K-State tennis travels to SMU

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Sara Castellano, sophomore, returns the ball during practice on Oct. 7, 2015 at Mike Goss Tennis Stadium. (Nathan Jones | The Collegian)

The K-State tennis team travels to Dallas this weekend for the SMU Fall Tournament.

The Wildcats will look for a good performance after a respectable showing in their first tournament of the season in Norman, Oklahoma last weekend.

K-State will be led by sophomore Sara Castellano and freshman Ana Garcia Navas, who each won three matches in Norman.

We should also keep an eye out for the doubles team consisting of junior Iva Bago and sophomore Carolina Costamagna, who won three of their four matches last tournament.

The SMU Mustangs are led by seniors Vaszilisza Bulgakova and Hristina Dishkova, along with junior Dasha Sharapova.

Entering the 2015 fall season, Bulgakova had a total record of 21-11 at the collegiate level, so she certainly has some experience on her side. The same can be said for Dishkova as she boasted a record of 22-15.

Sharapova leads the Mustangs entering the season with the best overall record of 23-10.

Mustangs’ coach, Kati Gyulai, is no stranger to SMU tennis as she is currently in her fifth season as head coach. Before SMU, she was head coach at Wyoming and now boasts a 106-90 record entering the fall campaign.

The two teams are fairly familiar with each other as K-State had a slight run-in against SMU while in Norman last weekend.

SMU proved victorious in the doubles match when juniors Macie Elliott and Mary Wright (who went 5-0 last season) defeated K-State’s Castellano and freshman Millie Stretton 7-6 (5).

The Wildcats, however, may have proved themselves to be a bit more superior in the singles area.

Gracia Navas defeated SMU’s Bulgakova 6-2, 6-2. The Wildcats also saw victory when junior Livia Cirnu bested fellow Wright in three sets, 7-6, 2-6, 6-4.

The Mustangs would eventually grab a singles victory over K-State when Elliott ousted the Wildcats’ junior Maria Panaite, 6-4, 7-6.

In Norman, the Wildcats went 0-1 in doubles play and 2-1 in singles with a promising performance for an overall of 2-2 on the day.

Look for tight, competitive matches throughout the weekend as two teams of similar skill go head-to-head this weekend in Dallas.

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