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LAWRENCE, Kan. – In a battle of former Big 12 Conference opponents, the University of Colorado women’s tennis team renewed its rivalry with the Kansas Jayhawks, Friday afternoon, battling to a 4-2 loss, in which four of five singles matches went the distance going three sets.

It was CU’s first road match of the spring campaign as the Buffs dropped to 3-2 on the season, while KU remains unbeaten at 3-0.

It’s the first time CU/KU have dueled on the tennis court since April 10, 2011 as members of the Big 12.  When the two schools battled every spring season, the Buffaloes held the upper hand in Big 12 play holding a 13-9 edge, including a 6-2 advantage in Lawrence.

However, three years later, the host Jayhawks avenged past defeats and improved their all-time series lead to 26-17 over the Buffs, in a series dating back to 1979.

“First road match of the year as a team, we competed hard,” CU head coach Nicole Kenneally said. “We may have not necessarily played our best tennis at some positions, but we competed hard. It’s a young season, young team and it will be interesting to see how we rebound against another good team in Kansas State (on Saturday).

“Today was a great college tennis match. We put ourselves in position to give us a shot at the end to win, but fell a little short.”

The doubles competition started the day with Kansas taking the important doubles point, winning two of three matches for the 1-0 lead.

CU did see its No. 3 tandem of juniors Julyette Steur and Ashley Tiefel take a 6-4 win. Steur/Tiefel won their fifth straight match (all in spring play) and improved to 9-2 on the season.

The home took a 2-0 lead securing the No. 3 singles position, the first of four singles matches to go three sets on the day. Freshman Nuria Ormeño Ruiz won the opening set 6-1, however Dylan Windom rallied to win the next pair, 6-1, 1-0 (10-8).

The Buffaloes cut their deficit in half as sophomore Alex Aiello continued her stellar play at No. 2, winning her fifth straight match with a come-from-behind victory defeating Maria Belen Luduena, 3-6, 7-6, 1-0 (6).  

It was Aiello’s third match of the year where she lost the opening set, only to rally and win in three. She also improves to 6-0 in three set matches and has won 15 of her 18 singles matches this year, a team best.

CU evened the team score at two as Steur also rallied from a set down at No. 1 to edge Maria Jose Cardona, 3-6, 7-5, 1-0 (5). It was Steur’s third career win from rallying from a set down, and her eighth career win in three set matches. She also claimed her 10th win of the year, winning her third straight, and five of six matches dating back to last fall.

The home team took a 3-2 edge at No. 5 with Claire Dreyer defeating Dhany Quevedo, 6-2, 7-6(5), then the match was decided by seniors, as KU’s Paulina Los edged CU’s Winde Janssens, 6-4, 4-6, 1-0 (2) at No. 4 to clinch the match for KU.

CU remains on the road where they will travel to Manhattan and take on No. 53 Kansas State, Saturday at 1 p.m. (MST).

Kansas 4, Colorado 2
KU (3-0), CU (3-2)
Jayhawk Tennis Center
Feb. 7, Lawrence, Kan.

1d) Los/Windom (KU) def. Janssens/Ormeño Ruiz 6-3
2d) Cardona/Luduena (KU) def. Aiello/Manzi Tenorio 7-5
3d) Tiefel/Steur (CU) def. Dreyer/Barnhill (KU) 6-4
Order of Finish: 1, 3, 2*

1s) Julyette Steur (CU) def. Maria Jose Cardona (KU) 3-6, 7-5, 1-0 (5)
2s) Alex Aiello (CU) def. Maria Belen Luduena (KU) 3-6, 7-6, 1-0 (6)
3s) Dylan Windom (KU) def. Nuria Ormeño Ruiz (CU) 1-6, 6-1, 1-0 (8)
4s) Paulina Los (KU) def. Winde Janssens (CU)   6-4, 4-6, 1-0 (2)
5s) Claire Dreyer (KU) def. Dhany Quevedo (CU) 6-2, 7-6(5)
6s) Carla Manzi Tenorio (CU) vs. Anastasija Trubica (KU) 2-6, 4-2 (DNF)
Order of Finish: 3, 2, 1, 5, 4*