KU to Close out Regular Season at Home against Nebraska and Iowa State

April 16, 2008

<?xml:namespace prefix=”st1″ ns=”urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:smarttags”?>LAWRENCE, Kan. – Seniors Elizaveta Avdeeva, Lauren Hommell and Stephanie Smith will play their final career home matches this weekend when the University of Kansas tennis team concludes its regular season with duals against No. 67 Nebraska and IowaState.<?xml:namespace prefix=”o” ns=”urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:office”?>

KU will face the Huskers on Friday at 2 p.m. and will then celebrate Senior Day on Sunday prior to its matchup with the Cyclones, which is set to begin at 11 a.m.

The Jayhawks enter the weekend looking to get back on track after suffering four straight losses, including their most recent setbacks at Texas and Texas A&M. KU is 7-12 overall and in ninth place in the Big 12 with a 3-6 mark. However, all but four conference schools are currently 4-5 or worse in the league, meaning a strong weekend could move Kansas substantially higher in the standings leading into next week’s Big 12 Championships.

Junior Yuliana Svistun and sophomore Kunigunda Dorn picked up Kansas’ only wins against UT and A&M last weekend. Svistun notched a victory in the No. 4 singles position against Texas’ Caroline Larsson, 7-5, 6-7 (5), 1-0 (7), while Dorn defeated Texas A&M’s Tiffany Clifford 6-1, 7-6 (5), also the No. 4 singles slot.

On Sunday, KU will recognize a trio of seniors that have achieved high levels of success both on and off the courts. Avdeeva, a native of Obninsk, Russia, is one of Kansas’ most decorated players in recent memory. She was an All-Big 12 singles and doubles selection in 2006 and 2007, Academic All-Big 12 in 2006, and — together with teammate Edina Horvath — won the 2006 ITA Central Regionals Doubles Championship in the fall of 2006.

Avdeeva currently ranks second all-time at Kansas with 21 career Big 12 doubles victories. She needs one more win to tie Julia Sidorova for the all time lead, and wins in both of KU’s duals this weekend will put her alone at the top.

Hommell, a 2007 Academic All-Big 12 selection, has put together a strong season despite missing the fall with an arm injury. The Roswell, Ga., native is currently 8-5 in singles play, including three dual-clinching wins for Kansas this season in its victories over Kansas State, New Mexico and Oklahoma.

Smith, another Jayhawk who has battled injuries throughout her career, is a two-time Academic All-Big 12 selection (2006, 2007). The Salina, Kan., native is 7-4 this spring in singles action.

Nebraska comes in with a record of 15-5, 4-5 in league play. The Huskers are coming off a 3-4 loss at Colorado on April 13.

Iowa State is currently 4-12 overall and 0-9 in the conference. KU has dominated the all-time series with ISU, leading 31-1, including 28-straight wins. The Cyclones’ last victory in the series was in 1981.

The Jayhawks defeated both schools last season.

Check back with kuathletics.com for live updates from each dual.