No. 20-ranked Kansas tennis defeated No. 12 Oklahoma State in the Big 12 Championship semifinals, 4-2, at the Jayhawk Tennis Center at Rock Chalk Park Saturday afternoon.
This marks the first time the Kansas tennis program has ever advanced to the Big 12 final. The last time the Jayhawks made it to a conference final was in 1996, when Kansas won the last Big 8 Championship.
"I think it was a great college tennis match today," head coach Todd Chapman said in a team release. "I think we competed really well in every single spot. I cannot give Oklahoma State enough credit for the type of team they are and how well coached they are. Oklahoma State is a big-moment team and today it took us playing very well in the big moments and at the end of the day we continued to fight and work hard."
Kansas' No. 73-ranked doubles tandem of Anastasia Rychagova and Sonia Smagina blasted their way past Katarina Stresnakova and Marina Guinart, 6-2, at No. 2 doubles. At No. 3 doubles Maria Toran Ribes and Malkia Ngounoue triumphed over Bunyawi Thamchaiwat and Tamara Arnold, 6-4, giving Kansas the doubles point.
The match on court 1 between KU's No. 3-ranked doubles team of Janet Koch and Nina Khmelnitckaia and Oklahoma State's Sofia Blanco and Catherine Gulihur went unfinished after Kansas claimed the doubles point.
In singles, Koch, the No. 104-ranked singles player in the country, fell to Lisa Marie Rioux, 6-4, 6-1, tying the score. On court 4, Smagina was beaten by Guinart, 6-2, 6-4, giving Oklahoma State a 2-1 advantage.
At No. 5 singles, Khmelnitckaia bested Blanco, 7-5, 6-2, tying the score again at 2-2. Rychagova, ranked No. 22 in the nation, defeated No. 26-ranked Stresnakova at No. 1 singles, 6-3, 6-4, giving the Jayhawks a 3-2 lead. Toran Ribes clinched it for the Jayhawks, outlasting Gulihur, 6-3, 2-6, 6-4.