Tennis Begins Big 12 Slate with Matches at No. 63 Texas Tech, No. 10 Baylor

March 17, 2011


Starting Off

This weekend marks the open Big 12 Conference play and Kansas Tennis will enter riding a four-match winning streak. The Jayhawks will face a stretch of four straight nationally-ranked opponents starting with No. 63 Texas Tech Friday afternoon, at Lubbock’s McLeod Tennis Center. Sunday, the Jayhawks will face its toughest test of the spring season when they travel to Waco, Texas, to square off against No. 10 Baylor. The match against the Lady Raiders is slated for 3 p.m., and KU will take on the Bears at 1 p.m., at the Baylor Tennis Center.

Last Time Out

The Jayhawks swept local foe UMKC last Wednesday, at the Jayhawk Tennis Center, recording their first sweep of the season. A few days prior, KU saw strong play from freshmen Amy Barnthouse and Dylan Windom that led to a pair of 4-3 defeats over Houston and Saint Louis. Tied at 3-3 against both opponents, Barnthouse earned her first collegiate win to break the tie and clinch the match for KU against Houston. The next day, Windom used a three-set victory in No. 4 singles to give the Jayhawks the win. Kansas finishes non-conference play with a 6-4 overall record, including a 6-2 mark at home.

Jayhawk Leaders

After winning five of her last six singles matches, freshman Paulina Los leads KU with a 7-3 singles record. Los has played as the No. 2 player in the last three matches and has not lost since being moved up in the order. She is also 2-2 in the third spot and 2-0 at No. 4, combining with two other players for an 8-1 record in fourth singles. Sophomore Victoria Khanevskaya and junior Ekaterina Morozova each have six wins to their credit, with Khanevksaya compiling a 6-2 record in the Nos. 5 and 6 positions and Morozova posting a 6-4 record in the top spot of the lineup. Morozova and freshman Dylan Windom have partnered for a team-leading 8-2 doubles record, also in the top position, and have won six in a row. Los and Khanevskaya have won four straight in the No. 3 doubles position and are now 6-4 overall.

Scouting the Lady Raiders

After falling out of the Campbell’s ITA College Tennis Rankings earlier this season, Texas Tech (9-3) has maintained its status as of late, and this week checks in at No. 63, which tops its previous 2011 high by one spot. The Lady Raiders were absent from the rankings after suffering three consecutive 4-3 losses to four teams ranked in the top 50. But a win in their last four matches, including a 6-1 victory over No. 70 North Texas has them back. Texas Tech’s Nos. 1 and 2 singles players Elizabeth Ullathorne and Samantha Adams pace the Lady Raiders with six and seven wins each, respectively. Doubles play has been exceptionally strong from top-to-bottom, with only five doubles losses so far this season.

KU is 9-9 all-time against the Lady Raiders, and has dropped the last six contests against them.

Scouting the Bears

Baylor (9-2, 1-0 Big 12) has claimed the last five Big 12 Championships and continues its reign over the conference in 2011. The Bears have been ranked as high as No. 3 this season and their only two losses came to No. 3 Virginia and No. 10 UCLA earlier in the season. Five of Baylor’s starting six are currently ranked, with Sona Novakova the highest at No. 19. In singles, the Bears have gone 23-12 against nationally-ranked players and have been strongest in the middle of the order, posting records of 9-1 in the third position and 8-2 in the fourth. At the top of the order, Novakova is 8-2 and Nina Secerbegovic is 9-1. Secerbegovic and Jelena Stanivuk are the only ranked doubles team, currently ranked No. 73, but Novakova and Diana Nakic pace the Bears in doubles with a 6-3 record.

Baylor leads the all-time series against the Jayhawks 14-4. KU has lost its last nine-straight against the Bears.

Around the Big 12

Three teams have already picked up their first Big 12 wins, with No. 10 Baylor, No. 19 Oklahoma and No. 22 Texas currently atop the standings. Nebraska, currently ranked No. 29, continues to have the best overall record at 12-1. Iowa State is 10-3 heading into league play, while four other teams have nine wins to their credit.