took the momentum back. We’ve still got to find a way to learn how to close things a little bit better and learn how to be more confident in the situations after winning the first set.”
Sophomore Anastasija Trubica played at No. 6 singles, but her match was called after Los’ victory. It is the first time this year that every Jayhawk’s match was decided in a super tiebreaker.
The Jayhawks will continue their three-match home stand at the Jayhawk Tennis Center with a match against Eastern Michigan at 10 a.m on followed by a 3:30 match against border rival, UMKC on Feb. 9.
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