Wildcat tennis dominates, goes 11-1 against South Dakota, Missouri State

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K-State senior Maria Linares sets up to serve to her opponent on Saturday, Jan. 22. (Sophie Osborn | Collegian Media Group)

In its first action in the spring-dual season, the Kansas State tennis team handled business against South Dakota and Missouri State, defeating both in the doubleheader matchup on Jan. 22. The Wildcats started the day at Body First Indoor Tennis Center facing off against South Dakota, beating them 6-1 and later sweeping Missouri State 7-0.

Starting the day in doubles, freshman Florentine Dekkers teamed up with senior Ioana Gheorghita at the No. 2 position. The combo won all six games, taking down Estella Jaeger and Sonia Skobkareva of South Dakota 6-0, earning the team’s first point in doubles.

At the No. 1 position, senior duo Karine-Marion Job and Maria Linares turned a 2-3 deficit to a 6-3 victory against Jana Lazarevic and Habiba Aly, giving the Wildcats the point for doubles.

In the third doubles match, freshman Dinara Alloyarova and senior Anna Turco faced off against Natka Kmoskova and Bea Havlickova, with the match left unfinished at 5-5.

After earning a point for doubles, K-State went into singles matches, winning five out of six, starting with Job. Job, ranked 51 in the latest ITA rankings, defeated Lazarevic in straight sets 6-2, 6-2.

Gheorghita joined Job and two other teammates in winning in straight sets against South Dakota, defeating Kmoskova 6-3, 6-3.

Standing at 3-0 on the day and one point away from securing the win, Linares started off her match dropping the first set 3-6 against Aly. Linares took control of the rest of her match, winning the next two sets 6-2, 6-0, giving the Wildcats the team victory.

Continuing the competition against South Dakota, Dekkers and Turco went on to win their singles matches, with Dekkers defeating Sonia Skobkareva 6-1, 6-4, and Turco defeating Havlickova 6-3, 6-0.

Finishing off the singles matches, senior Rosanna Maffei went up against Jaeger. After winning the first set 4-6, Maffei had to take it to a third set tiebreaker after losing the second set 7-5. In the tiebreaker, Maffei could not complete the sweep for the Wildcats, losing 10-5 to Jaeger.

Continuing on from the success against South Dakota, K-State did not lose a single set in its battle against Missouri State.

Building off their previous sweep, Dekkers and Gheorghita defeated Sandra Lukacova and Alyson Piskulic 6-0.

Unable to finish their previous match together, Alloyarova and Turco went up against Mara Presot and Kate Miley, winning the set 6-3 and securing K-State the doubles point.

Job and Linares left their match unfinished against Mary Houston and Tiera Jarmond, ending 4-4.

Heading into singles, Dekkers gave the Wildcats their first point, defeating Jarmond 6-0, 6-0. Sweeping each set, Dekkers only lost five games on the day while playing in six sets.

Continuing the victory-filled day, Alloyarova faced off against Lukacova, winning in straight sets 6-0, 6-2.

Working to secure the fourth point, Gheorghita went up against Miley, winning a close first set, 7-5. Gheorghita kept it up in the second set with a 6-3 win, giving K-State the victory over Missouri State.

The last three matches all went to K-State in straight sets, with Job defeating Houston (6-1, 6-0), Linares defeating Piskulic (6-1, 6-1), and Turco finishing the day with a 6-4, 6-1 victory against Presot.

Ending the day with an 11-1 record, the K-State tennis team seems set for the rest of the season.

“We keep telling them, ‘This isn’t where we need to end, this is where our beginning is,'” head coach Jordan Smith said. “So I think they know where their base is now, and we just push it from here. We don’t need to be satisfied with where we are, but we definitely need to be appreciative of where we are and know we can get better.”

Saturday’s two competitions were the first of six home matches that will include Arkansas, Iowa, Memphis and FAU from Feb. 4-12.

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