Tennis dominates TCU Invitational, earns three first place finishes

Freshman Jillian Harkin participates in an individualized practice with her coaches. Harkin joined freshmen Charlotte Keitel and Tereza Polakova at the TCU Invitational where Keitel and Polakova were singles co-champions. (Haylee Haslett | Collegian Media Group)

Kansas State tennis had one of its best performances at the TCU Invitational from Oct. 26-29. Freshmen Charlotte Keitel and Tereza Polakova were named singles co-champions after each went undefeated with Polakova joining Veronika Kulhava as doubles champions.

“Really proud of our group this weekend,” head coach Jordan Smith said to K-State Athletics. “The message I had for the team on Thursday night was to be okay failing doing the right things because that’s the only way you’ll be able to succeed later. Obviously, I thought it would take time for them to embrace this. Therefore, it’s been amazing to see their progress and success over the weekend.”

After a few dominant early days, each of the singles co-champions received greater challenges to finish undefeated.

Keitel faced off against TCU’s Isabel Pascual in a tough battle. After taking the first set 6-3, the two entered a tiebreaker for the second set. Keitel took over, finishing the tiebreaker 7-2 to finish off the match in two sets.

Meanwhile, Polakova battled but went further into the match. Polakova split the first two sets 6-2, 4-6 against Horned Frog Yu-Chin Tsai. The match entered a third-set 10-point tiebreaker where Polakova won 10-6 to stay undefeated.

Later on, Polakova moved to her doubles match with Kulhava where they took down TCU’s Helena Narmont and Chai to win 6-3. The duo was named the out-right doubles champions of the tournament as they moved to a 4-1 record together during the fall season.

Senior Aleen Quamar and freshman Jillian Harkin each played in close matches but lost as sophomore Maria Santos had to retire due to injury.

K-State finishes its fall season with the Big 12 Fall Championship beginning on Nov. 10 in Waco, Texas.

“Even better that we’re coming home with a pair of co-champions in singles and outright doubles champions,” Smith said. “Overall it’s been fun watching this young group event after event. Have to recover before we get back on the courts in two weeks down at Baylor.”