LUBBOCK, Tex. A strong dose of West Texas wind helped No. 61 Texas Tech sweep through No. 67 Kansas State in doubles play and top the Wildcats, 4-3, on Sunday at the McLeod Tennis Center.
Kansas State (1-1, 0-1) lost at all three doubles positions in their first outdoor match of the year, giving Texas Tech (3-0, 1-0) an early 1-0 lead. The Wildcats responded by winning half of the singles matches but the doubles point ended up being the deciding factor.
“It was a pretty tough match. Part of it was the way that Tech played, and part of it was the conditions. It was as windy as it could be without going inside,” K-State head coach Steve Bietau said. “I thought our team fought pretty hard. They basically accepted the conditions for what they were and played their best, but just couldn’t get the job done.”
Knowing the possibility of playing the matches outdoors, the Wildcats practiced all week on the outdoor courts in Manhattan and arrived early in Lubbock this weekend, but it was impossible to simulate Sunday’s windy conditions. According to the National Weather Service, sustained winds in Lubbock were between 7 and 30 miles per hour throughout the afternoon with gusts up to 40 miles per hour. Still, Bietau points to poor doubles play rather than the elements as the main contributor to the match results.
“I think the conditions favored them a little bit, but we just didn’t play well enough.” Bietau said. “It was surprising to me. Getting swept in the doubles, when you can come back and win half of the singles, there is obviously something wrong there. That’s definitely going to be a point of concern when we get back and start practicing.”
Kansas State tried to salvage the day despite the poor doubles showing and started strong in singles play after Fernanda Da Valle opened with a straight set win over Katja Kovacic at the No. 5 position. The Wildcats led 3-2 at one point during the match and needed wins from either Jessica Simosa at No. 1 singles or Olga Klimova at No. 6. Simosa was defeated by No. 77 Tara Browning in three sets and Klimova was outlasted by Erin Hunter, 7-6, 6-7, 6-3, giving the Lady Raiders the 4-3 edge.
The Wildcats take a two week hiatus from competition before invading Utah at the start of a three-dual road trip. K-State will challenge Utah in Salt Lake City on Friday, February 17, and then take on No. 22 Brigham Young on Saturday, February 18, in Provo. The Wildcats return home after facing Tulsa on February 23, and play host to Wichita State at noon in Manhattan on Saturday, February 25.
Kansas State vs. Texas Tech
McLeod Tennis Center Lubbock, Tex.
Sunday, February 5
1. (77) Tara Browning (TTU) def. Jessica Simosa (KSU), 5-7, 6-2, 6-2
2. Tamar Kvaratskhelia (KSU) def. Cigdem Duru (TTU), 7-6, 7-5
3. Janet Durham (TTU) def. (100) Katerina Kudlackova (KSU), 6-0, 6-2
4. Maria Perevoschikova (KSU) def. Samantha Vander Drift (TTU), 6-4, 6-4
5. Fernanda Da Valle (KSU) def. Katja Kovacic (TTU), 6-4, 6-2
6. Erin Hunter (TTU) def. Olga Klimova (KSU), 7-6, 6-7, 6-3
Order of Completion: 5, 3, 4, 2, 1, 6
1. Tara Browning/Lakann Wagley (TTU) def. Katerina Kudlackova/Jessica Simosa (KSU), 8-2
2. (23) Katja Kovacic/Erin Hunter (TTU) def. Fernanda Da Valle/Olga Klimova (KSU), 8-5
3. Cigdem Duru/Samantha Vander Drift (TTU) def. Maria Perevoschikova/Tamar Kvaratskhelia (KSU), 9-7
Order of Completion: 1, 2, 3