After what had been such a promising start to the season, even climbing into the top 40 of the ITA rankings at one point, Kansas State is done for the year after suffering a 4-3 defeat at the hands of ninth-seeded Kansas in the opening round of the 2021 Big 12 women’s tennis championships.
The Wildcats got off to a good start, taking the doubles point to start the contest. But Kansas took three of the first four singles matches to take a 3-2 lead, with the only K-State win in that group being senior Lilla Barzo’s win over Tiffany LaGarde in the #5 spot in what turns out to be Barzo’s final match as a Wildcat.
Anna Turco, K-State’s #6. tied the match at 3 with a 3-6, 6-4, 6-2 win over Julia Derning, but the #1 Wildcat, Karine-Marion Job, lost a grueling 7-6, 5-7, 7-5 marathon against ITA #89 Malkia Ngounone to seal K-State’s fate.
The Wildcats finish the season at 7-12, 2-7 in conference.
Pete Fiutak at College Football News previews the 2021 Wildcats, and he’s expecting at least a bowl game out of Chris Klieman’s crew after last season’s meltdown. Favorite bit of the piece: Fiutak noting that K-State allowed opponents an average of two yards per punt return last season. Yes, two (2). One plus one two.
The BatCats (21-15, 4-8) take the field at 6:00 tonight at Tointon to begin a three-game series with West Virginia (14-16, 5-7). The games will get progressively earlier through the weekend, with Saturday’s first pitch at 4:00 and Sunday’s contest at 1:00. All three games will air on ESPN+.
It’s a good opportunity for K-State to at least get back to .400 in conference, if not a mere game under .500 with a sweep. Saturday’s game will be a bit special for the Mountaineers, as it will mark the 800th game coached by their long-time skipper Randy Mazey, as reported in an uncredited preview in the Morgantown Dominion Post.
Track and Field
No story to link to from the department yet, but K-State will head to Norman on Saturday for the JD Martin Invitational. Oklahoma doesn’t even have a preview up yet, although they do have heat sheets posted. K-State appears to be the only out-of-state team competing, joining Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, and some smaller Oklahoma schools.
Yes, JT, I Caught It
The Collegian’s Maddy Daniels reports on how the K-State Marching Band bears up under constant budgetary concerns, which have only been exacerbated by COVID-19. “We just love playing,” says sophomore trumpeter Caleb Neihoff, but the struggle to continue fundraising — a struggle decades-old — continues.
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