Loss in Big 12 Championship concludes K-State tennis season

Senior Iva Bago stands ready 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)

The Kansas State women’s tennis team headed to Norman, Oklahoma, for this year’s Big 12 Championship tournament this past weekend. The Wildcats had their first-round match against the Iowa State Cyclones, where they came out victorious 4-1, but fell to Texas Tech in the quarterfinals.

The loss concludes Wildcats’ season; they finished with a record of 12-15 and 2-7 in the Big 12. It was the most wins in a season for the team since 2011.

“We had a lot of ups and downs this year,” head coach Danielle Steinberg said to K-State Sports. “A lot of close matches that could have gone our way but did not. Overall, I really believe we are just a couple of positions away from being able to compete with the top of the Big 12, and I am hoping we will be able to do just that starting from next year already.”

The day hit off with K-State dominating in the doubles competition. The duo of junior Carolina Costamagna and senior Livia Cirnu started the day off well, taking a 6-4 win over the Cyclones’ sophomore Annabella Bonadonna and freshman Margarita Timakova.

K-State sophomore Millie Stretton and senior Maria Panaite continued the winning ways at the No. 1 spot, with a 6-4 victory as well. They knocked off Iowa States’ senior Samantha Budai and freshman Maty Cancini.

Panaite then carried her momentum into singles competition, claiming the first win on the singles side at the No. 5 spot over Timakova, 6-1 and 6-3.

At the No. 1 spot, Costamagna took down Budai, 6-3 and 6-1.

The Cyclones managed to snag the victory at the No. 2 spot, where Cyclones’ Cancini had a dominating outing against Stretton, taking her down 6-1 and 6-2.

Cirnu finished out the day for the Wildcats, winning 6-1 and 6-4 over Bonadonna.

The victory launched the Cats into the quarterfinals, where they would take on Texas Tech, the No. 1 overall seed and No. 7 team in the country.

It was a rough match for the entire K-State team as they fell 4-0 to Texas Tech for the second time this season.

At the No. 2 spot during doubles competition, No. 75 ranked sophomore Felicity Maltby and junior Gabriela Talaba knocked off Costamagna and Cirnu 6-2. Next, senior Iva Bago and freshman Ines Mesquita lost 6-2 to the Lady Raiders’ freshman Alba Cortina-Pou and sophomore Alex Valenstein.

The singles side of the equation didn’t go much better for K-State. Texas Tech won three straight singles matches to claim the victory.

It was hit off by junior Katelyn Jackson taking down Cirnu 6-1 in both sets at the No. 6 spot. Followed by No. 62 Maltby taking down Stretton 6-1 and 6-3.

The day was closed out at the No. 1 spot. Nationally ranked No. 9 Talaba came out on top 6-1 and 6-2 over the Wildcats Costamagna.

Texas Tech moved on to claim the Big 12 Championship after taking down No. 24 Texas in the semifinals followed by No. 9 Oklahoma State in the finals.