Wildcats Earn First Big 12 Victory, Defeat West Virginia, 4-2

MORGANTOWN, W.Va. -- K-State women's tennis picked up its first Big 12 win of the season with a 4-2 victory at West Virginia on Sunday at Ridgeview Racquet Club to close out its road trip.

The Wildcats (9-10, 1-5 Big 12) earned the doubles point with wins by the freshmen duo of Ana Garcia Navas and Millie Stretton as well as Palma Juhasz and Sara Castellano. After K-State pulled within one point of clinching the match with singles victories by Castellano and Stretton, the Mountaineers (6-10, 0-5 Big 12) used wins at the No. 3 and 1 positions to make it 3-2. Iva Bago clinched the match, though, by blanking her opponent Kaja Mrgole, 6-0, 6-0.

"This was a tough trip, so seeing the girls respond well after Friday's tough loss (at Iowa State) was great," said K-State head coach Danielle Steinberg. "We also did a good job adjusting to the courts here, which was something I was worried about."

The doubles point, which was the second time this conference season K-State has secured it, was clinched when Castellano and Juhasz staved off Yvon Martinez and Carolina Lewis 7-5 at the No. 3 position. Garcia Navas and Stretton picked up the first doubles win by beating Mrgole and Habiba Shaker 6-4 in the No. 1 spot for their third straight win.

"We did a better job today in the doubles, coming out strong and being disciplined with our game plan," explained Steinberg. "(Garcia Navas and Stretton are) doing a great job playing aggressive and sticking to their game plan."

In singles play, Castellano, Stretton and Bago each earned victories in straight sets. Castellano trumped Lewis 7-5, 6-1 to improve to 3-1 in the No. 2 position this season while Stretton downed Yuen Choo 6-3, 7-5. It was Stretton's 13th win in dual match play and second in the No. 4 spot.

Bago, meanwhile, earned her seventh dual singles win to lock up K-State's seventh all-time win against the Mountaineers.

Also competing for the Wildcats in singles were Costamagna, Garcia Navas and Livia Cirnu. Cirnu was leading her match against Martinez 5-2 before going unfinished while Costamagna lost at the No. 3 position 6-4, 6-3 to Paula Goetz. Garcia Navas overcame a first-set loss to force a third before losing to Shaker at the No. 1 position. 

"Despite the loss, I think Ana is doing a tremendous job for us," added Steinberg. "Today was another battle at the No. 1 position, and we can always count on her fight and heart to be there 100 percent."

The Wildcats now return home to close out the regular season. A four-match homestand starts on Saturday when they host Sunflower Showdown rival No. 34 KU (13-5, 3-2 Big 12) at Mike Goss Tennis Stadium at 2 p.m. 


No. 1 Shaker (WVU) def. Garcia Navas (K-State) 7-5, 2-6, 6-4
No. 2 Castellano (K-State) def. Lewis (WVU) 7-5, 6-1
No. 3 Goetz (WVU) def. Costamagna (K-State) 6-4, 6-3
No. 4 Stretton (K-State) def. Yuen Choo (WVU) 6-3, 7-5
No. 5 Bago (K-State) def. Mrgole (WVU) 6-0, 6-0
No. 6 Cirnu (K-State) vs. Martinez (WVU) 5-2 unfinished

No. 1 Garcia Navas/Stretton (K-State) def. Mrgole/Shaker (WVU) 6-4
No. 2 Yuen Choo/Goetz (WVU) def. Costamagna/Bago (K-State) 6-2
No. 3 Juhasz/Castellano (K-State) def. Martinez/Lewis (WVU) 7-5