K-State Takes Down No. 50 SMU

MANHATTAN, Kan. -- K-State women's tennis captured its first win against a ranked opponent this season on Sunday as they beat No. 50 SMU 4-3 at Body First Wellness and Recreation Center.

The Wildcats (7-4) bounced back from their first home loss of the season on Friday by taking the doubles point early against the Mustangs (8-4) and then clinching the match after it was even at 3-3 on a win by Livia Cirnu at the No. 6 position. Cirnu overcame a first-set loss and defeated Mary Wright 5-7, 6-2, 6-1 to give the Wildcats' their highest-ranked win since March 8, 2014 vs. then-No. 32 Wichita State. 

"I told Livia that if I want anyone clinching the match, it is her because she has ice in her veins," explained K-State head coach Danielle Steinberg. "I think she played better knowing that she had to clinch the match and that is what you want from players. Good players step up under pressure and she played very smart and took it."

In addition to the win being K-State's first against a ranked team, it was the first loss for SMU this dual season against an unranked team.

K-State had to rally during the doubles point after losing at No. 1. Iva Bago and Ana Garcia Navas began the comeback when they defeated Ana Perez-Lopez and Dasha Sharapova 6-3 while Sara Castellano and Palma Juhasz took down Macie Elliott and Wright 6-4.

"We made adjustments (in our doubles) after Friday, and I am very happy with the result," said Steinberg. "The girls came out today, executed and made the right choices. That was huge for us."

Despite singles losses at the No. 1, 3 and 4 positions by Castellano, Costamagna and Bago, K-State earned its wins behind freshmen Garcia Navas and Millie Stretton to even the score. Garcia Navas dropped the first set against Vaszilisza Bulgakova but closed it out with a 6-7, 7-5, 6-1 decision. Stretton, meanwhile, earned her third straight win and 10th overall in duals by dealing Ana Perez-Lopez a 6-1, 6-4 loss at No. 5.

Cirnu's match-clinching win was her third straight singles victory. She now is second on the team with nine wins in dual play this year. 

The Wildcats will begin Big 12 play on Thursday as they host No. 46 Baylor (4-9) at 3 p.m.


No. 1 Dishkova (SMU) def. Castellano (K-State) 7-6, 7-6
No. 2 Garcia Navas (K-State) def. Bulgakova (SMU) 6-7, 7-5, 6-1
No. 3 Erkeeva (SMU) def. Costamagna (K-State) 6-4, 6-4
No. 4 Sharapova (SMU) def. Bago (K-State) 6-3, 6-4
No. 5 Stretton (K-State) def. Perez-Lopez (SMU) 6-1, 6-4
No. 6 Cirnu (K-State) def. Wright (SMU) 5-7, 6-2, 6-1

No. 1 Bulgakova/Dishkova (SMU) def. Costamagna/Stretton (K-State) 6-2
No. 2 Garcia Navas/Bago (K-State) def. Perez-Lopez/Sharapova (SMU) 6-3
No. 3 Castellano/Juhasz (K-State) def. Elliott/Wright (SMU) 6-4