Jayhawks Knock Off No. 49 Houston in Home-Opener
|Kansas 4, No. 49 Houston 3
Jayhawk Tennis Center
Feb. 14, 2015
|No. 1 – Despoina Vogasari/Elena Kordolaimi (UH) def. Maria Jose Cardona/Maria Belen Luduena (KU) 6-4|
|No. 2- Madison Harrison/Smith Hinton (KU) def. Rocio Martin/Tina Rupert (UH) 7-6|
|No. 3 – Rachel McNeely/Summer Collins (KU) def. Mina Markovic/Maria Cardenas (UH) 6-4|
|Order of Finish: 1,3,2|
|No. 1 – Despoina Vogasari (UH) def. Maria Jose Cardona (KU) 6-0, 6-3|
|No. 2 – Elena Kordolaimi (UH) def. Maria Belen Luduena (KU) 6-3, 6-2|
|No. 3 – Madison Harrison (KU) def. Rocio Martin (UH) 6-1, 6-4|
|No. 4 – Smith Hinton (KU) def. Tina Rupert (UH) 6-1, 3-6, 7-5|
|No. 5 – Mina Markovic (UH) def. Rachel McNeely (KU) 6-4, 6-3|
|No. 6 – Summer Collins (KU) def. Maria Cardenas (UH) 1-6, 6-4, 7-5|
|Order of Finish: 1,3,2,5,4,6|
Lawrence, Kan. – Kansas picked up its first win over a ranked opponent in exactly one year as the Jayhawks defeated No. 49 Houston, 4-3, in Saturday afternoon’s home-opener. A pair of KU freshmen, Smith Hinton and Summer Collins, each claimed third-set wins to seal the victory for Kansas at the Jayhawk Tennis Center.
“It was all about comebacks today,” said Kansas head coach Todd Chapman. “We were down 5-1 at number 2 doubles and did a fantastic job at just staying positive after losing several deuce points in a row. We were able to turn the tide there and the moment of that was key heading into the singles.
“We knew Houston was really good at one and two singles and that was going to be a tough task for our players, but we fought all the way down the line. We fought hard and competed hard. That’s what we talked about today, coming out and competing, staying confident in what we’re doing, being fearless and not being afraid of being successful, that’s a process we are going through as a team. I couldn’t be more proud of the girls and the team.”
With Kansas trailing, 3-2, Hinton knotted the score after a grueling win on court four. Hinton raced out to an easy 6-1 win in the first set, before dropping the second set, 3-6, to Houston’s Tina Rupert. Rupert took a 4-2 lead in the third and final set, before Hinton battled back for a 7-5 win.
“I knew if I won my match we would be tied,” said Hinton. “I just kept fighting and maintained energy. At 5-5 (third set) I felt really confident and kept being really aggressive and making good shots. Today we all really fought and this will keep a lot of momentum going for us.”
As Hinton wrapped up her match on court four, Collins was down 6-1, 3-1 on court six to UH’s Maria Cardenas. Upon hearing the news that the match was going to be decided on her court, Collins stepped up the challenge and came storming back.
Collins won five of the next six games to take the second set 6-4. She did not stop there as she went up 5-1 over Cardenas in the third set. However, momentum quickly swung back in Cardenas’ favor as she won four-straight games to tie Collins at 5-5. The KU rookie was not going to be denied as she regained her composure and closed out the set and match 7-5.
“I came out the first set not very confident,” said Collins. “After the first set I knew I had to change it around and I took the next step forward. In the final set I got a little tight after losing a few games, but I was able to turn it around quickly before things got too out of hand.”
Kansas got on the board first after an exhausting doubles match on court two. Kansas’ freshmen duo of Madison Harrison and Hinton were able to squeak by Houston’s Rocio Martin and Rupert 7-6 in a tie break victory that solidified a 1-0 lead for the Jayhawks.
Jayhawk junior Maria Jose Cardona and senior Maria Belen Luduena battled on the number one doubles court, but eventually lost 6-4 to Despoina Vogasari and Elena Kordolaimi of Houston.
On court three Jayhawk freshmen Rachel McNeely and Collins came out and immediately put Houston’s Mina Markovic and Cardenas on their heels by winning the first two games of the match. The KU duo maintained a lead throughout the rest of the match, taking a 6-4 win on their way to helping Kansas gain the doubles point.
Houston evened the score at 1-1 as Vogasari shut out KU’s Cardona in the first set. In the second set, Cardona was able to pick up a few games toward the end of the match, but lost in the first match off the court 6-0, 6-3.
KU’s Harrison and Houston’s Kordolaimi finished second. Harrison coasted to a first-set win, but had to fight for points in the second set as Kordalaimi picked up the pace. Harrison eventually prevailed as she tallied KU’s first singles win 6-1, 6-4, and pushed the Jayhawks’ into the lead at 2-1.
Houston then picked up wins on courts two and five to take the 3-2 prior to Hinton and Collins’ heroics. UH’ Vogasari defeated Luduena 6-3, 6-2, on court two, while Markovic of Houston knocked off KU’s McNeely, 6-4, 6-3, on court five.
Kansas (3-4) will continue its non-conference slate when it returns to the courts on Saturday, Feb. 21 when it travels to Colorado for a match against Denver. KU will follow its Denver match by taking on Colorado, Sunday, Feb. 22.
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