KU Hosts 25th and 26th-ranked Texas A&M and Texas in Weekend Tennis Action

March 25, 2011

LAWRENCE, Kan. –

Starting Off
Big 12 Conference play resumes this weekend, with Kansas returning home to host Texas and Texas A&M. The current Campbell’s ITA Collegiate Tennis Rankings have the Longhorns ranked 26th, while the Aggies are just ahead at No. 25. The two teams will be the last of KU’s stretch of four-straight nationally-ranked opponents. Both matches will be contested at the Jayhawk Tennis Center, with Texas kicking off the weekend Saturday at 12 p.m., and Texas A&M Sunday at 11 a.m.

Last Time Out

The Jayhawks saw their four-match winning streak come to an end in Lubbock, Texas, when No. 63 Texas Tech overtook KU 6-1 in its Big 12-opener. After the Lady Raiders swept doubles to go up 1-0, Ekaterina Morozova saw a win at the No. 1 singles position, but KU then fell in the 2-6 singles positions. Dylan Windom gave the Jayhawks a win at the bottom of the order Sunday against No. 10 Baylor, defeating Abby Stainback in straight sets in the sixth singles match, but once again Kansas was downed 6-1. KU enters this weekend at 6-6 overall and 0-2 in Big 12 play.

Jayhawk Leaders

Junior Ekaterina Morozova and freshman Paulina Los continue to pace the Jayhawks in singles, with both owning identical 7-5 records. Morozova has played all her matches at the No. 1 position, while Los has wins in the Nos. 2, 3 and 4 singles positions, with her top mark coming at the second spot (3-1). Sophomore Victoria Khanevskaya trails the two with a 6-2 mark and another freshman, Dylan Windom, also has six wins to her credit this spring. Windom is 6-5, but has proven to be a clutch player for KU. Windom came through when the pressure was against Saint Louis with a match-clinching No. 4 singles win and a 4-1 record in three-set matches. Windom and Morozova lead Kansas in doubles with an 8-4 mark in No. 1 doubles.

Scouting the Longhorns

Texas will face KU after taking on No. 39 Kansas State. The Longhorns have not lost in four matches, coming into the weekend at 8-4 overall and a perfect 3-0 in Big 12 play. Texas has key wins against No. 37 Princeton, No. 28 Arizona State and opened conference play with wins against Nos. 27 and 69 Texas A&M and Missouri. The Longhorns boast the top-ranked player in the Big 12 in Ariel Ellis, who is currently ranked No. 15. The reigning Big 12 Freshman of the Year will be at the top of the order for Texas expected to face off against KU’s Ekaterina Morozova. Morozova previously saw success against the Longhorns in doubles, defeating doubles team Caroline Larsson and Amanda Craddock with partner Erin Wilbert in the fall at the Riviera ITA All-American Championships. The two also defeated Craddock and Krista Damico in last spring’s dual match.

Texas holds the all-time series lead 22-0. Last season, the Longhorns defeated KU 7-0 in Austin, Texas.

Scouting the Aggies

The Aggies enter the weekend with an 8-3 record and a 2-1 mark in the Big 12 with losses only to rival Texas, and top-50 caliber teams in Duke and Arkansas. Nazari Urbina, the second-highest ranked player in the conference at No. 18, has been outstanding this season compiling a 9-2 record in No. 1 singles and a 21-5 overall record. Urbina has 13 wins against nationally-ranked opponents for her sophomore campaign and has won her last three matches. Senior No. 2 singles player Morgan Frank is also 9-2 on the season, making the Aggies formidable at the top of the lineup. Currently 8-2, Urbina and Frank also lead the Aggies in doubles.

KU is 3-15 against Texas A&M all-time and was swept in last season’s meeting in College Station, Texas.

Around the Big 12

Nebraska lost its top spot in the Big 12 standings after going 1-1 to open conference play. However, the No. 29-ranked Cornhuskers still own the best overall record at 13-2. Texas and No. 19 Oklahoma sit atop the standings with 3-0 records, with Texas Tech behind at 2-0. No. 11 Baylor was upset by Kansas State last weekend and are now tied for fourth in the conference with a 2-1 Big 12 record.