Malkia Ngounoue

Senior Malkia Ngounoue dives for the ball against Arkansas on Feb. 6, 2022. The Jayhawks won that match 5-2.

Kansas tennis got back on track after falling in its previous matchup to Arizona State with a win over Illinois on Friday. The No. 39 Jayhawks defeated the No. 57 Fighting Illini by a 4-0 margin. 

The day began with doubles play, where the Jayhawks started strong. Kansas senior Malkia Ngounoue and redshirt freshman Maria Titova defeated the Fighting Illini tandem of sophomore Kate Duong and freshman Megan Heuser, taking six of eight games. 

After the win, the Jayhawks followed that up with the pair of senior Sonia Smagina and junior Carmen Roxana Manu, knocking off the Fighting Illini’s juniors Josie Frazier and Ashley Yeah. The pair won six of eight games to take the doubles point.

In singles play, Titova fought hard against Duong in the first matchup, taking the first set 6-2 but losing the second set 6-7. The match was unable to be finished as Titova and Duong tied 2-2 in the final set. Neither team received a point from this match. 

Ngounoue took both of her sets against Yeah, 6-1, 6-1, to earn the first singles point for the Jayhawks. Ngounoue controlled the match from beginning to end.

With Kansas in the lead after earning two points, Roxana Manu faced off against Heuser in the fourth singles match. Heuser started off strong, taking the first set 6-3. Roxana Manu answered with a 6-3 set win of her own to even the score at 1-1 heading into the third and final set. 

With the final point on the line, Roxana Manu fought hard to keep the set going. Roxana Manu bested Heuser with a 7-5 win to earn the Jayhawks their third point.

With the Jayhawks in the driver’s seat leading the match 3-0, freshman Mariana Manyoma-Velasquez faced off with freshman Kasia Treiber. Manyoma-Velasquez won the first set 6-0, giving herself an early advantage.

Treiber followed up a rough set with a 6-3 set win to even the score at 1-1. Roxana Manu secured the victory for the Jayhawks by taking the final set, 6-3, and earning the fourth and final point.

The Jayhawks look to start a new winning streak as they face No. 42 Northwestern Sunday, March 6 at the Jayhawk Tennis Center in Lawrence, Kansas.