MORGANTOWN, W.Va. – In the finale of its four-match homestand, the West Virginia University tennis team (3-6, 0-6 Big 12) fell to Kansas State, 4-2, on Sunday afternoon, at the Summit Tennis Academy in Morgantown.
“Today was another tough battle,” WVU coach Miha Lisac said. “I think we had two teams that came out and battled well on both sides. We gave ourselves an opportunity in doubles. It was a very similar situation to Friday. There were a couple of points where they probably played a little bit more disciplined where those points went their way. That ended up turning the doubles point, but again, credit to us. We came out, we battled and we did the majority of the right things to give ourselves a chance.
In singles, pretty much every court was an all-out battle. I feel for the players, because it’s tough to play in the situation we’re in, but we came out and we battled. That is pretty much all we can ask of ourselves at this point. There may be a couple more instances where we could’ve been more disciplined and do a better job of executing our game where some of those 7-6 sets, some of those battles when you’re at 5-5 start to potentially turn your way.”
West Virginia once again took the courts shorthanded on Sunday and was forced to concede the No. 3 doubles and No. 6 singles match, allowing Kansas State to take an early lead.
In doubles, the freshmen duo of Amber Fuller and Momoko Nagato battled against Lilla Barzo and Manami Ukita from the No. 2 position. Despite a back-and-forth start to the match, the Mountaineer pair fell to Barzo and Ukita, 6-3, to decide the doubles team point. West Virginia trailed Kansas State, 2-0, heading into singles play.
The final doubles match from the No. 1 position was abandoned. Junior Anastasiia Bovolskaia and freshman Nadya Maslova led Karine-Marion Job and Maria Linares, 5-4, when the contest was called.
Fuller was the first to finish in singles play from the No. 4 match. After dropping the first set, 6-1, to Barzo, she battled to tie the second set up at 6-6 to force a tiebreaker. In the deciding set, the freshman suffered the loss to Barzo, 7-3, as the Mountaineers fell behind by three points.
Bovolskaia cut into the Wildcats’ advantage in the No. 1 match against Job. The junior took the first set by a score of 6-3 before Job forced a tiebreaker in the second set. Bovolskaia took the ensuing frame, 11-9, to secure the win and help WVU cut into the lead.
In the No. 3 match, Maslova went toe-to-toe against Manami Ukita. The two battled back-and-forth in both sets that each featured a tiebreaker. Despite a strong effort, Maslova fell in both deciding frames by scores of 7-1 and 7-2, respectively. Ukita’s win allowed Kansas State to clinch its fourth team point and decide the match.
The No. 2 singles match was played out. After winning the first set, 7-6 (4), Nagato fell in the second set, 6-3, to Rosanna Maffei, forcing a super tiebreaker. In the third and final set, Nagato bested Maffei, 10-4, to claim WVU’s second singles win of the match.
Senior Anne-Sophie Courteau led, 5-4, from the No. 5 slot when her match was called.
Next up, West Virginia travels to Huntington, West Virginia, on Saturday, April 3, to square off against in-state foe Marshall in the first game of this season’s home-and-away series with the Thundering Herd. Opening serve from the Brian David Fox Tennis Center in Huntington, is scheduled for 2 p.m. ET. If inclement weather should arise, Saturday’s contest against MU will be moved indoors to the Huntington Tennis Club.