In season opener, K-State Tennis takes a 7-0 win

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Then-freshman Maria Linares prepares to serve against North Texas on Feb. 9, 2018 at Body First Indoor Tennis Center. The Wildcats won 4 matches to 3. (Logan Wassall | Collegian Media Group)

The K-State women’s tennis team swept South Dakota 7-0 in their spring season opener in Manhattan on Saturday.

At the beginning of the dual, K-State’s three doubles pairings each won 6-2. The wins gave K-State the point for the doubles portion of the dual and they took a 1-0 lead.

The doubles pairings were sophomore Margot Decker with sophomore Anna Turco, sophomore Maria Linares—last year’s Big 12 Freshman of the Year—with junior Ines Mesquita and freshman Ioana Gheorghita with freshman Maria Ponomareva.

The next portion of the dual featured Decker and Turco in singles matches. They each won in straight sets to put K-State up 3-0 on the day.

K-State’s Linares took down South Dakota’s Jana Lazarevic in straight sets. The match, which went into a tie-breaker in the second set, moved Linares to 2-0 in her career at the No. 1 spot for K-State. K-State was 4-0.

Next up was Ponomareva, who had a singles battle with South Dakota’s Luana Stanciu. The freshman won giving K-State a 5-0 lead.

Ponomareva’s classmate, Karine-Marion Job, gave K-State a 6-0 lead with a straight-set win, 6-2, 6-3. Job is a newcomer at K-State, joining the team for this semester.

“All three of our freshmen picked up their first wins as a Wildcat today, so that’s always great,” head coach Jordan Smith told K-State Sports.

The final match was between Mesquita and South Dakota’s Emma Tranberg. The Coyote took the first set, 3-6, but Mesquita came back to win the last two, 6-2, 1-0.

K-State will head to Athens, Georgia, to take on William & Mary on Friday and then the winner of Georgia vs South Florida on Saturday.

“I’m really happy how the girls came out today. Maybe a little nervous, it’s been so long since we played at home, but I thought we did a good job of building on the fall and finally getting into a team competition,” Smith said to K-State Sports. “It’s good, especially heading into Georgia where we are really going to need to come together.”

There will be live updates from Athens on Twitter (@KStateTEN) and on K-StateSports.com.

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