Tennis dominates at home with a 2-0 weekend

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At the net, junior Ioana Gheorghita watches for the tennis ball. K-State hosted Iowa State and KU in their Fall Invitational on Oct. 30 through Nov. 1 at Mike Goss Tennis Stadium. (Macey Franko | Collegian Media Group)

After defeating Drake and Denver last weekend, Kansas State tennis continued to defend their home court when they took down in-state rival Wichita State and Arizona this past weekend.

The team opened up play on Friday against the Wichita State Shockers at the Body First Tennis Center.

Despite dropping the point for doubles play to fall behind early in the match, the Wildcats came back with a vengeance in singles.

Freshman Manami Ukita was the first to give the Wildcats a point with a 6-2, 6-1 win over the Shocker’s Jie Xin Zheng. Ukita has been dominant since joining the team, remaining undefeated at home and posting a 14-4 career record in singles.

Juniors Maria Linares and Anna Turco followed shortly after, giving the Wildcats a 3-1 lead over the Shockers. Linares beat Marta Bellucco 6-4, 6-0, while Turco put away Alexandra Lazarova 6-1, 6-3.

The final point for K-State came from senior Lilla Barzó defeating Wichita State’s Ting-Ya Hsu in a dominant 6-1, 6-0 performance. Barzó’s win secured the dual for the Wildcats as they won 4-1 on points.

The team then faced off against Arizona on Sunday where they had another victory.

K-State began the day by claiming the point for doubles as they went 2-1 against Arizona. Barzó and Ukita won yet again as they took down the duo of Jelena Lukic and Kayla Wilkins, 6-3. Barzó and Ukita have yet to lose at home this season as a duo.

Senior Margot Decker and Sophomore Ioana Gheorghita provided the second win for K-State as they defeated Abby Amos and Talya Zandberg, 6-4.

Kansas State continued to perform in singles play. Sophomore Karine-Marion Job provided the first win, taking down Wilkins in a dominant 6-1, 6-3 win from the No. 1 spot.

Barzó continued her dominant weekend, claiming her fourth win between singles and doubles play, as she triumphed over Arizona’s Gitte Heynemans, 6-3, 7-5. Sophomore Rosanna Maffei provided the last singles win of the day for K-State as she beat Zandberg in a close match, 6-3, 7-5.

Turco, Ukita and Linares did not get to finish their matches because K-State had already clinched the victory. Ukita and Linares were holding a lead while Turco had not started hers before the match had been decided.

Despite having a rough start to the season with losses to Arkansas and Arizona State, head coach Jordan Smith believes the team is on the right track.

“I think we just got back into our stride of how to play,” Smith said in a release to K-State Athletics. “That first match with Arkansas I think we were a little shellshocked because it had been so long since we had competed in a team competition. The fact we came out and went 4-0 today, we have to be proud of ourselves. For us it was like, ‘We got the job done and we should be proud of ourselves for getting the job done.'”

With matches against Washington and Washington State being canceled, the Wildcats will travel next to Texas to face off against SMU on March 3, before taking on Texas Tech and TCU on March 12 and 14, respectively.

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