Kansas Drops Home Finale to No. 74 Tulsa, 5-2
| No. 74 Tulsa 5, Kansas 2
Jayhawk Tennis Center
April 8, 2015
|No. 1 – Ksenia Laskutova/ Renata Kuricova (TU) def. Maria Belen Luduena/Madison Harrison (KU) 6-3|
|No. 2- R. Leenabanchong/Marcelina Cichon (TU) def. Summer Collins/Smith Hinton (KU) 6-1|
|No. 3 – Alexis Czapinski/Rachel McNeely (KU) def. Mahitha Dadireddy/Saana Saarteinen (TU) 6-3|
|Order of Finish: 2,3,1|
|No. 1 – Ksenia Laskutova (TU) def. Maria Belen Luduena (KU) 6-1, 6-4,|
|No. 2 – Smith Hinton (KU) def. R. Leenabanchong (TU) 3-6,7-6,1-0 (10-7)|
|No. 3 – Marcelina Cichon (TU) def. Madison Harrison (KU) 6-2, 6-2|
|No. 4 – Summer Collins (KU) def. Yelena Nemchen (TU) 4-6, 7-6,1-0 (10-8)|
|No. 5 – Saana Saarteinen (TU) def. Rachel McNeely (KU) 6-3, 6-0|
|No. 6 – Renata Kuricova (TU) def. Lauren Pickens (KU) 6-1, 2-6,6-0|
|Order of Finish: 3,5,1,6,2,4|
LAWRENCE, Kan. – The Kansas women’s tennis team was never able to get into rhythm as they were upended, 5-2, by No. 74 Tulsa Wednesday afternoon at the Jayhawk Tennis Center. After digging an early hole by dropping the doubles point, Kansas never got back on track dropping its home finale.
“We gave a lot away today to a very good team,” said Kansas head coach Todd Chapman. “I think it’s tough to come out on the winning end of things like that and I think that’s what it boiled down to.”
Kansas got out to a slow start, falling victim to early deficits on all three doubles courts and ultimately allowing Tulsa to clinch the doubles point with wins on courts one and two. On court three, freshmen duo Alexis Czapinski and Rachel McNeely picked up their second-consecutive win together after defeating Tulsa’s Mahitha Dadireddy and Saana Saarteinen in a 6-3 decision.
The slow start that plagued the Jayhawks in doubles play carried over into singles action as Kansas was not able to pick up a first-set victory on any of the six courts. Court three finished first with Tulsa’s Marcelina Cichon putting on a dominant performance on KU freshman Madison Harrison in straight-sets 6-2, 6-2.
Second to finish was court five where another strong performance from a Tulsa netter resulted in a Kansas loss. Saarteinen ousted McNeely in a 6-3, 6-0 decision extending the Golden Hurricane lead, 3-0.
Court one finished third as KU’s Maria Belen Luduena was not able to hold off Ksenia Laskutova of Tulsa. The senior dropped the first set 6-1, but rallied back to take a 3-0 lead early in the second set before Laskutova put an end to Luduena’s comeback hopes with a 6-4 second set victory. Her win secured the team win for Tulsa as Luskatova picked up TU’s fourth point.
Finishing fourth on court six was freshman Lauren Pickens making her second appearance at the position. Pickens dropped the first se,t 6-1, but remained unwavered as she fought back in the second set downing TU’s Renata Kuricova, 6-2. The freshman was unable to hold on to her second-set momentum and was overpowered by Kuricova, 6-0, in the third set as the Golden Hurricanes extended their lead to, 5-0.
Freshman Alexis Czapinski battled in doubles play.
With Tulsa having a five-point advantage over the Jayhawks Smith Hinton finished fifth on court two downing Tulsa’s Rongrong Leenabanchong in an exciting three-set match. Hinton dropped the first set, 6-3, but showed composure by powering back to defeat the sophomore, 7-5, in the second set. With nothing to lose but everything to gain Hinton clawed back for a 10-7 tiebreak victory in supersets, putting the Jayhawks on the board.
Hinton would not be the only Jayhawk to win in supersets, freshmen Summer Collins finished last on court four dropping set one 4-6. Collins turned the tables when she bounced back for a 7-6 win in the second set and 10-8 victory over Yelena Nemchen in supersets to earn Kansas’ only other victory of the afternoon.
“In singles, after losing six first sets I think we stepped up in the second sets,” said Chapman. “But once again, against a good talented team, and Tulsa is much better than their record and their ranking, you can’t give that much away and come back and win. I’m proud that we fought, but we have to fight that way from point one in the doubles and fight that way from point one in the singles. If you don’t do that you are setting yourself up for tough situations.”
Kansas will hit the road for its last four matches of the regular season before heading to Waco, Texas for the 2015 Big 12 Women’s Tennis champoinships. The Jayhawks’ first match of the road stand will take place at Oklahoma State on Friday, April 10. First serve at OSU is slated for 5 p.m., at the Greenwood Tennis Center.
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