Tennis comes back against William and Mary for third straight win

Freshman Rosanna Maffei prepares to return the ball against North Texas on Feb. 9, 2018 at Body First Indoor Tennis Center. The Wildcats won 4-3. (Logan Wassall | Collegian Media Group)

The Kansas State tennis team has improved its record to 8-2 overall this spring by defeating the College of William and Mary 4-3 at Williamsburg, Virginia, on Sunday.

The Wildcats once again started out strong, winning the first match to go up 1-0 as they clinched the doubles points. This is the seventh time the Wildcats have won doubles to take a 1-0 lead in their matches this year.

Freshman Margot Decker and senior Carolina Costamagna defeated Clara Tanielian and Ekaterina Stepanova 6-1 later that day. The Wildcats then took control of the match with a 2-0 team lead.

Sophomore Ines Mesquita and freshman Anna Turco got their first win paired together this year, defeating Charlottte Madson and Olivia Thaler 7-5.

The Wildcats then found themselves trailing William and Mary 3-2 as the Tribe came back and took the lead by winning three straight sets.

The Tribe began its comeback when Laura Goodman defeated Turco in two sets, 5-7, 2-7. The Tribe then tied the match when Tanielian defeated freshman Rosanna Maffei, snapping her two-match winning streak.

The Tribe took the 3-2 lead with the matchup No.1 singles when Rosie Cheng, a player ranked 86th in the country, defeated Decker in three sets, 4-6, 6-1, 2-6.

The Wildcats immediately fought back and tied the match at 3-3, with Costamagna defeating Stepanova in three sets.

Freshman Maria Linares then defeated William and Mary’s Natalie Perry in three sets to seal the game for the Wildcats, 6-2, 6-7, 6-3.

Linares received the Big 12 Player of the Week award for her performance.

Head coach Danielle Steinberg had good things to say about her team after the match.

“Today was another gritty match from the team,” Steinberg said to K-State Sports after the match. “I am more and more impressed with the unity and heart this team shows. We did not play our best at some positions, but we gave our all in every spot. Seeing the whole team support [Linares] at the end to clinch the match is worth everything to me. Fighting the way we did today will turn this from a good team to a great team.”

The Wildcats will travel to Dallas to take on the SMU Mustangs on Friday. The match will be played at 4 p.m. in the SMU Tennis Complex.