K-State tennis team falls to Jayhawks in Sunflower Showdown

Sophomore Millie Stretton awaits a serve at the Mike Goss Tennis Stadium on March 30, 2017. (File photo by Kelly Pham | The Collegian)

The K-State tennis team fell to their rival, the Kansas Jayhawks, yet again on Saturday, losing 4-2 at the Jayhawk Tennis Center. No. 30 Kansas (12-7) hosted the Wildcats on senior day, honoring their only senior, Tess Bernard-Feigenbaum.

This brought the Wildcats (11-12) to a tough 2-5 record in the Big 12 and gave them their fourth-straight loss, while Kansas moved to 4-3 in the conference.

The struggles began early for the Wildcats, as they failed to secure a victory during doubles competition at both the No. 1 and No. 2 spots.

The Jayhawks No. 32-ranked Bernard-Feigenbaum and sophomore Nina Khmelnitckaia bested K-State’s sophomore Millie Stretton and senior Maria Panaite, 6-2. They were followed by the duo of junior Carolina Costamagna and freshman Ines Mesquita, who surrendered to the Jayhawks sophomores Anastasia Rychagova and Janet Koch, 6-3 at the No. 2 spot.

On the singles side of play, Kansas did not have anyone to fill in at the No. 6 spot, handing K-State’s senior Livia Cirnu a victory by forfeit.

The Wildcats’ Panaite put up a fight, but was not enough to overcome the Jayhawks freshman Tatiana Nikolaeva, who came out on top, 6-4 and 6-3.

Costamagna had a tough matchup against No. 78 Rychagova. Rychagova claimed a close first set 7-6. However, Costamagna came right back in the second set, coming out on top 7-5. Ultimately, Rychagova found her rhythm with a dominating 6-0 win in the last set to secure the No. 1 spot victory.

It was then followed by another three-set match at the No. 4 spot. However, the Wildcats won. Sophomore Ana Garcia Navas managed to close out the victory despite losing the first set 3-6. Garcia Navas came back against Kansas’s Khmelnitckaia, 6-3, 6-1, to secure the win. This snaps Garcia Navas’s prior three-match losing streak.

Stretton could not hang on to a 4-0 lead in the first set, which led to the Jayhawks’ lone senior Bernard-Feigenbaum, to force and win a tiebreaker, 6-7 (1-7). Benard-Feigenbaum then caught fire, taking the last sets 6-2 and 6-4.

K-State will end its regular season this weekend on a road trip to Texas.

The Cats will look to break their losing streak on Friday at 5 p.m. as they head to Waco, Texas, to take on the Baylor Bears. Their last match of the season will be against the Texas Longhorns on Sunday at 11 a.m.