K-State women’s tennis with strong showing at Drake Jamboree

Junior Maria Panaite prepares to swing at the ball during a women's tennis practice on Oct. 7, 2015. (File Photo by Parker Robb | The Collegian)

K-State women’s tennis finished with an overall singles record of 6-3 and a doubles record of 5-3 at the Drake Jamboree this weekend.

Juniors Livia Cirnu, Maria Panaite and freshman Millie Stretton shined for the Wildcats.

Cirnu managed to win her first match against an unattached Ksenia Promina 6-2, 6-4. Carin Runefelt of Iowa, however, toppled Cirnu in her second match, beating her 6-3, 6-4.

Cirnu would then win out, though, defeating Veronika Golanova of Illinois State 7-5, 6-4.

Panaite wound up doing just as well as Cirnu. She won her first two matches, first beating Iowa State’s Claudia Toledo 7-5, 6-2, then toppling Liera Bender, also from Iowa State, 6-1, 6-0.

Panaite, however, lost her final match of the Jamboree, along with her four match winning streak, to Anna Kuuttila of Iowa State 6-1, 4-6, 6-3.

Freshman Millie Stretton of Scotland went 2-1 on the weekend, just like her teammates.

She lost on the first day to Alejandro Galvis of Iowa State, 6-4, 7-5, but the next two days went much better.

Stretton won her final two matches of the performance, beating Taylor Tamblyn 6-1, 6-2. Her final match ended victoriously with scores of 6-4, 6-7, 6-4 against Illinois State’s Chanel Scudiero.

By the end of the weekend, head coach Danielle Steinburg said she was fairly pleased with her three players.

“I think we had our ups and downs in singles and doubles over the weekend, but overall all three players did well,” Steinberg said to K-State Sports. “The matches we lost as well as the close matches we won were a mental battle more than anything, and I think it taught us coaches and the players a little more about themselves and what we need to work on more.”

As for the doubles, the highlight of the weekend was the combo of Maria Panaite and Millie Stretton, who finished the Jamboree undefeated. They overpowered Sarah Paulson and Chanel Scudiero of Illinois State 6-2 and then proceeded to win three more matches, including the final 6-4 victory against the powerhouse doubles team of Montana Crawford and Carin Runefelt from Iowa.

“Maria and Millie played great throughout the weekend,” Steinberg said. “I think we are very close to figuring out our doubles combination for the spring, which will allow us to start working with specific teams and not just on general doubles.”

Up next, the Wildcats will close the fall campaign and send sophomore Carolina Costamagna and freshman Ana Garcia Navas to the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex in Orlando, Florida to compete in the USTA Clay Court Invitational Nov. 5-8.