Tennis kicks off season with sweep of Penn State

The tennis team gathers their tennis balls before practice. (File Photo by Brooke Barrett | Collegian Media Group)

The tennis team kicked off their season with a strong performance against Penn State on Monday afternoon, defeating the Nittany Lions 5-0 at Body First Tennis Center.

After a big victory in the doubles by junior pair Anna Turco and Margot Decker, Kansas State (1-0) took four straight victories in the singles thanks to solid performances by Turco, Decker and junior Maria Linares, as well as redshirt sophomore Rosanna Maffei to clinch their third straight season-opening victory at home.

“For us to come out there and get a doubles point and then take care of business with wins in the No. 1, 2, 3, and 4 for singles, I thought that was very good from us,” head coach Jordan Smith told K-State Sports. “We just looked good. I told the girls before the match that all the training we did in the fall and our training week in Orlando, that all pays off starting today.”

Ranked No. 54 in the nation, the pair of Turco and Decker started off the match in a tough position, down 3-4 late to Penn State’s (1-1) pair of juniors Gabby O’Gorman and Olivia Rohrbacher. Decker and Turco came storming back though, taking the next three games and taking the set 6-4, kickstarting the rest of the match for the Wildcats.

That momentum rode with Decker into her singles match, thumping Penn State’s Rohrbacher in the first set 6-0, and then putting Rohrbacher away in the second set 6-2, putting K-State 2-0 in the match over the Nittany Lions.

Turco also kept up her success in singles play, taking her match moments after the victory by Decker. Defeating Penn State junior Frederikke Svarre in two sets 6-3 in both sets, putting K-State up 3-0. At this point, the needed two more victories to sweep the day.

Linares was set up for a tight match in the No. 1 spot, as she trailed O’Gorman in the first set. She ultimately came back and took it 6-4. Linares finished out her match with a 6-3 second set victory to put the Wildcats up 4-0 on the day.

It was Maffei who finished out the match for the Wildcats, making quick work of Penn State sophomore Olivia Ryan, taking the match in two sets, 6-2 and 6-0. The victory for Maffei clinched the final point and the sweep for the Wildcats, defeating the Nittany Lions 5-0.

Next up for the Wildcats after their season-opening victory is a trip to Durham, North Carolina, on Saturday for the ITA Kickoff weekend where the Wildcats will take on Duke (1-0) at the Sheffield Tennis Center.

Hey! I’m Cameron Bradley and I am the sports editor for the Collegian! I am a junior from Wichita, Kansas, and I am majoring in journalism. When I’m not working for the Collegian, I’m creating content and putting on broadcasts with K-StateHD.TV. I am also currently a member of the Sigma Tau Gamma fraternity. I love sports, spending time with friends, family and doing everything that I do for the glory of God!