Kansas Tennis Defeats Iowa State in Big 12 Opener, 6-1
AMES, Iowa – No. 35 Kansas women’s tennis kicked-off Big 12 Conference play with a 6-1 win over Iowa State at the Forker Tennis Courts Friday afternoon. The win marks KU’s first Big 12 Conference opening victory in six seasons.
The Jayhawks (9-3, 1-0 Big 12) ended a three-match losing streak with their win over the Cyclones (8-6, 0-1 Big 12). The victory stretched KU’s series lead over ISU to 39-3.
Kansas came out in doubles roaring to start the competition. Senior Claire Dreyer and freshman Morgan Barnhill notched the first KU victory with an 8-0 win over Lydia Green and Caroline Hauge Andersen on the third court. The win is the pair’s second perfect score and ninth win this spring. Junior Maria Belen Luduena and sophomore Maria Jose Cardona clinched the doubles point for the Jayhawks with an 8-6 victory over Iowa State’s Ana Gasparovic and Meghan Cassens.
Despite winning the doubles point, seniors Dylan Windom and Paulina Los continued on court one before dropping to Ksenia Pronina and Samantha Budai, 8-6. Kansas is 9-0 when it wins the doubles point.
The Jayhawks continued their momentum into the singles competition. Luduena struck first with a 6-1, 6-0 win against Gasparovic on the third court followed by a win from Los on court four over ISU’s Green (6-1, 6-0). Los’ victory extends her singles win streak to seven. Dreyer clinched Kansas’ win, defeating Emma Waites 6-4, 6-1 and giving the Jayhawks a 4-0 advantage over the Cyclones.
“I thought we bounced back and played solid singles after being a little lackluster in doubles,” said head coach Todd Chapman. “With that being said, I thought we played really well at the No. 3 doubles spot.”
Cardona collected the next win on court 2, topping Cassens in a hard-fought tiebreaker, 6-2, 3-6, 1-0 (8), to make the score 5-0. On court one, Iowa State collected its lone win as Pronina downed Windom, 7-6(4), 6-4. Barnhill closed the competition with a 6-3, 7-6 win over Talisa Merchiers to make the score 6-1, favoring the Jayhawks.
“We now have to prepare for West Virginia on Sunday,” said Chapman. “The team has to be ready for a tough match.”
Kansas will travel to Morgantown, W. Va., for the first time in program history to take on the West Virginia Mountaineers March 16 at 11 a.m. Following Sunday’s match, the Jayhawks will travel south to Orlando, Fla., where the team will step away from Big 12 play and meet No. 44 Indiana on March 20 at 10 a.m., and Central Florida on March 21 at 3 p.m.
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