K-State tennis takes out North Texas, Arizona over weekend

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Then-senior Iva Bago and then-freshman Ines Mesquita stand in between a point at K-State's match against Missouri at the K-State Recreation Tennis Courts on Feb. 10, 2017. (Archive photo by John Benfer | Collegian Media Group)

The Kansas State tennis team had a long weekend, but it was worth it for the Wildcats as they beat North Texas and Arizona to improve their season record to 5-2 overall.

University of North Texas

The tennis team came up with an incredible comeback win over North Texas, beating them 4-3 at the Waranch Tennis Complex in Denton, Texas. The incredible four singles victories by freshmen Ioana Gheorghita and Maria Ponomareva were what tipped the Wildcats over the edge.

“I’m really proud of the effort and fight by the team today,” head coach Jordan Smith said to K-State Sports. “This was a tough road win for us to pull out. North Texas played well today in both doubles and singles; they made us fight for everything.”

K-State was behind North Texas 3-2 with two singles matches left to be played. Ponomareva stepped up and grabbed a victory against Mingying Liang, 6-2, 7-6 (5), to bring the score to an even 3-3.

The fate of the match rested on the shoulders of Gheorghita and her final singles match against Ivana Babic. The opening set went in the way of Gheorghita, 6-3, but Babic responded strongly in the second set, 6-3. In the third and final set, Gheorghita came out victorious, giving the Wildcats a strong and much needed victory, 6-4.

“A lot of credit goes to their teammates for the incredible support down the stretch,” Smith said. “I’m glad we were able to pull that one out, and we will be ready for Arizona.”

University of Arizona

After defeating North Texas on Friday, the Wildcats took on Arizona last Saturday at the SMU Tennis Complex, winning with a dominant 4-0.

In the first doubles match of the day, sophomores Anna Turco and Margot Decker beat Emma Wilson and Gittie Heynenmans 6-2. Their win was followed by freshman Karine-Marion Job and junior Ines Mesquita winning 6-5 over Talya Zandberg and Camila Wesbrooks.

The last doubles match went unfinished, leaving the freshman Wildcat pair of Ponomareva and Gheorghita ahead 5-4.

Job won her singles match 6-2 in the No. 5 spot, and Turco claimed the win in the No. 4 spot as well.

“We did a great job of getting recovered physically and mentally for this match,” Smith said to K-State Sports. “Great overall team performance today and on the weekend.”

Ponomareva, Mesquita and Linares were unable to finish their singles matches, leaving K-State’s record 5-2 for the season.

With another strong win to add to a strong season, the Wildcats are ready to continue competing at home against SMU on Thursday at noon.

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