Longhorns blow by Jayhawks in 6-1 victory

Sam Starr

The Texas women’s tennis team is still perfect against the Kansas Jayhawks.

With another five wins on the singles courts and an all-around dominant performance, the impressive Longhorns proved to be a formidable challenge to the now 7–9 Jayhawks. The Longhorns are fresh off a win streak since their single loss to then-No. 1 North Carolina and maintained their perfect 6–0 record in conference play against the Jayhawks in a 6-1 victory on Friday.

But for senior Anna Turati, Friday’s performance was overshadowed by her playing against Kansas without her sister and former teammate Bianca for the first time as a Longhorn.

Since Bianca has moved on to begin her professional career, Anna has managed to uphold the powerful Turati legacy this season and reminded Kansas exactly why she is considered one of the best players in the country.

On doubles court No. 2, senior Fernanda Labraña and Turati matched up against Jayhawk juniors Malkia Ngounoue and Julia Deming. The senior duo seemed to struggle at first, sending returns into the net and out of play.

The two never appeared defeated, however, and continued to fight on. It didn’t take long for them to find their usual rhythm, and “forza,” the Italian word for “power,” was soon heard around the courts from Turati and her teammates.

After a laser serve from Labraña, Turati, posted at the net, reacted far too quickly for her opponents and smacked the ball right back to the Jayhawks, who were unable to return the quick spike.

Despite the pair beginning to find their groove, the match was abandoned as the Longhorns had already secured the doubles point.

Moving on to her singles match, Turati maintained her composure, and the Turati battle cry soon rang out once again. Luring her opponent, junior Sonia Smagina, closer to the net, Turati waited for the perfect moment to make her move. After a short return from Smagina, Turati rushed to the net and sent the ball just out of her reach for a point in the first set.

Showcasing her athleticism in one particularly chaotic rally, Turati managed to return every wild shot her opponent sent her way. Literally sprinting back and forth across the court, the senior finally ended the sequence with pure finesse and tapped the ball just out of Smagina’s reach.

However, her efforts weren’t enough, and she dropped the match for Texas’ only loss of the day.

Senior-freshman duo Marta Perez Mur and Charlotte Chavatipon claimed a quick 6-4 win on doubles court No. 3 to put the Horns up 1–0 in doubles matches.

Almost immediately after, freshmen and No. 7-ranked duo Kylie Collins and Lulu Sun clinched a 6-4 win on doubles court No. 1, improving to 12–2 on the season.

Texas now looks forward to Manhattan, Kansas, for their second Big 12 matchup of the weekend against Kansas State.