K-State tennis cruises to first road wins

Freshman Ines Mesquita hits a tennis ball at K-State's match against Missouri at the K-State Recreation Tennis Courts on Feb. 10, 2017. (File Photo by John Benfer | The Collegian)

K-State’s tennis team started their four-game road trip on the right foot this weekend, breezing past North Texas 6-2 and pulling out a close one against Washington State 4-3.

“Tough character is built and revealed when we face adversity, and this team faced a big one last weekend,” head coach Danielle Steinberg said to K-State Sports. “I was very proud of how we responded and came together in today’s match.”

The Wildcats faced some adversity during their match against North Texas. Senior Palma Juhasz sustained an injury in her previous match, calling for freshman Ines Mesquita to team up at the No. 1 spot with junior Carolina Costamagna in doubles play.

This forced senior Livia Cirnu to pair up with senior Iva Bago at the No. 3 spot, who managed to beat North Texas’ Laura Arciniegas and Minying Liang 6-2. The dynamic duo of sophomores Millie Stretton and Ana Garcia Navas stayed together and dominated North Texas at the No. 2 spot, coming out victorious 6-1.

On the singles side of the equation, Cirnu won her match, racking up her seventh win in a row.

Despite Garcia Navas and senior Maria Panaite losing their first sets, they each managed to fight back and win in three sets. Garcia Navas took down Liang, 4-6, 6-0, 6-1 and Panaite beat Alexandra Heczey 4-6, 6-4, 7-6.

K-State got payback against Washington State on Saturday, after falling to them last season.

“Again, so proud of this team,” Steinberg said. “We showed so much heart and fight today and kept believing in ourselves even when the odds were against us. I cannot emphasize how important it is to stay out there on the court and keep fighting for every point.”

The Wildcats did not pick up the doubles point. However, Mesquita and Costamagna came through, winning at the No. 1 spot.

K-State caught fire during their singles play, winning all the matches from positions Nos. 1-4.

Costamagna found a way to bounce back after losing the day prior. Costamagna defeated the Cougars’ Barbora Michalkova, 6-4, 0-6, 6-4, making it a great outing from the No. 1 spot.

Stretton and Garcia Navas both came in clutch and pulled out the win in their three-set matches, leading K-State past Washington State.

It was not all good news for the Wildcats, as Cirnu and Panaite both lost their win streaks of seven and five, respectively. Not to mention, the Wildcats will have to go the rest of the season without Juhasz after her injury to Missouri last weekend.

K-State continues their road trip as they head to Chicago this weekend. The Wildcats will face the University of Illinois at Chicago on Saturday, followed by DePaul on Sunday.