Tennis suffers first loss of season, takes second place in ITA Kick-Off Weekend

Freshman Ioana Gheorghita focuses on the tennis ball, waiting to rally it back to her teammate during a practice session in September 2018. (Brooke Barrett | Collegian Media Group)

The Kansas State tennis team had a respectable showing this weekend, but it unfortunately suffered its first loss of the season in a second place finish at the ITA Kick-Off Weekend championship round in Atlanta.

On Friday of the ITA Kick-Off Weekend, the Wildcats defeated the College of William and Mary 4-1 in sets behind four singles victories.

K-State sophomore Maria Linares defeated Rosie Cheng of William and Mary 7-5, 7-6 (8-6), with fellow sophomores Margot Decker and Anna Turco also picking up wins over Natalia Perry and Clara Tanielian, respectively.

In the fourth win for the Wildcats, junior Ines Mesquita dominated her matchup with Lauren Goodman, 6-0, 6-2.

This win put the Wildcats in the championship round against No. 5 Georgia on Saturday.

K-State began strong against Georgia as No. 1 doubles duo Decker and Turco took down Georgia’s top duo Vivian Wolff and Lourdes Carle 6-2. The Bulldogs responded by winning the matchups on courts two and three to secure the doubles point.

Also in doubles, Linares and Mesquita lost to Elena Christofi and Morgan Coppoc 6-2, and K-State freshmen Karine-Marion Job and Ioana Gheorghita lost to Katarina Jokic and Meg Kowalski 6-4.

In singles, K-State’s Linares took Georgia’s No. 14 nationally ranked Marta Gonzalez to the third set in singles before taking the loss, 6-2, 4-6, 1-0 (10-8).

Decker was defeated by the No. 1 nationally ranked Jokic, 6-2, 6-4. Turco also took a defeat to No. 78 Carle in two sets, 6-0, 6-2.

Mesquita fell to No. 54 Wolff in two sets, 6-2, 6-1, Job took the defeat at the hands of Christofi, 7-6 (8-6), 6-4 and Gheorghita took a loss to Kowalski in two sets, 6-0, 6-1.

K-State ultimately lost the championship round to Georgia 7-0, the team’s first loss of the young season.

K-State’s season record is now 2-1 overall. Next, the tennis team will face the Nebraska Cornhuskers in Lincoln, Nebraska, on Friday.