Jayhawks Blank Wildcats in Senior Day Sunflower Showdown, 4-0

 Kansas 4, Kansas State 0
Jayhawk Tennis Center
April 4, 2015
No. 1 – Madison Harrison/Maria Belen Luduena (KU) vs. Carolina Costamagna/Palma Juhasz (KU) 5-3 unfinished
No. 2- Summer Collins/Smith Hinton (KU) def. Iva Bago/Livi Cirnu (KSU) 6-3
No. 3 –  Rachel McNeely/Alexis Czapinski (KU) def. Maria Panaite/ Tegan Louw (KSU) 6-1
Order of Finish: 3,2
No. 1 – Maria Belen Luduena (KU) vs. Carolina Costamagna (KSU) 3-6, 3-2, unfinished
No. 2 – Smith Hinton (KU) def. Palma Juhasz (KSU) 6-1, 6-2
No. 3 – Madison Harrison (KU) vs. Iva Bago (KSU) 6-3, 5-4 unfinished 
No. 4 – Livia Cirnu (KSU) vs. Summer Collins (KU) 7-5, 5-2, unfinished
No. 5 – Rachel McNeely (KU) def. Maria Panaite (KSU) 6-1, 6-1
No. 6 –  Lauren Pickens (KU) def. Tegan Louw (KSU) 6-3, 6-4  
Order of Finish: 5,2,3

Box Score

Photo Gallery

LAWRENCE, Kan. – The Kansas women’s tennis team snapped a six-match losing streak against Sunflower showdown rival Kansas State en route to a 4-0 victory on Senior Day Saturday afternoon at the Jayhawk Tennis Center. 

“I felt like our energy was much better in the doubles,” said Kansas head coach Todd Chapman. “It seemed like we wanted to be out there, be aggressive and get after it. I felt like that was the key today. When you lose the doubles point you talk about how it isn’t that big of a deal, when you win the doubles point you talk about a lot of positive things. It is just one point but I think it really gave us some momentum and the challenge for the girls was to maintain that energy, maintain that momentum and to not give their opponent any reason to think that they could beat us.” 

Kansas immediately came out as the aggressor taking early leads on all three doubles courts. Freshmen duo Rachel McNeely and Alexis Czapinski wasted no time downing Kansas State’s Maria Panaite and Tegan Louw, 6-1, on court three. 

Following the lead of their teammates freshmen Smith Hinton and Summer Collins overpowered KSU’s Iva Bago and Livia Cirnu, 6-3, clinching the doubles point and giving the Jayhawks a 1-0 lead heading into singles play. 

Kansas rolled its way to four first set victories in singles play. McNeely continued to display dominance finishing first on court five. The freshman ousted Panaite 6-1,6-1 in straight sets extending the lead to 2-0 in favor of the Jayhawks.

Court two finished second as Hinton toppled KSU’s most successful singles competitor Palma Juhasz 6-1, 6-2 in straight sets extending Kansas’ lead to 3-0.

Lauren Pickens sealed KU’s 4-0 win over Kansas State with her first career singles victory in dual-match play.

Freshman Lauren Pickens sealed the victory with a stifling 6-3, 6-4 win over Louw on court six. Pickens who made her debut this afternoon came out strong in the first set and stifled Louw en route to securing Kansas’ first Sunflower Showdown victory in six seasons.

“I felt like I had a much better start even though I got nervous,” Pickens said. “This has been the first time I’ve really gotten to play and it was much better overall. Every time you go out there you don’t want to let your team down and I was really focused on trying to bring something for the rest of the team.”

At the conclusion of the match Kansas’ lone senior Maria Belen Luduena was honored for her outstanding four-year career on the Kansas women’s tennis team. This afternoon’s victory marks the first time in her KU career that she has defeated the Wildcats in dual-match play.

“Since I’ve been here we’ve never beaten Kansas State,” Luduena said. “I don’t know how beating them on my Senior Day could get any better. We always want to beat them, and we’ve been close over the last four years. Today we had the opportunity to beat them and we did.”

Kansas will remain in Lawrence to host non-conference opponent Tulsa for its final home match of the season on April 8. First serve is slated for 2 p.m. at the Jayhawk Tennis Center.

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