Missouri women's tennis no longer is undefeated — and it can blame Kansas State for that.
After dropping the doubles point, the Wildcats rallied to win five of the six singles matches and take a 5-2 victory over the Tigers in Columbia, Mo., on Sunday.
K-State used victories from juniors Maria Linares and Margot Decker and sophomores Rosanna Maffei and Karine-Marion Job to beat the Tigers, who entered Sunday 4-0, not dropping a match in any of its four victories.
That changed Sunday, and K-State head coach Jordan Smith couldn't be happier.
"We knew it was going to be a tough match," Smith said in a release. "We have played Mizzou the last three of the four years, maybe four out of the last five years. We knew what they bring every time: high energy, aggressive team. I knew on paper we were the better team. We definitely didn’t play anywhere close to our best, but I still credit the ladies. I told them in our post-match interviews like, ‘Hey we didn’t play our best; we were probably medium, but we were the better team and still found a way.’ To pull out five out of six singles matches after losing the doubles point that we didn’t play well in, we turned it around very well.”
Maffei (No. 4 singles) and Job (No. 6) won both of their matches in straight sets.
"I was really happy to be back in the lineup today," said Job, who beat Missouri's Lisa Fukutoku 6-1, 6-3. "I was just focusing on my game and the way I was playing, and it was pretty good. It was pretty positive and the score was pretty easy, even though a match is never easy.”
Linares won a tight two setter at No. 1 singles, edging Missouri’s Serena Nash 6-4, 6-4. Decker, playing in the No. 3 singles spot, sealed the victory for the Wildcats with a 6-3, 6-7 (6-8), 6-2 victory. Junior Anna Turco contributed the final point of the day for K-State, topping Ellie Wright 7-5, 5-7, 6-1 in the No. 2 singles match.
The Turco and Decker pairing fell 6-3 in the No. 1 doubles spot to Missouri’s Nash and Gabrielle Goldin, while Job and Ines Mesquita lost their match to the Tigers’ duo of Oliveira and Elys Ventura 6-1.
After losing both matches at the ITA Kickoff Weekend on Jan. 25 and 26, the Wildcats have now improved their record to 3-2 after back-to-back victories against Missouri and Wichita State, which K-State beat 5-2 in Wichita on Friday.
K-State will return to the court Feb. 8 and 9 when it travels to Tuscon, Arizona, for a pair of matches against Arizona and North Texas.