Wildcat tennis falls short in Sunflower Showdown to No. 35 Kansas

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Sophomore Carolina Costamagna screams in frustration after dropping another point in her match against KU's Janet Koch as the Wildcats fall 4-2 to the No. 35-ranked Jayhawks Apr. 16, 2016, in Mike Goss Tennis Stadium. (Parker Robb | The Collegian)

After getting its first conference win last Saturday, the K-State tennis team dropped another conference game to ranked rival Kansas by a score of 4-2 in the annual Sunflower Showdown.

K-State began the day by losing the doubles point. Freshmen Ana Garcia Navas and Millie Stretton had their three-game winning streak as a pair come to an end as they fell 6-3. The Jayhawks won the next match in doubles to take the doubles point and a 1-0 lead into singles play.

“We definitely had our chances in doubles, but we did not play aggressive enough to close it out in both two and three,” K-State head coach Danielle Steinberg said to K-State Sports. “KU took advantage of that and really took it to us in the big moments. That is something we have been talking about a lot, and we have improved so much in it, but we still have to do better at staying aggressive.”

Redshirt sophomore Sara Castellano was in the No. 1 position for the day, and she fell in straight sets to give Kansas a 2-0 lead.

Junior Livia Cirnu won the No. 6 position because of a retirement by her opponent, making the score 2-1.

Junior Iva Bago fell in the No. 5 singles position to make the score 3-1 with three matches still going.

Stretton added the Wildcats’ final point of the day as she won her match in two very intense sets. With the score at 3-2, the Wildcats needed to win their last two matches to take the matchup with the Jayhawks.

Sophomore Carolina Costamagna lost two close sets in the No. 3 position to give Kansas the 4-2 victory. Garcia Navas was in the third set of her match in the No. 2 position but did not get to finish it because Costamagna finished her match first.

“I am happy with our singles showing overall,” Steinberg said to K-State Sports. “The conditions were not easy with the wind, and I think we played better tennis on some courts today than we did in the past few weeks, which is encouraging going into the end of regular season and conference play.”

Next Saturday, the Wildcats will be looking to bounce back from this tough loss with a home doubleheader against Southern Illinois and Oklahoma State.

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