KU Tennis Looks for 34th Straight Win Over Iowa State in Weekend Matchup

March 31, 2011

Starting Off

Kansas tennis travels to Ames, Iowa, Friday afternoon in hopes of continuing its 33-match winning streak against Iowa State. The Jayhawks will continue their weekend on the road with a visit to Nebraska. KU will take on the Cyclones at 2:30 p.m., at the Forker Tennis Courts, and the Cornhuskers Sunday at 12 p.m.

Last Time Out

KU went down 6-1 to Nos. 26 and 25 Texas and Texas A&M last weekend, losing its fourth-straight match. But while the Jayhawks struggled for the second weekend in a row in Big 12 Conference play, Ekaterina Morozova shined in both singles and doubles play. The junior went 2-0 with doubles partner Dylan Windom knocking off the No. 23-ranked doubles team from Texas and 1-1 in singles taking down No. 18 Nazari Urbina of Texas A&M. The doubles win was the first against a nationally-ranked team since April 12, 2010, when Morozova and Erin Wilbert defeated Colorado’s 72nd-ranked team, and the first time since 2006 a KU has earned a doubles win over a top-30 opponent. Morozova’s singles win was the second of her career and KU’s first top-30 win since 2005.

Cracking the Rankings

Morozova and Windom’s wins earned them spots in this week’s Campbell’s ITA Women’s Tennis rankings, marking the first time since 2007 Kansas has had a singles player in the rankings and the first time since 2009 a KU doubles team has entered the rankings. Morozova checked in at No. 65, becoming just the second women’s tennis player since Kris Sell, and the first since 1999, to be ranked in the top 100. Morozova and Windom enter the doubles rankings at No. 73.

Jayhawk Leaders

Morozova and Windom pace the Jayhawks in both singles and doubles. Morozova owns an 8-6 record at No. 1 singles, while the freshman Windom is 7-6 at the Nos. 4, 5 and 6 positions. Both own 2-2 Big 12 singles records and are the only KU players with conference wins to their credit in both singles and doubles. The No. 73-ranked tandem has combined for a 10-4 record in No. 1 doubles.

Scouting the Cyclones

The upstart Cyclones (11-6, 1-3 Big 12) recently just won their first Big 12 road match since 1997, when they defeated Colorado 5-2 in Boulder. Their win was led off by a 2-for-3 doubles performance, as Iowa State won the doubles point for the third time in its last four conference matches. Doubles play has been led by the No. 1 team of Erin Karonis and Simona Cacciuttolo who are 3-1 in the Big 12. Karonis has been the strongest singles player in Big 12 matches with a team-leading 3-1 ledger. The top of the order has played well for Iowa State, with Maria Fernanda Macedo owning an 11-5 mark in Nos. 1 and 2.

Kansas has typically dominated the all-time series and holds a 35-2 lead. Kansas has won the last 33 straight matches against the Cyclones, narrowly pulling out a 4-3 victory last season at home in Lawrence.

Scouting the Cornhuskers

After going 1-1 to start the season, No. 41 Nebraska (14-3, 2-1 Big 12) then went on a tear winning the next 11 straight and climbing as high as No. 26 in the ITA rankings, until falling to No. 19 Oklahoma in the Big 12 opener. After falling in Norman, the `Huskers then got back on track with wins against Oklahoma State and No. 75 Missouri. Nebraska is the strongest at the top of the singles lineup, with winning records at the top three positions. Led by Patricia Veresova’s 11-0 record, second-singles has been particularly strong. In doubles, Madeleine Geibert and Stephanie Weinstein lead at the top with a 12-3 ledger, including a 2-2 mark against nationally-ranked opponents. Second and third doubles all own winning records as well, with Veresova and Janine Weinriech a perfect 6-0 at the No. 2 spot.

KU holds the advantage with a 22-13 record in the all-time series, but has lost the last two meetings.

Around the Big 12

Although ninth-ranked Baylor leads in the rankings, No. 23 Texas is undefeated at 5-0 in Big 12 play, and 11-4 overall. Baylor’s Sona Novakova overtook the Longhorns’ Aeriel Ellis in the singles rankings this week, jumping to No. 14, while Ellis fell from No. 15 to 21. Ekaterina Morozova’s defeat over Texas A&M’s Nazari Urbina dropped Texas A&M’s No. 1 singles player from No. 18 to 34.