DURHAM, N.C. – Trailing 3-0 midway through singles play, the Kansas State women’s tennis team secured two crucial victories from junior Margot Decker and senior Ines Mesquita to trim the lead to one point but fell in the next match, resulting in a 4-2 loss to Mississippi State on Sunday at the Sheffield Tennis Center during the ITA Kickoff Weekend.
“Honestly, we had a poor start in doubles this morning,” said Head Coach Jordan Smith. “Mississippi State came out with high energy and we just never found a way to match them on enough courts. We finally got it going in singles after the break and our team did a great job competing on all six courts. It was good to see Margot and Ines bounce back with victories after yesterday. Anna (Turco) did a great job of turning her match around and a couple points from the win before her match was stopped. Definitely had a stronger presence against Duke than Mississippi State.”
Giving up the doubles point and residing two more points during the singles portion of the match, K-State attempted to chip away at the Bulldogs’ lead as Decker and Mesquita grabbed victories in the No. 3 and 6 spots. Decker earned the first point of the day with a three-set victory over Mississippi State’s Magda Adaloglou, 6-2, 2-6, 6-2.
Down 3-1, senior Ines Mesquita finished off the Bulldogs’ Valeria Nikolaev in two sets, 6-3, 7-5. However, the points earned by Decker and Mesquita were not enough for K-State as the deficit was too much to overcome. Sophomore Rosanna Maffei battled against Alexandra Mikhailuk of Mississippi State in a three-set showdown, but Maffei’s efforts to extend the match came to an end with a 3-6, 6-1, 6-0 loss in the No. 4 spot.
For doubles play, K-State saw its chances of capturing the first point of the match disappear when the pairings of Decker and junior Anna Turco and juniors Maria Linares and Lilla Barzo lost their sets to ranked opponents. Mississippi State’s Tamara Racine and Adaloglou, who came into the match ranked No. 43 in the nation, swept Decker and Turco in the No. 1 spot with a 6-0 set victory.
Barzo and Linares could not contain the duo of Emma Antonaki and Mikhailuk from Mississippi State and faltered at the No. 2 spot with a 1-6 set loss. The Bulldogs’ pairing currently ranks No. 45 in the nation by the ITA.
At the beginning of singles play, Linares faced off against Antonaki at the No. 1 spot. Antonaki, the No. 84 ranked player by the ITA, ran past Linares with a 6-2, 6-2 win.
Sophomore Ioana Gheorghita fell in the second singles match of the day during the No. 6 battle in two sets, 6-2, 6-3. Turco, performing in the No. 2 hole for K-State, could not complete her match and ended her day with a score line of 5-7, 6-1, 5-3.
“We will have to do a better job of creating our own energy in our remaining neutral matches,” Smith said. “Overall, this was a missed opportunity but it’s early in the season and we have more chances moving forward.”
With the match against Mississippi State complete, the Wildcats return back to the sunflower state to prepare for the Wichita State Shockers on Friday, January 31 in Wichita, Kansas.
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ITA Kickoff Weekend
January 26, 2020
Sheffield Tennis Center/Durham, N.C.
Order of Finish: 1, 2
No. 1. #43 Racine/Adaloglou (MS) def. #54 Turco/Decker (KSU) 6-0
No. 2. #45 Antonaki/Mikhaliuk (MS) def. Linares/Barzo (KSU) 6-1
No. 3. Job/Mesquita (KSU) vs. Lizariturry/Falceto (MS) no result
Order of Finish: 1, 6, 3, 5, 4
No. 1. #84 Emma Antonaki (MS) def. Maria Linares (KSU) 6-2, 6-2
No. 2. Tamara Racine (MS) vs. Anna Turco (KSU) 7-5, 1-6, 5-3, unfinished
No. 3. Margot Decker (KSU) def. Magda Adaloglou (MS) 6-2, 2-6, 6-2
No. 4. Alexandra Mikhailuk (MS) def. Rosanna Maffei (KSU) 3-6, 6-1, 6-0
No. 5. Ines Mesquita (KSU) def. Valeria Nikolaev (MS) 6-3, 7-5
No. 6. Marta Falceto (MS) def. Ioana Gheorghita (KSU) 6-2, 6-3
Source: Kansas State Sports