Last Minute Rally Not Enough, Jayhawks Fall to No. 49 Wichita State, 4-3
LAWRENCE, Kan. – A last minute rally to come from behind wasn’t enough for 45th-ranked Kansas women’s tennis, as the Jayhawks fell in a heartbreaker to No. 49 Wichita State, 4-3, in the Jayhawk Tennis Center Friday afternoon.
After losing the doubles point and the first two singles courts, Kansas (8-2, 0-0 Big 12) bounced back and won the next three matches to tie the competition, but WSU (9-3, 0-0 MVC) sealed the deal on the last court and ended Kansas’ seven-match series streak over Wichita State. Kansas maintains the series lead over the Shockers, 15-5.
Wichita State set the tone for the competition at the open of the doubles competition. WSU leapt out in the first two sets, leading the Jayhawks on all three courts. Slowly but surely, Kansas gained momentum and lead on a majority of courts in the first set. While Kansas attempted to take back control, the Shockers were still able to strike first. Claire Dreyer and Morgan Barnhill were unable to fend off WSU’s Julia Schiller and Abby Stevens as they were defeated, 8-1.
On court two, Kansas snuck back to within a set and gradually Maria Jose Cardona and Maria Belen Ludueña took control, defeating Rebecca Pedrazzi and Montse Blasco Fernandez, 8-4. With both teams tied, the doubles point then came down to court one, where Dylan Windom and Paulina Los battled with Veronika Blaskova and Lucia Kovalova. The Jayhawk duo tied up the match, 6-6, feeding off the energy of the home crowd. But their comeback was short-lived, as WSU pulled ahead two sets to win 8-6. This was the second doubles point in a row that Kansas lost, and it’s first at home.
After the break, Kansas tennis came out with intensity in the singles matches. KU took the first set in three of the five solo matches. But Kansas struggled on the first two courts, as Maria Jose Cardona and Dylan Windom both lost the first set of their matches. WSU took the top two courts in straight sets as Windom fell to Pedrazzi (6-2, 6-2) and Cardona fell to Schiller (6-2, 6-1). With her win over Cardona, Schiller extends her win streak to nine.
With the Shockers leading the Jayhawks, 3-0, WSU only needed one more win to claim victory. Kansas retaliated and notched three wins to tie-up the match. Los rolled past Stevens, 6-2, 6-4 and Dreyer pushed her nine-win streak to ten with a 6-3, 6-2 win over Blaskova. Ludueña sealed the tie with a tough-fought win against Lucia Kovalova in the third set (6-2, 4-6, 6-4). The match came down to the final court where Fernandez defeated Anastasija Trubica in the first set, and allowed Trubica one game in the second (6-3, 6-1). Fernandez’s win concluded the match and extended the Shocker’s record to 9-3.
Kansas will meet another ranked-foe next weekend as the Jayhawks hit the road to meet No. 17 Tulsa at the Michael D. Case Tennis Center on March 8 at 12 p.m.
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