Wildcats Upend Sooners in Big 12 Championships
AUSTIN, Texas - The 10th-seeded Kansas State women’s tennis team avenged a loss ealier this season, upsetting seventh-seeded Oklahoma during Thursday’s first round of the Big 12 Women’s Tennis Championships at Penick-Allsion Tennis Center. The Wildcats won their first postseason match since the 2003 season.
The Wildcats (9-11 overall, 4-8 Big 12) swept the top four positions in singles play, including the final point of the afternoon at the number four position. Freshman Tereza Prochazkova (pro-KOS-kova) captured the elusive point by enduring a three-set match with Jessica Braver, 1-6, 6-4, 6-1. The Brno, Czech Republic, native has played three 3-set matches in her last five outings. The win was Prochazkova’s 10th of the season and gives K-State four players who have reached doubles digits in victories this season.
“She [Prochazkova] has had a lot of those long, tough matches recently and I think there was just more determination today in Tereza not to lose another one,” said head coach Steve Bietau about his freshman’s win.
In doubles play, the 59th-ranked Sooners (14-12 overall, 4-8 Big 12) edged past K-State, winning at the numbers two and three positions to clinch the point. Doubles action was ended following the number two doubles match. The Sooners then took the early advantage in singles play, but K-State fought back to clinch the match.
“We fell behind early today and we got down quickly in singles play and really lost the momentum of the match,” said Bietau. “They just continued to battle and went out and proved that they can win a match like this.”
The victory ended a four-match losing streak and evened the season series between the teams. K-State fell in Norman, March 12, 6-1. It was the first win this season for the Wildcats against an ITA-ranked opponent (1-10).
The Wildcats received wins from its 20-win trio of senior Maria Rosenberg, freshman Tamar Kvaratskhelia (kah-vah-RATSK-heel-yah) and junior Jessica Simosa. Rosenberg ended a three-match losing streak and dropped Irina Lykina, 6-3, 7-5, in the number one position. Rosenberg, the Manhattan, Kan., product, now moves her K-State career singles win record to 79-54 and jumps into a tie for fifth on the singles wins in a season list with her mark of 23-16.
Kvaratskhelia returned to her winning ways after losing two straight for the first time since Feb. 12. The Tbilisi, Republic of Georgia native and K-State singles wins in a season record-holder won a three-set match over Heather Saluri, 4-6, 6-1, 6-2. Kvaratskhelia is now 31-6 with a winning percentage of .838, which is the highest for a career and a season.
Simosa improved her career-high for singles wins in a season with a straight set win over Bethany Griffin, 6-1, 7-6. The Valencia, Venezuela product trailed early in the second set but pushed it to a tie-breaker. Simosa is now 21-16 and is tied for 11th for wins in a season.
Kansas State will face host and number two seed, Texas at 3 p.m., Friday.
Order of Finish: Doubles - 3,2,1 Singles - 3, 6, 1, 5, 2, 4