Jayhawks Roll Past Eastern Kentucky, 6-1
RICHMOND, Ky. – No. 60 Kansas women’s tennis extended its season-opening run to eight with a 6-1 victory over the Eastern Kentucky Colonels. The win ties the Jayhawks with the 1978 season for the second best start since the inaugural 1977 season when the Jayhawks had an 11 match-winning stretch.
Kansas (8-0, 0-0 Big 12) kicked off the match quickly in doubles against Eastern Kentucky (3-5, 0-0 Ohio Valley). The tandem of Claire Dreyer and Morgan Barnhill on court blanked EKU’s Amandine Faouizi and Carmen Rodriguez, 8-0 to begin the competition. KU’s Maria Jose Cardona and Maria Belen Ludueña struck next, defeating Saioa Oscoz and Milena Poffo, 8-2 on court two. After KU’s two win’s granted the Jayhawks the doubles point, the face-off between Kansas’ Paulina Los and Dylan Windom, and Eastern Kentucky’s Melissa Gerritsen and Kristina Labeja was called with Kansas leading 5-4. Kansas’ doubles point win is its eighth-consecutive win this season.
“I thought we came out and played well in doubles,” said first-year head coach Todd Chapman. “Especially courts two and three. We started aggressive and did a good job of getting up in the match and we did a really good job of closing those two matches out.”
After procuring the doubles point, Kansas and Eastern Kentucky moved on to singles. The Colonels came out blazing, as the Jayhawks struggled in the first few games. Eventually, Kansas got a hold of the competition, but not before the Colonels racked up their first and only point coming from Labeja who downed Cardona on court two, 6-1, 6-1. After Cardona’s loss, the Jayhawks cruised past the competition. Windom defeated Faouzi, 6-3, 6-4 on court one and Luduena took down Socoz on court three. To clinch the match in favor of KU, Los topped Poffo after narrowly winning the first set, 7-6, 6-1. Dreyer put up a fight against Gerritsen, who had to lead the match in the second set due to injury, and freshman Caroline Henderson pulled out a win over Rodriguez, 7-5, 6-4.
“In the singles, I thought we got out to a really bad start,” said Chapman. “On five of the six singles, I definitely wasn’t happy with the way we started. But the one thing we did do really well was we fought back and did a really good job in most of those matches.”
Tomorrow, Kansas will meet No. 38 Kentucky on the road at 3 p.m. for one of the team’s toughest contests thus far.
“I think we’re going to play our toughest match we’ve had all year tomorrow at Kentucky,” said Chapman. “I think they’re a really good team and we’re playing on the road at their home. We’re going to be up against a tough test, but we’re going to do what we’ve done the past eight matches and come out and believe in ourselves and look to be the team that is aggressive and plays tough and see where that gets us.”
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