No. 41 Sooners Upset No. 23 Kansas

Ann Marcelli
By Ann Marcelli
Student Assistant

NORMAN – The No. 41 Oklahoma women’s tennis team upset No. 23 Kansas, 4-0, Friday at Headington Family Tennis Center to claim its first Big 12 win of the season. 

The Sooners (11-6, 1-4 Big 12) opened the match with the doubles point. The Jayhawks (11-5, 3-2 Big 12) forfeited at No. 3 doubles, meaning Oklahoma needed just one victory to clinch the point. Julie Byrne and Malene Stripp defeated KU's Nina Khmelnitckaia and Tess Bernard-Feigenbaum, 6-2, on court one.

OU made quick work of Kansas in singles, grabbing victories on courts one, three and six to earn a sweep of the Jayhawks. 

The Sooners increased their lead to 2-0 as the Jayhawks forfeited the match on court six due to a five-player lineup in singles. 

No. 30 Miyazaki struck first for the Sooners, defeating No. 81 Anastasia Rychagova, 6-4, 6-2, in the No. 1 spot to push OU's advantage to 3-0. In the first frame, Miyazaki traded games with Rychagova before tying the set at 4-4. The junior came out on top and carried her momentum into the second set to make quick work of Rychagova.

Byrne sealed the match for OU with a 6-3, 7-5, victory over KU's Janet Koch on court three. The freshman captured the first set with ease and rallied from 3-0 deficit in the second frame to clinch the match for the Sooners. 

“I think we all really wanted the win. We were gutted after Texas and I think today we really believed,” said Byrne of her team’s victory. “We knew what we had to focus on and we just went to work and got it done.”

“Jules did a great job of getting back into that second set,” said Cohen. “I knew she would be fine after she got rolling in that set. She’s a talented player.”

Byrne now leads the Sooners with the most wins in singles play with an 11-2 dual-match record.

The win marked OU's first victory over a top-25 opponent this spring. 

The Sooners will take on Kansas State on Sunday at noon in their final regular season match of the year. Seniors Mimi Fotopoulos and Ann Pepper will be honored 20 minutes prior to the start of Sunday's match.

As always, admission to the Headington Center is free.

For updates, follow @OU_WTennis on Twitter.  

Singles results

1. #40 Lily Miyazaki (OU) def. #81 Rychagova, Anastasia (KAN) 6-4, 6-2
2. Mimi Fotopoulos (OU) vs. Bernard-Feigenbaum (KAN) 4-6, 2-3, unfinished
3. Julie Byrne (OU) def. Koch, Janet (KAN) 6-3, 7-5
4. Malene Stripp (OU) vs. Khmelnitckaia, Nina (KAN) 6-4, 2-6, 0-2, unfinished
5. Ann Selim (OU) vs. Nikolaeva, Tatiana (KAN) 5-7, 3-2, unfinished

6. Serena Nash (OU) def. No player (KAN), by forfeit

Doubles results

1. Julie Byrne/Malene Stripp (OU) def. Khmelnitckaia, Nina/Bernard-Feigenbaum (KAN) 6-2

2. Lily Miyazaki/Christiana Brigante (OU) vs. Koch, Janet/Rychagova, Anastasia (KAN) 5-4, unfinished
3. Simran Sethi/Ann Selim (OU) def. No player/No player (KAN), by forfeit

Order of finish: Doubles (1,3); Singles (6,1,3)