Wildcats Drop Senior Day Contest to No. 24 Oklahoma | #students | #parents

MANHATTAN, Kan. – In the final home match of the season, the Kansas State women’s tennis team gave it their all against No. 24 Oklahoma, which persevered with a 6-1 decision on Sunday (April 18) afternoon at Mike Goss Tennis Stadium. Sunday’s home finale featured senior sendoffs for Lilla Barzo and Margot Decker.
“They are fighters,” said head coach Jordan Smith on Barzo’s and Decker’s last home match. “They have certainly proven that. Even in Lilla’s short time here, only her second year, she has been a great addition. Obviously, Margot, four years in, she still has the same passion and fight she had as a freshman. That is something you really inspire to have in student-athletes. It has nothing to do with tennis at the end of the day, just being great young women, and the way they brought energy is something we will have to make up for when they are gone.”
Oklahoma (14-5, 5-3 Big 12) continued its hot hand in the match against K-State (7-11, 2-7 Big 12), winning its fifth-straight contest, which dates to an April 2 victory over No. 40 Oklahoma State. The Wildcats played inspired tennis on Sunday afternoon, giving the Sooners a run in doubles’ action.
Switching things up on court one, K-State sent out junior Maria Linares and sophomore Ioana Gheorghita to face off with the No. 15 pairing in the country – Oklahoma’s Carmen and Ivana Corley. Playing together for the first time all year, Gheorghita and Linares chipped away at the early deficit, but could not take that next leap, as the Corley sisters earned a hard fought 6-4 set win at the No. 1 spot.
The Sooners would earn the doubles point on court two with a 6-2 set victory by Oklahoma’s Camila Romero and Martina Capurro over Barzo and freshman Manami Ukita.
K-State managed to get itself on the board in singles play, as sophomore Karine-Marion Job knocked off Oklahoma’s Carmen Corley – the No. 73 player in the nation – in two sets, 6-3, 6-2. Before her defeat on Sunday, Corley had not lost in singles play since March 19. With the win, Job has now recorded three victories against ITA-ranked opponents in 2021.
Besides the impressive win from Job, the Wildcats found themselves on the wrong side of the scoreboard across various spots in the singles lineup.
Junior Anna Turco handed Oklahoma the second point of the match, squandering a two-set defeat to the Sooners’ Marcelina Podlinska, 6-1, 6-0. Decker and Gheorghita eventually fell in two sets on courts four and five, helping Oklahoma clinch the match.
“When I stepped on the court, I didn’t feel like it was my last day,” said Decker. “I felt pretty good about how I played and how I competed. The first day felt like yesterday here. So many memories and friends I have made here. I feel like everyone came out on the court and fought. Not just for us, but for the whole team. It was a pretty cool atmosphere.”
Court three included a tightly-knitted battle with Barzo and the Sooners’ Ivana Corley – who ranks No. 79 in the country. Corley held off comebacks in each set from Barzo, taking the No. 3 line at a score of 7-5, 6-4.
“I just wanted to give everything that I had in me,” said Barzo. “I think I was facing adversity with my injury, but everyone was great around me and the atmosphere was great. I am just grateful for my teammates. I knew they were fighting for Margot and I.”
Linares extended her match with Oklahoma’s No. 97 Dana Guzman to three sets, which ended with a set tiebreaker. After dropping the first set at 6-7 (9-11), the Maracay, Venezuela, native fought back to take set two at 6-4. Vying to score 10 points in set three, Linares was upended in the final two points, as Guzman broke a 9-9 tie and finished the set at 11-9.
For its 2021 home slate, K-State concludes the home schedule with a 6-4 record.  
The Wildcats now turn their attention to the Big 12 Championship, which will begin on Thursday, April 22 in Waco, Texas at the Hurd Tennis Center. K-State awaits seeding for the first round of the conference tournament.  
“We need to play more like today,” Smith stated. “If we compete like this across the board, fight hard, that gives us a chance. If we can play well at the top of the lineup against some of the best teams in the country, why can’t we do that throughout our entire lineup? This tournament gives us a clean slate. We will probably end up playing against a team who wants it just as much as we do. If we go out there and pretend that every team is in the same boat as us, I think we will do well.”
K-State vs. No. 24 Oklahoma
April 18, 2021
Mike Goss Tennis Stadium
Doubles Play
Order of Finish: 2, 1
1. #15 Carmen Corley/Ivana Corley (OU) def. Ioana Gheorghita/Maria Linares (KSU) 6-4
2. Camila Romero/Martina Capurro (OU) def. Lilla Barzo/Manami Ukita (KSU) 6-2
3. Margot Decker/Anna Turco (KSU) vs. Dana Guzman/Kianah Motosono (OU) 5-4, unfinished
Singles Play:
Order of Finish: 6, 1, 4, 5, 3, 2
1. Karine-Marion Job (KSU) def. #73 Carmen Corley (OU) 6-3, 6-2
2. #97 Dana Guzman (OU) def. Maria Linares (KSU) 7-6 (11-9), 4-6, 1-0 (11-9)
3. #79 Ivana Corley (OU) def. Lilla Barzo (KSU) 7-5, 6-4
4. Martina Capurro (OU) def. Ioana Gheorghita (KSU) 7-5, 6-3
5. Kianah Motosono (OU) def. Margot Decker (KSU) 6-4, 6-4
6. Marcelina Podlinska (OU) def. Anna Turco (KSU) 6-1, 6-0
For the latest on K-State tennis follow @kstatesports and @KStateTEN on Twitter or K-State Women’s Tennis on Facebook.

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