Tennis finishes strong with twelve wins at Ole Miss Invite

At the net, junior Ioana Gheorghita watches for the tennis ball. K-State hosted Iowa State and KU in their 2020 Fall Invitational on Oct. 30 through Nov. 1 at Mike Goss Tennis Stadium. (Archive photo by Macey Franko | Collegian Media Group)

The Kansas State women’s tennis team was invited to the Ole Miss Invite over the weekend of Sept. 24 through Sept. 26. Among the competition were two NCAA tournament participants the previous year.

The first day started off great for K-State, with four singles victories and two wins in doubles.

“I’m pleased with our start today,” head coach Jordan Smith said in an interview with K-State Athletics. “Always hard to know where we stand with only reps against each other. Breaking even in singles and doubles shows we have a good foundation, but still not at our peak. Up to our ladies to see if they can push a little more the next two days and extend their ceiling.”

Maria Linares/Karine-Marion Job and Ioana Gheorghita/Florentine Dekkers saw doubles victories. The team also suffered two doubles losses with Dinara Alloyarova/Anna Turco and Rosanna Maffei/Manami Ukita.

Dekkers and Alloyarova both won and had a strong performance in the singles match in their first-ever collegiate singles matches.

“Happy that Dinara and Florentine got their first college wins for K-State today,” Smith said. “I applauded them for not being overwhelmed at the moment and acting like seasoned college players.”

Turco and Gheorghita both clinched singles victories as well.

On day two, Job beat Kelsey Mize from Ole Miss, Gheorghita lost a hard-fought three-set match to Elysia Pool and Dekkers also lost in three sets. The team suffered some other hard losses on day one.

“Our ladies responded very well in singles today, which they should all be very proud of,” Smith said. “We weren’t able to pull out a few close ones, but we competed as well as we could today.”

Unfortunately, K-State had a hard day in doubles competition, going 1-3 overall.

“If we can get a better start tomorrow in doubles and capitalize on our leads then we should have our best day tomorrow,” Smith said.

The third and final day of the competition saw two doubles and two singles victories for K-State.

“We had six sessions of competition throughout the weekend,” Smith said. “The team competed extremely well in five out of six of them. Never easy playing against a title contender like Georgia. I was very pleased by how well we competed and know we came out of this weekend to be proud of. Especially after winning a majority of our matches against a school like Alabama.”

K-State walked away with eight singles victories and four doubles victories against three teams that made the NCAA championships this past spring.

Next up for the tennis team is the ITA All-Americans tournament in Mount Pleasant, South Carolina, starting on Monday, Oct. 4, and going through Sunday, Oct. 10.