K-State Sweeps Iowa State in First Round of Big 12 Championship

Final Results (PDF) | (VIDEO) Match Highlights

STILLWATER, Okla. -- K-State advanced to the quarterfinals of the Big 12 Women's Tennis Championship for the second year in a row by defeating Iowa State, 4-0, on Thursday and earning its 11th win of the season, its most since 2011.

The No. 9 seeded Wildcats (11-13) jumped ahead of the No. 8 Cyclones (14-10) early, capturing the doubles point with wins at the No. 2 and 3 positions. The momentum carried over to singles as all six Wildcats won the first set of their respective matches before straight-set victories by Palma Juhasz, Carolina Costamagna and Sara Castellano clinched the contest.

At No. 3 doubles, Costamagna and Livia Cirnu improved to 3-2 in dual play by blanking Regina Espindola and Ana Gasparovic, 6-0. 

Castellano and Juhasz took down Alejandra Galvis and Annabella Bonadonna, 6-1, in the No. 2 position to clinch the doubles point. The pair moved to 8-2 on the season.

"Our doubles were great today, from all teams," explained K-State head coach Danielle Steinberg. "No. 3 doubles probable played their best match of the year and to do that in the conference tournament was great to see. I think doubles gave us a lot of confidence going into singles play, and we carried it to win all the first sets."

Juhasz, competing in singles for the second time this season, put the Wildcats up 2-0 with a 6-1, 6-3 win over Liera Bender in the No. 6 position. 

At No. 3 singles, Costamagna defeated Espindola 6-1, 6-2 to push the K-State lead to 3-0 before Castellano closed out the overall match by beating Liza Buss in the No. 1 position, 7-5, 6-2. Castellano captured the first set after trailing in the early going.

"Sara did a great job staying cool, doing the right things, closing her match and clinching it for us," said Steinberg.

After losing to Iowa State in regular season play, K-State was able to beat the Cyclones in the first round of the conference tournament for the second straight campaign. 

"The loss in Ames a few weeks ago was a painful one for us and to win in such a convincing fashion today is a statement to which direction this program is headed," explained Steinberg.

K-State moves on to play No. 1 Oklahoma State in the quarterfinals at Greenwood Tennis Center on Friday at noon. The Wildcats and Cowgirls squared off in Manhattan last Friday, a match Oklahoma State won, 4-0.

"Tomorrow's match will be a tough one but there is absolutely no pressure on us, and we should be able to come out and swing freely," said Steinberg.


No. 1 Castellano (K-State) def. Buss (ISU) 7-5, 6-2
No. 2 Garcia Navas (K-State) vs. Galvis (ISU) 6-2, 1-6, 2-4, unfinished
No. 3 Costamagna (K-State) def. Espindola (ISU) 6-1, 6-2
No. 4 Stretton (K-State) vs. Bonadonna (ISU) 7-6, 1-3, unfinished
No. 5 Cirnu (K-State) vs. Gasparovic (ISU) 6-4, 5-6, unfinished
No. 6 Juhasz (K-State) def. Bender (ISU) 6-1, 6-3

No. 1 Garcia Navas/Stretton (K-State) vs. Budai/Buss (ISU) 4-2, unfinished
No. 2  Castellano/juhasz (K-State) def. Galvis/Bonadonna (ISU) 6-1
No. 3 Costamagna/Cirnu (K-State) def. Espindola/Gasparovic (ISU) 6-0