Wildcat tennis drops 2 out of 3 before Big 12 Tournament

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Freshman Millie Stretton returns a volley during her match against Oklahoma's Mimi Fotopoulos as the RacketCats fell 4-2 to the Sooners on April 24, 2016, in Mike Goss Tennis Stadium. (Parker Robb | The Collegian)

K-State tennis had a rough weekend in the win and loss columns. The Wildcats dropped two out of three of their final matches before the Big 12 Tournament.

On Friday, K-State began the day with a 4-2 victory over Southern Illinois. Later in the day, Oklahoma State defeated the Wildcats 4-0. For Sunday’s final regular season matchup, Oklahoma won by a score of 4-2.

In the Southern Illinois match, the Salukis came out and took the doubles point to take a 1-0 lead. Then in singles play, the Wildcats’ No. 1-3 players gave them the lead at 3-2 with two matches left. Junior Iva Bago won in the No. 5 position, giving K-State the 4-2 victory.

To finish off the doubleheader, the Wildcats knew they would be in for a fight, and the Cowgirls came ready to play.

Oklahoma State came out and won the doubles point to give the Cowgirls the early 1-0 lead. In singles play, the Cowgirls ended up winning three matches to give them the 4-0 victory, leaving three matches unfinished. Freshman Millie Stretton was in the third set of a match when her match was unfinished. Redshirt Sophomore Sara Castellano was down one set but was tied in the second set when her match was called.

“I am happy with our singles play,” K-State head coach Danielle Steinberg said to K-State Sports. “Oklahoma State played better than us in a few positions, but overall I felt like we played a good singles match top to bottom and kept the improvement that we have been seeing the past few weeks.”

After the off-day, Oklahoma visited to round out conference play. The Sooners had their struggles this season, so they had something in common with K-State coming into this match.

The Wildcats came out with intensity to start the day as the doubles point and the early 1-0 lead went to them. Oklahoma fought back, though. Castellano, freshman Ana Garcia Navas and Stretton fell in the 1-3 singles in straight sets to give the Sooners the 3-1 lead. Junior Livia Cirnu helped the team fight back as she won in two sets to get the score back to 3-2. Bago fell in the No. 5 position, giving the Sooners the 4-2 victory.

Next, K-State will head to Stillwater, Oklahoma, for the Big 12 Tournament with a 10-13 record and 1-8 mark in conference play. The tournament will begin Thursday.

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