The Jayhawks’ home opener at the Jayhawk Tennis Center this Saturday culminated in a 6-1 Kansas victory. Leading through the doubles portion of the day, all through the six singles matches, Kansas’ super-senior No. 26 Malkia Ngounoue comfortably handled the Shockers in their first dual of the 2022-2023 season.
Starting with doubles, the three pairs were No. 1: freshman Heike Janse Van Vuuren and Nguonoue; No. 2: redshirt sophomore Maria Titova and freshman Tamari Gagoshidze; and No.3: senior Carmen Roxana Manu and junior Jocelyn Massey. All three pairs jumped out to early leads, with both No. 2 and No. 3 doubles curating a 2-0 set lead. Manu and Massey extended their lead to 4-0, eventually winning their match 6-1 and setting Kansas up to win the doubles point for the contest.
With Vuuren and Nguonoue’s match tied 3-3 at the halfway point, No. 2 doubles locked down a 4-2 set lead before the Shockers’ No. 2 doubles fought back to make the score 5-4. At this point, both pairs were up 5-4, meaning the first team to win a sixth game would secure Kansas the point in the doubles matchup. Titova and Gagoshidze ended up being this team, winning their match 6-4, leaving No. 1 doubles tied at 5-5.
The six singles matchups started with the Jayhawks off on the right foot in this next portion of the dual, as freshman Silvia Maria Costache won her match 6-2, 6-0, and gave Kansas a 2-0 lead in the match. Manu and Gagoshidze followed suit, winning the first set in their No. 3 and No. 4 singles matches 6-4 and 6-3, respectively. Ngounoue would then tack on another point for the Jayhawks, winning her No. 1 singles 6-1, 6-3, and putting the lead at 3-0. Manu and Gagoshidze would finish their matches 6-4, 6-2 and 6-3, 6-3, winning the dual for Kansas.
Titovia would win her No. 2 singles matchup 6-2, 7-5, while Massey would be the only Jayhawk to drop a point, as her singles match stood at 7-5, 0-6, 0-1 (4).
In an overall 6-1 win, Kansas dominated its competition and started the season off on the right foot. The Jayhawks’ next competition will be the ITA Kick-off Weekend in Stillwater, Oklahoma, where they will play Michigan on Jan. 28 at 10 a.m. and Oklahoma State or Oregon on Jan. 29.