Women’s Tennis Scores Six Singles Victories on Day One of Kansas Invitational – K-StateSports.com

LAWRENCE, Kan. – A solid outing in doubles play jump started the Kansas State women’s tennis team in singles play, as the Wildcats scored six impressive victories to close out the first day of the Kansas Invitational on Friday (October 2) at the Jayhawk Tennis Center.
 
“I thought we did a fantastic job in singles today,” said head coach Jordan Smith. “We didn’t want to place a lot of expectations on the first day after months away. Our goal for today was simply to find our rhythm and compete as hard as we could. I told the team that they just needed to establish themselves in every match. Winning six out of eight singles matches shows that we did exactly that.”
 
Competing in their first match since March 4, the Wildcats performed in their return to the courts, collecting six victories in singles play to go with four more in the doubles portion of the tournament.
 
Juniors Maria Linares and Karine-Marion Job led the way for the squad with two victories in the doubles competition to go along with winning their singles match on Friday.
 
“It’s good to be back,” said Linares. “For doubles, we did a good job with what we have been working on and its nice to see that pay off. Being next KJ (Karine-Marion Job), I enjoy playing with her because we have such good chemistry and even after seven months of not playing, everything was still the same. We kept things simple and did a good job playing together.”
 
Linares, who primarily played out the No. 1 spot for K-State in the spring, continued right where she left off, as she showcased her talents against Kansas’ Tiffany Lagarde in a dominant two-set victory, 6-1, 6-3. Job, who ended the spring season on a hot streak, needed three sets to hold off Iowa State’s Ting-Pei Chang, as the Lyon, France native won with a score line of 7-6 (5), 3-6, 7-5.
 
“I felt good with how I have been working in new things and that went great today,” said Linares on her singles performance. “I am happy with the results and I will keep working hard, so I can see what I need to improve upon as the matches continue.”
 
Another junior tandem in Rosanna Maffei and Ioana Gheorghita extended K-State’s win total to four, as Maffei was able to close out a tough matchup with Iowa State’s Chie Kezuka, 6-3, 4-6, 6-0, while Gheorghita won in straight sets over the Cyclones’ Ellie Murphy, 6-4, 6-4.
 
Freshman Manami Ukita proved victorious in her debut in a Wildcat uniform, knocking off Kansas’ Julia Deming in a three-set nail-biter, 4-6, 7-5, 6-4.
 
“It was awesome to see Manami compete in her first event as a Wildcat,” said Smith. “It has been a while since we saw her play a match that counts. She pulled out a tough win in three sets against a veteran player from KU. Manami showed a lot of poise down the stretch. Having her really adds to our depth, as we get back on track to aiming for our goals next spring.”
 
Senior Lilla Barzo closed out the singles portion of tournament to extend K-State’s win total to six, pulling out a three-set victory over Kansas’ Vasiliki Karvouni, 7-6 (8), 2-6, 6-1. Barzo’s win also marked the first time she has taken the court for the Wildcats in the fall season.
 
Senior Margot Decker and junior Anna Turco extended their singles matches to a third set but could not hold off their Jayhawk opponents. Decker fell to Kansas’ Carmen Roxana Manu with a score line of 3-6, 6-3, 5-7, while Turco fell short in her match with Kansas’ Malki Ngounoue, 1-6, 7-6 (5), 3-6.
 
The tandem of Linares and Job kicked off the morning session of the Kansas Invitational with two victories in double play. They knocked off Iowa State’s Chie Kezuka and Christin Hsieh, 6-1, in the first set of the day before pulling out a set tiebreaker against KU’s Tiffany Lagarde and Sonia Smagina, 7-6 (7). Linares and Job now own an 8-2 record when paired together since the fall 2019 season.
 
“Doubles was decent today,” said Smith. “We were able to split the matches, but I would like to see more assertiveness from our teams tomorrow and Sunday.”
 
Decker and Turco earned a victory in the latter part of doubles, as the duo took down Christin Hsieh and Chie Kezuka from Iowa State, 6-3.
 
Maffei and Ukita went 1-1 in the doubles portion, taking a 7-5 victory over Iowa State’s Maty Cancini and Ting-Pei Chang to go with a 6-1 loss to Kansas’ Malkia Ngounoue and Carmen Roxana Manu.
 
Gheorghita and Barzo fought hard in their two sets for doubles play, dropping 6-4 decisions to the Kansas tandems of Malkia Ngounoue and Sonia Smagina and Julia Deming and Vasiliki Karvouni.
 
K-State will continue competition in the Kansas Invitational on Saturday with doubles play starting at 10 a.m., CT.
 
“Recovery will be important for us tonight to see how well we will do tomorrow,” said Smith. “We have to dig deep and find this level again and again.”
 
KU Invitational
Jayhawk Tennis Center
October 2, 2020
 
Doubles Play
 
Round 1
Maria Linares/Karine-Marion Job (KSU) def. Chie Kezuka/Christin Hsieh (ISU), 6-1
Rosanna Maffei/Manami Ukita (KSU) def. Maty Cancini/Ting-Pei Change (ISU), 7-5
Julia Deming/Carmen Roxana Manu (KU) def. Margot Decker/Anna Turco (KSU), 6-3
Malkia Ngounoue/Sonia Smagina (KU) def. Ioana Gheorghita/Lilla Barzo (KSU), 6-4
 
Round 2
Maria Linares/Karine-Marion Job (KSU) def. Tiffany Lagarde/Sonia Smagina (KU), 7-6 (7)
Margot Decker/Anna Turco (KSU) def. Christen Hsieh/Chie Kezuka (ISU), 6-3
Julia Deming/Vasiliki Karvouni (KU) def. Lilla Barzo/Ioana Gheorghita (KSU), 6-4
Malkia Ngounoue/Carmen Roxana Manu (KU) def. Rosanna Maffei/Manami Ukita (KSU), 6-1
 
 
Singles Play
 
Rosanna Maffei (KSU) def. Chie Kezuka (ISU), 6-3, 4-6, 6-0
Manami Ukita (KSU) def. Julia Deming (KU), 4-6, 7-5, 6-4
Karine-Marion Job (KSU) def. Ting-Pei Chang (ISU), 7-6 (5), 3-6, 7-5
Maria Linares (KSU) def. Tiffany Lagarde (KU), 6-1, 6-3
Malkia Ngounoue (KU) def. Anna Turco (KSU), 6-1, 6-7 (5), 6-3
Carmen Roxana Manu (KU) def. Margot Decker (KSU), 6-3, 3-6, 7-5
Ioana Gheorghita (KSU) def. Ellie Murphy (ISU) 6-4, 6-4
Lilla Barzo (KSU) def. Vasiliki Karvouni (KU) 7-6 (8), 2-6, 6-1
 
For the latest on K-State tennis follow @kstatesports and @KStateTEN on Twitter or K-State Women’s Tennis on Facebook.

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