Castellano Reaches Semifinals on Day Two of OU Invite

NORMAN, Okla. – K-State women’s tennis finished day two at the OU Invite, with redshirt sophomore Sara Castellano reaching the semifinals of her draw while freshman Ana Garcia Navas picked up a pair of wins in her second day of collegiate action.

Castellano defeated Simran Sethi of Oklahoma, 6-4, 6-4, to advance to the semifinals of the Boomer Draw. In the semifinal, though, Castellano dropped a 6-4, 6-1 decision to Wichita State’s Gabriela Porubin as she will now play in the semifinals consolation round on Sunday. 

Other players that picked up wins were freshmen Garcia Navas and Millie Stretton as well as junior Riley Nizzi. K-State head coach Danielle Steinberg liked to see her team face adversity and happy to see the competitiveness of Garcia Navas. 

“We did a lot better today in terms of fighting, giving it all, and really putting ourselves on the line,” explained Steinberg. “I was especially pleased with the freshmen, showing us real fight for the first time. Ana had a tough second match, a match she could have easily given up on herself midway, but she stuck with it, fought for it and came through.”

Garcia Navas beat Lisa Bulgakova of SMU, 6-3, 6-2, in a Sooner Draw consolation match. She then defeated Caroline Wegner of TCU, 6-6 (2-0), 6-4.

Nizzi and Stretton continued their respective play in the Switzer Round Robin. Stretton defeated Autumn Crossnoe of Texas Tech, 6-3, 6-5, in round two before winning by default in round three against Whitley Quan from Wichita State. Nizzi earned a win in round two with a 6-1, 6-1 victory over Summer Schlotterback of Wichita State.

Iva Bago, Carolina Costamagna and Maria Panaite all competed in singles, but each dropped both of their matches.

“Every match we play is an opportunity to get better, and without a doubt every girl on the team got better today, 1-8,” said Steinberg. 

The Wildcats will wrap up play in the OU Invite on Sunday. Doubles play continues with Bago and Costamagna taking on Anastasiya Shestakova and Agustina Valenzuela of North Texas in the Boomer Draw Consolation Semifinals. Playing in the Red Draw Quarterfinals Consolation will be Nizzi and Panaite against Abby Stevens and Tanaporn Thongsing of Wichita State Cirnu and Garcia Navas will also play in the Red Draw Quarterfinals Consolation, facing Rongrong Leenabanchong and Martha Matoula of Tulsa. Action will start at 9 a.m.