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Then-sophomore Malkia Ngounoue extends to return the ball against Washington Sunday, Feb. 16. The Jayhawks defeated the Huskies 5-2.

Kansas tennis returned to action this weekend at the Jayhawk Tennis Center as part of the Intercollegiate Tennis Association (ITA) Fall Circuit. The tournament featured 32 participants, including seven Jayhawks who competed as unattached athletes. 

“We were excited that our players all chose to play,” coach Todd Chapman said. “When your players choose to invest in their tennis when it is not required, it definitely is a positive for your program.”

Junior Tiffany Lagarde, a newcomer to the program, stole the show for the Jayhawks by securing the tournament championship. She defeated Wisconsin sophomore Xinyu Cai in the finals 6-4, 6-3. 

In the round of 32, all seven Jayhawks won their matches to advance. Junior Sonia Smagina defeated Washburn’s Svea Crohn 6-3, 6-0, before losing in the next round to Iowa State sophomore Ting-Pei Chang (7-5, 6-1, 1-0). Sophomore Vasiliki Karvouni and junior Julia Deming also failed to make it out of the round of 16 after first round wins. 

Sophomore Roxana Manu had an impressive tournament run and easily defeated her first round opponent (6-3, 6-4). In the round of 16, Manu notched an impressive 6-3, 6-1 win before losing to Chang in the quarterfinals 7-5, 6-4. 

Also in the quarterfinals, Kansas sophomore Luniuska Delgado and junior Malkia Ngounoue matched up against one another. Ngounoue won the first set 6-2, but Delgado responded with a 7-5 win to set up the tiebreaker point, which Ngounoue won to move on to the semifinals. 

Ngounoue faced off against another Jayhawk, Lagarde, in the semifinals on Sunday morning. The battle between the two Jayhawks ended in a 6-4, 6-4 victory for Lagarde, which led to her tournament championship. 

“For all of our players, it was the first event they played in since early last March, so there was some rust they all had to work through,” Chapman said. “I was especially pleased to see how well Tiffany Lagarde performed in her first event since arriving in Lawrence.”