Despite Strong Start, No. 39 Kansas Falls to No. 31 Indiana
ORLANDO, Fla. – Despite topping No. 31 Indiana in the doubles competition, No. 39 Kansas women’s tennis dropped a 5-2 decision at the University of Central Florida Tennis Complex Thursday morning.
Kansas began the competition 1-0, following two doubles wins on courts two and three. But Indiana had the final say as KU’s lone singles point came from senior Paulina Los, who pushes her singles win-streak to nine.
Indiana (13-4, 1-1) pushes its series lead over Kansas (10-4, 2-0) to 6-1.
In doubles, Indiana struck first. IU’s Carolyn Chupa and Katie Klyczek swiftly defeated senior Dylan Windom and Los on the first court, 8-1. The Jayhawks retaliated on the remaining courts. Sophomore Maria Jose Cardona and junior Maria Belen Ludueña topped the Hoosier duo of Sophie Garre and Kayla Fujimoto at No. 2 doubles, 8-2.
On the deciding court, senior Claire Dreyer and freshman Morgan Barnhill competed in a hard-fought battle with Indiana’s Alecia Kauss and Shannon Murdy. In the end, Kansas gained the advantage over Indiana when Dreyer and Barnhill topped the IU tandem, 8-6. The win is Kansas’ 11th doubles victory of the season.
The Jayhawks started the singles competition with a 1-0 advantage and jumped out ahead in the first set on three courts. But when Dreyer pulled out of her match against Paula Gutierrez due to an injury, the Jayhawks were unable to maintain their newfound momentum.
“After winning the doubles point,” said head coach Todd Chapman. “I feel like we put ourselves in a great position to win a match against a really good Indiana team. We won three first sets and were in the second set of all three when Claire (Dreyer) went down with an injury and couldn’t continue playing. At that point, I feel like we had a hard time responding emotionally. I give credit to Indiana for making us pay quickly.”
Indiana’s first singles win came on the sixth court as Gabrielle Rubenstein quickly defeated Barnhill, 6-1, 6-4. Klyczek struck next, defeating Windom on court one, 6-2, 6-2, and Chupa followed, topping Ludueña, 6-1, 6-4. With Chupa’s win, Indiana captured the required four points, including three wins and Dreyer’s retired match. Although the Hoosiers captured the win, Los continued, topping Kauss in a tiebreaker (6-4, 2-6, 1-0 (7)) to give the Jayhawks their lone singles tally. Cardona gave No. 84 Garre a run for her money on court two, but ultimately fell in a tiebreaker, 5-7, 6-3, 1-0 (12). Indiana’s 5-2 win improved their season record to 13-4, and dropped KU to 10-4.
“We have to learn from this,” said Chapman. “We have to get Claire healthy and ready for a good UCF team tomorrow.”
The win also disrupted Kansas’ doubles trend. Before the Indiana match, Kansas won every match where it won the doubles point.
Kansas returns to the University of Central Florida Tennis Complex Friday at 3 p.m. to meet the host, UCF, for KU’s final non-conference match-up. On March 28, the Jayhawks return home to host the Oklahoma State Cowgirls for the programs first televised match on the Jayhawk Sports Network.
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