Fighting off rivals Lady Blues in doubles Tuesday afternoon, junior Nicole Jara of the Lady Hornets returns a low hit. Emporia State defeated Washburn, 7-2.
Will Austin/The Bulletin
Following this year’s trend, the Emporia State Hornets walked away victorious in another sporting event against rival Washburn. This time, the Lady Hornets tennis squad defeated the Lady Blues 7-2 at home on Milton Courts Tuesday.
“That’s what you want in a season, to beat your arch rival,” said Head Coach John Cayton. “Over the year, we have had a lot of matches that were 5-4 because they are our rival, and we know them so well.”
The Lady Hornets found themselves in a dogfight early in the doubles competition, as all three doubles teams were down.
Tiffany Khounsombath, sophomore, and Somer Schmidt, junior, earned the first Hornet win of the afternoon with an 8-3 match after falling 0-1 earlier on.
First doubles team Nicole Jara, junior, and Taylor Smith, sophomore, were not able to overcome their early deficit and dropped the second doubles match.
Unlike their teammates, number two doubles Alex Crowe, senior, and Kayla Fraley, freshman, found themselves in control early, up 4-1. After falling 6-7, Crowe and Fraley made a furious comeback to win the final doubles match, moving to the singles competition and up 2-1 on Washburn.
“It was really important because it made us more confident heading into singles 2-1,” said Crowe, biochemistry molecular biology major.
The Lady Hornets found some sort of spark from that furious doubles comeback, and continued to ride that momentum into singles play, winning all but one singles match.
After a Khoundsombath loss, Jara took care of business in her singles, winning it commandingly in two sets. Smith rebounded from that doubles performance as well as in her singles match, which she also won in two sets.
“(We) could have done more in doubles, but for singles, I played really well,” Smith, art education and graphic design major, said. “I just think we needed to get more returns in play in doubles.”
Jennifer Gerhardt, sophomore, secured a win with her number four singles battle.
Crowe and Schmidt finished off the Lady Blues, winning both singles and securing the overall win.
The Lady Hornets move to 11-4 on the season and 4-3 in league play, while their rival falls to 1-11. The tennis team will hit Milton Court again tomorrow and Saturday to take on Fort Hays State and Nebraska-Kearney.