Tennis kicks off first home fall tournament in seven years with nine victories

Senior Margot Decker gets ready to receive a serve against Washington at Body First Tennis Center earlier this year. (Dylan Connell | Collegian Media Group)

The Kansas State tennis team kicked off a home tournament for the first time in seven years and claimed five singles victories, as well as four doubles wins, at the K-State Fall Invite at Mike Goss Tennis Stadium on Friday.

Invited to the tournament was in-state rival Kansas and conference foe Iowa State. This is the second time these three teams have played each other this fall season, the first coming at the Kansas Invitational back in early October in Lawrence.

The Wildcats opened the day with doubles, where they walked away with four wins. The junior duo of Maria Linares and Karine-Marion Job dominated early in the day with a 6-0 win over KU’s Julia Deming and Vasiliki Karvouni and followed up with another impressive 6-3 win over Iowa State’s Maty Cancini and Christin Hsieh.

Another junior tandem of Ioana Gheorghita and Anna Turco also scored a 6-3 victory over KU’s pair of Deming and Karvouni.

The duo of redshirt junior Rosanna Maffei and freshman Manami Ukita battled their way to a hard-earned 7-5 victory over the Iowa State pairing of Ellie Murphy and Ting-Pei Chang to bring the Wildcat’s doubles victories to four on the first day of play.

“We were a little slow out of the gates in a couple of spots in the first round of doubles today,” head coach Jordan Smith told K-State Sports. “We regrouped well and settled into our tennis nicely for the second round and we were pretty pleased with our overall singles play too.”

The success carried over to singles play for the Wildcats who won five of their seven singles matches.

Linares continued her winning ways as she took down the Cyclone’s Hsieh in a 6-4, 6-2 win. Senior Margot Decker also had a strong outing, battling KU’s Deming for a 7-5, 6-4 win.

Both Ukita and Maffei dominated their opponents on the opening day of play, winning their matches 6-1, 6-2. Ukita scored a win over KU’s Karvouni while Maffei beat Iowa State’s Chang to remain undefeated for the season.

Gheorghita went to war with Chie Kezuka of Iowa State and walked away victorious in a hard-fought 7-5, 5-7, 6-2 match.

Both Job and Turco fell short in their singles matches on Friday. In a back-and-forth match with Murphy of Iowa State; Turco could not close the gap in either of her two sets, resulting in a 4-6, 5-7 loss. Job was searching for a late comeback in her match with Iowa State’s Cancini but fell short, losing 1-6, 5-7.

Day two of the K-State Fall Invite continues at 10:30 a.m. on Saturday, Oct. 31, at Mike Goss Tennis Stadium.