No. 4 Texas women’s tennis dominates Kansas, improves to 15-4

Ana Sofia Meyer, Sports Reporter

No. 4 Texas women’s tennis defeated no. 25 Kansas 4-0 Friday with a dominant performance throughout the roster. 

After a streak-snapping loss to conference rival no. 3 Oklahoma on Sunday, the Longhorns hoped to regain lost momentum going into the final two team dual matches of conference play. 

Kicking off with doubles, Texas set off to a solid start, led by no. 32 duo Charlotte Chavatipon and Kylie Collins. The sophomores took on Kansas’ Raphaell Lacasse and Mariana Manyoma-Velasquez on Court 2, immediately taking hold of the match. Collins displayed her powerful backhand and skillful shot placement, giving the Longhorns their first doubles win of the day. 

On Court 3, the freshman pair of Sabina Zeynalova and Vivian Ovrootsky finished the job with a 6-4 win against Carmen Roxana Manu and Sonia Smagina to give Texas the much-needed doubles point. This season, the Horns are 13-4 in matches that they’ve won the doubles point. 

Despite leaving their doubles match unfinished, Peyton Stearns and Allura Zamarripa showcased their impressive teamwork, a quality that no-doubt earned them their No. 11 ranking in the most recent ITA doubles rankings. The combination of Stearns’ sharp forehand and Zamarripa’s feather-light touch may prove to be a vital tool for head coach Howard Joffe in the upcoming NCAA tournament. 

Moving into singles matches, the Horns never faltered against the Jayhawks. In her match against Carmen Roxana Manu, Chavatipon exemplified dominance, beating her opponent 6-0, 6-1 on court 4 and improving her record to 10-7 in singles matches this spring. 

Next door on court 5, Ovrootsky gave a very strong defensive performance against fellow freshman Manyoma-Velasquez of Kansas. After a commanding 6-0 win in the first set, Ovrootsky struggled to get going in the second but managed a 4-3 lead on Manyoma-Velasquez midway through. In the final two games of the match, Ovrootsky fought off a comeback to take a point for the Longhorns. 

With a 3-0 lead over Kansas, all eyes fell on Zamarripa to seal the win for the Horns. Having won her first set 6-0, the freshman exemplified tremendous composure in spite of the pressure. Senior Tiffany Lagarde seemed to mount a comeback in the second set, having just tied Zamarrippa 4-4 when the previous match finished. Zamarripa gained back her momentum in the following game, leading Largarde to a break point, match point win for the Horns. 

With the match already decided, Joffe and Kansas head coach Todd Champan agreed to let the Court 1 and Court 2 matches continue. Court 1 saw a shootout between No. 3 Stearns and No. 62 Maria Titova.

At the start of the first set, Stearns trailed 4-1, but went on to win 4 games in a row and force a tiebreak, which she won 7-4. The second set seemed like a replay of the first, ending in a 7-6 tiebreak in Stearns’ favor. The win improves her record to 18-1 overall and 9-1 against ranked opponents this spring. 

Court 2 saw a similar situation between No. 38 Collins and Malkia Ngounoue. With an assertive 6-1 win in the first set, it seemed like Collins’ speed and athleticism would overcome Ngounoue. However, Ngounoue stayed in the match, taking the second set over Collins, 6-3. The final set continued the back and forth between the competitors, but Collins eventually prevailed, clinching the 7-0 shutout for the Horns. 

Texas is set to continue its path to the NCAA tournament with another Big 12 matchup against Kansas State at the Texas Tennis Center on Sunday.