Kansas tennis coach Todd Chapman needed six years, but his vision became a reality on Sunday in Lawrence.
Third-seeded KU defeated No. 1 seed Texas, 4-2, in the league’s championship final, which secured the Jayhawks’ first women’s tennis Big 12 championship.
“When I got to Kansas I knew this was a possibility and that is what I told Kansas Athletics in my interview,” Chapman said. “ ... (Sunday) was a special moment.”
KU, which hosted the weekend meet at the Jayhawk Tennis Center at Rock Chalk Park, previously defeated sixth-seeded TCU on Friday and second seed Oklahoma State on Saturday. It was the Jayhawks’ first conference title since 1996, when they were still a member of the Big Eight.
Sunday’s 4-2 victory over Texas was secured in No. 6 singles, as KU’s Maria Toran Ribes rallied from a third-set deficit to take a 2-6, 6-3, 6-4 triumph over Katie Poluta. Toran Ribes was later named the most outstanding player of the championship.
KU, which is ranked 20th nationally, earned an automatic bid to the 2019 NCAA Tournament. The NCAA selection show takes place at 5:30 p.m. April 29.
“The exciting thing is we have a lot of tennis left to play,” Chapman said. “It was a huge accomplishment to make it to the Big 12 championship final, and we are not settling after winning the championship. We believe this team is built for more than that.”