K-State Loses Big 12 Opener to Baylor, 4-1

Final Results (PDF)

MANHATTAN, Kan. -- After losing the doubles point in a tiebreaker fashion, No. 65 K-State women's tennis dropped its Big 12 opener to No. 51 Baylor, 4-1, on Thursday at Mike Goss Tennis Stadium.

The duo of Sara Castellano and Palma Juhasz helped the Wildcats (7-5, 0-1 Big 12) split the first two doubles matches with the Bears (5-10, 1-1 Big 12), but it came down to Carolina Costamagna and Iva Bago, competing together for the first time in dual play this season. The two Wildcats were up against the No. 17-ranked duo of Kiah Generette and Blair Shankle in the No. 1 position, and with the match score at 4-1, Baylor tallied three straight points to even it up. The two sides would end up tied at 6-all before Baylor took a 7-4 tiebreaker to win the match 7-6.

"I think losing the doubles point in such a close fashion took the wind out of us a little going into the singles," said K-State head coach Danielle Steinberg. "I am still happy with the way we fought and I believe we left everything on the court. The belief and fight was there today, which is something we can, and will, build on moving forward."

The Wildcats dropped to 1-4 on the season when losing the doubles point. The loss was also their second in six home matches this year.

Livia Cirnu earned the lone point for K-State with a 6-1, 6-3 victory over Gabriela Ferreira in the No. 6 position. The win, which at the time tied the overall match score at 1-1, was the 10th of the dual season for the junior. She has also won four straight.

Mille Stretton's loss at the No. 4 position -- to Karina Traxler 6-2, 6-2 -- gave Baylor the lead once again at 2-1. The defeat for the freshman Stretton, who was competing at the No. 4 position for the first time, dropped her to 10-2 in dual singles. 

Baylor went on to earn two more singles victories with Generette taking down Castellano in the No. 1 position 6-3, 6-3, and Shankle beating Costamagna 6-4, 6-3 in the No. 3 position to clinch the overall match.

Juhasz and Castellano's 6-2 win over Rhiann Newborn and Ferreira put them at 5-0 in dual match doubles.

No. 1 and 2 doubles saw new lineups for the Wildcats with Costamagna and Bago losing at No. 1 doubles while the pair of freshmen Stretton and Ana Garcia Navas lost to Traxler and Theresa Van Zyl in the No. 2 position.

"Obviously the doubles point was huge today," explained Steinberg. "Baylor played a little tougher at the end on court one and the credit goes to them for that. Today was the first time we played with these combinations, and I am pretty happy with what we saw. The energy and attitude was there and we just came up short at the end."

The Wildcats will next face in-state rival No. 14 Wichita State (16-3) on March 14 in Palm Springs, California.


No. 1 Generette (BU) def. Castellano (K-State) 6-3, 6-3
No. 2 Garcia Navas (K-State) vs. Newborn (BU) 6-1, 5-7, unfinished
No. 3 Shankle (BU) def. Costamagna (K-State) 6-4, 6-3
No. 4 Traxler (BU) def. Stretton (K-State) 6-2, 6-2
No. 5 Bago (K-State) vs. Van Zyl (BU) 2-6, 5-3, unfinished
No. 6 Cirnu (K-State) def. Ferreira (BU) 6-1, 6-3

No. 1 Generette/Shankle (BU) def. Costamagna/Bago (K-State) 7-6 (4)
No. 2 Traxler/Van Zyl (BU) def. Garcia Navas/Stretton (K-State) 6-4
No. 3 Castellano/Juhasz (K-State) def. Newborn/Ferreira (BU) 6-2